Executive Education

Youth Summer Social Impact Institute

The Center for Social Impact Strategy (CSIS) at the University of Pennsylvania believes that anyone, anywhere, can change the world. CSIS is offering an exciting curriculum in social innovation for high school students in the Philadelphia region.

The course empowers students with the foundations of social innovation as they learn the strategies and tools needed to affect positive change.

This is an exciting fast-paced 7-week program, featuring 1 hour per week of asynchronous content, 90 minutes of weekly synchronous meetings on Tuesdays or Thursdays 3-4:30pm (choose one), and 2-3 expected weekly hours of independent work on a personal project. The curriculum is delivered virtually, using the learning management system Canvas as an asynchronous central online learning space where students can watch video lectures, take quizzes, submit assignments, and participate in discussion boards. All videos are closed captioned. This asynchronous content accompanies weekly live peer dialogue sessions, during which time students will develop community, work on their projects, and learn more about improving the world around them.

On completion of the curriculum, students will have developed and tested a working prototype. Students who have completed all requirements will receive a Certificate of Completion from the University of Pennsylvania’s Center for Social Impact Strategy.

Philadelphia high school students ages 15 and up can register here.

Have questions? Email Program Manager Anna Dausman.


Key Details

Start Date
July 12, 2021
Program Duration
July 12 – September 3, 2021
Synchronous Meeting Times
Tuesdays or Thursdays, 3-4:30pm ET
Certificate Award Ceremony
Monday, September 13, 2021 at 6pm

Get Tools You Can Use Immediately

Our 8-week curriculum is designed to help you put your learning into practice right away, giving you access to tools, frameworks & resources that you can use in designing a new idea.

Earn Ivy League Credentials

Upon completing this program, you’ll receive a certificate of completion from the University of Pennsylvania.

Learn from Wherever You Are

Complete the Summer Social Innovation program from wherever you are. In addition to pre-planned modules, we’ll meet for live weekly meetings to build community and connect with your peers in the program.

Gain New Perspectives

This program will ask you to engage with the world around you in new and thoughtful ways. You’ll sharpen observational and creative skills like interviewing, prototyping, and gathering feedback on ideas.

Complete Your Work at Your Pace

New material is released weekly, the core curriculum recorded, and remains available, once released, throughout the program. So you can learn when it’s right for you, and return to material later in the program. Submission deadlines keep you on track to earning your certificate of completion.



How 7 weeks of learning unfold

WEEK 1
Intro to Social Innovation

Discover the foundations of social innovation, including key terms, concepts and approaches

WEEK 2
Creativity for Social Impact

Apply practical creative tools and processes for social innovation.

WEEK 3
Community & Collaboration

Explore your own community as an environment for social innovation.

WEEK 4
Clarifying Purpose

Develop a point of view and purpose statement for your final social innovation project.

WEEK 5
Developing a Point of View

Research an issue in your community and generate a practical plan to address this locally.

WEEK 6
Design Thinking & Prototyping

Prototype and test your idea, engaging key stakeholders for feedback.

WEEK 7
Final Capstone Presentations

Develop a personal narrative around your final project, and present your capstone to your peers.

Program Instructors