HomeEducationAcaraLet’s Innovate Together Next Semester!

Let’s Innovate Together Next Semester!

At Acara, we believe that any student can create solutions to grand social and environmental challenges! We’d love to support you in one of our spring semester classes, and help you develop a feasible, solution-based project. Students in both of these courses will also have the opportunity to pursue funding for their project. 

The Social Innovation Design Lab prepares students to compete in the Acara Challenge, an annual competition which provides funding of up to $5000 in fellowships to help you develop your project. Additionally, two teams will receive an all-expense trip to  to compete in the Fowler Global Social Innovation Challenge in San Diego. One team from the Acara Challenge and one from our GCC 5501 course will receive this amazing opportunity to gain hands-on experience, mentoring, and networking connections. 


PA 5743: Social Innovation Design Lab: Making your Idea a Reality

1.5 credits – January 13-17 – 9:00-5:00pm

Do you have an idea to create impact? In this one-week course, you will design a solution to address an environmental or social challenge that you are passionate about.

This course’s new co-instructor, Rob Gradoville, will be a great asset in developing your idea for social or environmental change! Gradoville spent the last four years with IDEO.org as Senior Portfolio Manager for the Amplify program, a design-inspired incubator for social sector ideas. Previously, he focused on the international water & sanitation field as a Peace Corps volunteer, with Engineers Without Borders, as the founder of a nonprofit organization, as a Fulbrighter, and through various positions at Water.org. 

Interested in applying? The priority application deadline is December 13, 2019.


GCC 5501: Knowledge to Impact: Creating Action with your Grand Challenge Project Idea

3 credits – T & Th 4:00-5:15pm – Meets at Impact Hub MSP in Stadium Village

Do you want to learn how to design viable solutions to address a complex social or environmental challenge? This hands-on course will allow you to take your project to the next level.

Develop the skills to design viable solutions to complex social or environmental challenges with this course’s new co-instructor, Terri Barreiro! Barreiro is a co-founder and Venture Coach at Impact Hub MSP, a Consultant at Cogent Consulting, and Adjunct Faculty at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. She has had over 30 years of experience in leading social change and has helped 11 social impact-focused nonprofits form and thrive. 

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