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Social innovation


Gonçalves P.

Course director

Andreeva M.



This course introduces students to social innovations -- ideas, concepts, and processes that address societal needs. First, it exposes students to a pressing societal need. Then, it introduces them to the concepts and techniques of human-centered design for social innovation. Through a combination of methods (e.g., discovery, ideation, and prototyping) and tools (e.g., innovation tournaments) students learn to design robust ideas to address social needs.

Required Materials
HCD Connect Methods (online)
Human-Centered Design Toolkit (IDEO)


Introduce students to the principles and practices of social innovation. Adopts a Human Center Design (HCD) approach as a driving force to guide students through the different design process stages, such as discover, ideate and prototype.

Sustainable development goals

  • No poverty
  • Zero hunger
  • Good health and well-being
  • Quality education
  • Clean water and sanitation

Teaching mode

In presence

Learning methods

Class sessions combine lectures, interactive exercises, group presentations, and discussions. The diversity of approaches seeks to enhance students’ technical, decision-making, problem-solving, and practical skills. To achieve these goals in an effective way, it is important to engage in and prepare for discussion, participate actively during class discussions, and review readings and assignments for their applicability to concepts covered in class

This is a participatory course. We recommend attendance to be at least 75% of classes.

Examination information

Assignments: 50%
Final exam: 50%