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Social Innovation/Social Entrepreneurship Minor

Building upon Tulane University’s strengths in civic engagement and service learning, the Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (SISE) minor provides students with skills to create a more just and equitable society. The five main SISE courses introduce students to concepts of social innovation, mindsets of human-centered design, and frameworks for social impact leadership.

Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary minor for undergraduate students from across the campus. The 17 credit hour minor includes a variety of courses taught by SISE faculty members and Social Enterpreneurship Professors from across the university.

SISE offices are located on the fourth floor of Howard Tilton Memorial Library next to the Latin American Library, in the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking. Students wishing to declare the SISE minor can consult with and get the minor declaration signed by SISE Academic Advisor Rebecca Otten.

The SISE minor is supported by a variety of programming offered at the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking.

SISE 2010: Introduction to Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (3cr + service-learning)

The introductory class gives students an appreciation for the field of social entrepreneurship and introduces students to several helpful frameworks that will be used in subsequent classes. Students will examine key concepts and the historical context, understand current theories and debates about social change, and discuss case studies of social entrepreneurs. The class will address two overarching tenets of SISE:
  • Social impact can best be created by moving towards blended models that connect and combine sectors in new ways and away from the current divisive approach of separate sectors.
  • Social mission and social impact are the primary focus – the key is understanding what your mission is and how you can create the greatest social impact.

SISE 2020: Introduction to Business for Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship (3cr)

This course assumes no prior background in business concepts and is open to declared SISE minors who have completed SISE 2010. The course is designed to give students basic competence in understanding and analyzing the core elements of sustainable business models. Through this course, students will gain a working vocabulary, theoretical toolkit, and fundamental technical skill set for operating in a business environment. Topics include accounting, finance, strategy, marketing, sales, operations, organizational structure and management.

SISE 3010: Design Thinking for Collective Impact (4cr)

This course is a practical, experience-based introduction to design-thinking tools and techniques for SISE undergraduate minors from diverse departments across campus. Students will be exposed to applied research, ideation and problem-solving tools adapted from human-centered design and architecture. Using New Orleans as a laboratory and working with local partners, students will creatively and collaboratively address local community concerns, leading to a prototype for installation in a neighborhood. In addition, readings, case studies, lectures, and writing exercises will allow students to learn from these local design-thinking experiences to more fruitfully address global problems, such as climate change, poverty, and the AIDS pandemic, that they aim to pursue in their program major and SISE practicum.

SISE 4020: Leadership for Collective Impact (3cr)

This seminar is about “Leadership” – how the term has been defined and studied, as well as how it has been practiced. On the one hand, the course will focus conceptually on the genealogies and evolution of the theory and practice of leadership. On the other hand, the course will assess the current state of leadership scholarship by engaging students with current leadership literature and thinking. We will explore why leadership has taken on so many different definitions and delve into some of the major issues and debates in the field. Students will be guided in the development of their own leadership skills, as the course will require students to practice leadership both in the course and in the community.

SISE-Approved Elective (3cr)

Co-requisite: SISE 4050
View an up to date list of SISE-approved electives.

SISE 4050: Senior Seminar (1cr)

Co-requisite: SISE-approved elective
The SISE Senior Seminar is a 1-credit, semester long course open to students have completed SISE 2010, SISE 2020, SISE 3010, and SISE 4020. Students must take SISE 4050 concurrently with their SISE-approved elective. The seminar is open to students with senior standing who expect to graduate within the next two semesters. The goal of this course is to provide a final cohort experience and help students synthesize SISE with other academic and engaged learning experiences.


SISE 4820: TAYLOR Your Life: Learn how to approach your future with the mindset and toolkit of a designer.

TAYLOR Your Life is an innovative career development lab that teaches students how to ideate multiple life paths, clarify their interests, focus and target their search, prototype and test elements of careers that interest them, market and brand themselves to stand out from the crowd, and map their community to effectively join the network of movers and shakers in their field.

To sign up and learn more, contact Julia Lang.