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Social Venture Think Tank

Training students to design human centered interventions for social impact.

The Social Venture Think Tank (SVTT) is an experiential learning program in the Wond'ry's social innovations practice area. Each semester, interdisciplinary teams of students are paired with a local organization, public office, or business working to address a social, economic, or environmental issue in the Nashville community. Student teams consult with their community partner to design and implement a project that advances the organization's capabilities in their impact area.

 

Applications for the Social Venture Think Tank are now closed for the Spring 2020 semester. Please check back in March 2020 to apply for the Fall 2020 cohort.

Project Highlights

Students in the Social Venture Think Tank work with non-profits, social enterprises, and public offices who are committed to affecting positive change. Teams undertake projects that provide new organizational capacities, strategic insights, and/or technical capabilities for their partner organization. Project highlights are below.

Fall 2019

Poverty and the Arts is a nonprofit social enterprise that is building new models of economic justice for individuals affected by homelessness. The organization provides resources for individuals to create art and then earn income from the sale of those items through formal marketplaces. A team of students is developing a new administrative process for the organization which will significantly decrease the time it takes staff to track inventory and sales and manage payouts to artists in the collective. The implementation of this project will enable POVA staff to dedicate valuable time to organizational development and program implementation during a period of growth.

 

The OASIS Center is a youth advocacy organization that helps ensure Nashville youth experience a successful, supported transition into adulthood. The organization runs more than 20 programs, from an emergency shelter, to counseling, to LGBTQ advocacy, and much more. A team of students is working with the OASIS Center to establish more robust data analysis capabilities through the development of automated data visualization and reporting processes. This project, upon implementation, will ensure the organization's ability to track their impact across programs and among the communities of youth with whom they work.

 

A team of students is working with former Vanderbilt University architect, Keith Loiseau, and a number of community partners to develop and launch a social business concept for a material reuse center in Nashville. This center will keep reusable construction and demolition waste out of landfills and ensure that Nashvillians have reliable access to low-cost, high-quality construction materials. The center will also support workforce development for individuals experiencing underemployment, advancing social and economic justice in our growing city. Long-term, the center will focus on providing materials that can be used in the construction of Living Buildings, a bleeding edge innovation in sustainable, regenerative architecture.