Social Innovation

Social Innovation at the Wond’ry prepares leaders to co-create opportunities for social change in their communities using the tools of equity-centered design and systems thinking. See below for a directory of all things Social Innovation.

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Get Involved

Are you interested in learning more about this program for the Fall semester? Click here to fill out our interest form. 

Interested in engaging in Social Innovation but not sure how? Start by searching through the active programs below. Each program page has a primary contact for further questions. For all other questions, please contact the Director of Social Innovation Jaclyn Mothupi at

Upcoming Fall Programming Dates: 

Fall 2024 Map The System - Tuesday Afternoons
-Sept. 10 - MTS Fellowship Session - 4:30-6 PM
-Sept. 17 - MTS Kickoff - 4:30-6 PM
-Nov. 19 - MTS Finals - 4:30-6 PM
-Nov. 26 - MTS Fellowship - 4:30- 6 PM

SI Workshops
-Sept. 20 - Climate Resilience 
-Oct. 18 - Biomimicry
-Nov. 1 - Social Innovation
-Nov. 15 - Student Leadership

SI Lunch and Learn
Nov. 21 11:45 AM-1:30 PM; 3rd floor lounge

Climate Innovation Accelerator

Want to be a part of positive community change?  Sign up for our Climate Innovation Accelerator!  A 10-week, project-based, learning cohort that allows student teams to sit in the driver’s seat of consulting on climate innovation for minority-owned small businesses and nonprofits with the guidance of expert mentorship and instructor support.  Students learn actionable learning outcomes involving sustainable business, climate science, innovation, and design thinking.  Students ideate and rapid prototype solutions for a climate positive future.

Social Changemakers

Social Changemakers pairs teams of Vanderbilt University students with a Nashville-based community partner. Together, using the tools of human-centered design, student teams and their partners co-create new organizational capabilities, tools, and resources that help advance meaningful change in the Nashville community.

Social Innovation Bootcamp 

Social Innovation Bootcamp gives Vanderbilt and Nashville community Partners the opportunity to explore social innovation through an introduction to the social innovation landscape from design thinking to field application. Participants will engage in a 5-week course where they will experience hands on learning and expand their social innovation network.

Map the System

Map the System is a global systems thinking competition that engages students in deeply understanding and working within complex social and environmental problems. Participating students meet weekly in person during the fall semester to complete a research project and prepare to present their findings to a panel of judges at the annual Vanderbilt University Map the System competition on January 24. There is a total of $5,000 in cash prizes to be distributed among the top three teams.

Climate, Health, and Energy Equity Lab 

The Wond’ry is home to the Climate, Health and Energy Equity Lab, co-founded and directed by Dr. Zdravka Tzankova (Vanderbilt University Climate Studies), Dr. Carol Ziegler (Vanderbilt University School of Nursing), and Dr. James Muchira (Vanderbilt University School of Nursing). Accepted students will map corporate & institutional awareness on the equity implications of climate mitigation pledges & actions; develop conceptual and strategic approaches for using climate mitigation to alleviate specific economic, environmental and health inequities; and, design strategies that simultaneously advance climate mitigation and health, energy, environmental, and economic equity.

Commodore Cup

The Wond’ry team is thrilled to announce its inaugural campus-wide design challenge called Commodore Cup, made possible with collaboration with the Division of Administration and Clearloop. The 2023 theme this year is sustainability.