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Social Innovation

The Social Innovation Practice at the Wond’ry empowers students and community and industry partners to translate good intentions into meaningful impact.

Through experiential learning opportunities built on the principles of human-centered design and systems thinking, the Wond’ry Social Innovation Practice engages students and community partners in Vanderbilt’s culture of service and exploration. Here, student-led research and innovation supports positive social, economic, and environmental change in Nashville and beyond.

Register today for the Coffee Equity Lab Track at the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures Summit. Events begin Feb. 19 @ 9am CST. See the Speaker Line-up.


The Social Innovation Practice offers three core programs during the academic year: the Social Venture Think Tank, the Map the System Competition and the new Coffee Equity Lab. We also partner with the Turner Family Center for Social Ventures on the annual HULT@Vanderbilt Competition and offer a number of other events and workshops. Read below to learn more.

Social Venture Think Tank

The Social Venture Think Tank (SVTT) is a competitive consulting-style program wherein student teams work with a Nashville-based non-profit to design new technological capabilities that help achieve meaningful impact in the Nashville community.

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Map the System Competition

Map the System is a global systems thinking competition that trains students to understand complex social challenges and identify interventions to help address them. Vanderbilt University partners with the Global Map the System Competition at University of Oxford to bring this program to campus. The winner of Vanderbilt’s on-campus competition advances to the global finals, which are held each June at the University of Oxford in England. The 2021 global finals will be virtual.

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Coffee Equity Lab 

The Coffee Equity Lab is a new experiential learning and research lab housed in the Wond’ry Social Innovation Practice. The Lab offers innovative pathways for students to examine the pressing issues shaping our world through the lens of the coffee industry: climate change, global trade, equity and justice in economic life, and more. The lab also collaborates with industry partners on projects that advance progress towards equity, justice, and sustainability in the sector.

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HULT@Vanderbilt Competition

The Wond’ry supports the Turner Family Center for Social Venture’s annual coordination of the HULT@Vanderbilt Competition. The HULT Prize is a global case competition hosted by the Hult Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to launching the world’s next wave of social entrepreneurs. The competition challenges students to develop innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Hult Prize Competition at Vanderbilt is a preliminary competition, with the Vanderbilt winner advancing to the regional competition. The ultimate HULT prize is $1M in seed funding to implement the proposed solution.

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We build partnerships with non-profits, social enterprises, businesses, public offices, student organizations, faculty and staff, and community members who are committed to affecting positive social, economic, and environmental change. We extend thanks to all of our on- and off-campus partners!

Social Venture Think Tank

On-campus Partners