The Changemaker Collaborative: A Paul College Partnership
At the University of New Hampshire, tomorrow’s workers are learning that “changemaking” can have a big impact when pursued within an organization. The literal “center” of this pedagogical and experiential movement is the Changemaker Collaborative, formerly known as the Center for Social Innovation and Enterprise.
Founded in 2015 as a joint venture of Paul College of Business and Economics and the Carsey School of Public Policy, the Changemaker Collaborative brings together students, faculty, staff, businesses, non-profits and government agencies committed to advancing positive change for the good of all. The Collaborative supports the next generation of skilled, courageous and confident leaders, through real-world experiences and the tools of public policy and business, while helping community partners advance their sustainability initiatives.
How does the Changemaker Collaborative achieve this goal? Through a variety of programs and events that serve UNH’s students and alumni, as well as regional businesses, nonprofits, and the community at large. These programs and events include the annual Social Venture Innovation Challenge, the B Impact Clinic, Semester in the City, and the Sustainability Fellowship (formerly the social innovation internship).
In 2019 the UNH Sustainability Institute joined the partnership–a move that reflects the Collaborative’s emphasis on helping students to discover solutions to some of society’s most pressing sustainability challenges. It now serves more than 1,000 students and alumni a year — many from Paul College.
Paul College Changemakers
“it is more important than ever that business schools educate students to be the next generation of principled leaders and professionals who turn purpose into action and understand how business and capital can be harnessed to make a positive impact in the world, not just for the few but for the many.”
Dean Deborah Merrill-Sands
Semester in the City is a fully-credited fellowship program that gives undergraduate students the opportunity to spend a semester learning hands-on through well-supported internships in the social sector. As a fellow in Semester in the City, you will intern with a nonprofit, social mission business, or government agency for 30 hours per week for a full-semester.
Every placement will be a little different, but in each case the student will have a dedicated mentor – a hand-selected, high-performing, high-potential leader. Students will spend roughly 20 percent of their time shadowing senior leaders, 40 percent of their time doing front-line service for the organization, and 40 percent working on a special project. Check out some examples of placements and projects in Boston.
The NH Social Venture Innovation Challenge (SVIC) invites students (as individuals or in teams of up to five members) from across the state to identify pressing social, environmental or economic issues at the state, national or global level, and develop innovative, sustainable, business-oriented ideas to solve them. This is an IDEA competition and an excellent applied learning project; no detailed business plans or financials needed. Contestants write a 2-page paper and create a 3-minute video explaining an innovative solution to the problem identified.
The SVIC was designed to be different from other traditional business plan competitions. Rather than full business plans, the Challenge is interested in unlocking and jumpstarting innovative thinking among students and community members who want to “make a difference.” The SVIC is designed to complement Paul's annual Holloway Prize Innovation-to-Market Competition which takes place at UNH each spring.
Do you want to change the world? Whether you’re already committed to a career at the intersection of mission and business, or curious how to apply your major’s skills towards social and environmental good, the 10-week paid Social Innovation Fellowship connects students to leading for-profit and nonprofit organizations for a rigorous and meaningful summer internship. Students are provided support and professional skill building through UNH trainings.
Each intern works at a different host organization based on their skills and interests and reports to a supervisor/mentor at that organization. Interns spend the majority of the summer at their respective host organizations and occasionally come together as a cohort for UNH trainings in social innovation, sustainability, for professional development opportunities and to meet with leaders of mission-driven organizations.