A new course offered at SUNY Cortland aims to meet non-profit needs with creative solutions, with the eventual goal of students taking an entrepreneurial approach to solve societal issues.
Community Innovation Lab, a special topics course in sociology, has matched eight students with four local projects this semester dealing with fundraising, marketing, health program promotion and the social transition that comes after incarceration.
The students will detail their work as part of a Sandwich Seminar talk on Thursday, April 30, from noon to 1 p.m. in Brockway Hall Jacobus Lounge.
“The projects all are centered around the idea of capacity-building for not-for-profits,” said Richard Kendrick, the director of the College’s Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) and a professor of sociology/anthropology. “The idea is not necessarily that we go in and we perform a service for them, but that we help the organizations build their own capacities to get things done.”
The inaugural semester’s projects include:
Kendrick said the class is a first step towards establishing coursework in social entrepreneurship that eventually could be paired with SUNY Cortland’s business economics classes on a similar topic to create a minor program.
He leads the course along with Barbara Barton, an assistant professor of health, and Cyndi Guy, the ICE’s community innovation coordinator.