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DSI Elizabeth Abernethy, ’15, Mixes Social Design and Business in Silicon Valley

MFA Design for Social Innovation

MFA Design for
Social Innovation

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136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205

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Program

Chair’s Letter

Cheryl Heller

This is our fifth year, and for a program that didn’t exist six years ago, that’s a big deal. We have enough alums out in the world to say with confidence what people do with a degree in Design for Social Innovation. We have seen enough work to know the difference that social designers can make in the world. We’ve been through enough semesters to know how to evolve and make the program better every year.

Our summer was busy evaluating and tightening learning outcomes, developing new workshops, bringing in new faculty and lecturers. We even put a little fresh paint on the walls. Everything (except the paint) can be found here on the site — on the faculty pages, the curriculum, among the thesis projects, and alumni news and guest lecture videos.

Social innovation design is the creation and propagation of healthy, mutually beneficial relationships between humans, technology and the earth. It has the potential to impact every business, government, city, neighborhood and individual. It uses systems design, critical thinking, strategy, game mechanics, social movement design, collective leadership, imagination and beauty to move people to think differently and become more resilient and resourceful themselves. This is what our program is about, what we teach and what our graduates are out in the world doing. To put it more succinctly, it’s the design of the relationships between people and things instead of only the things themselves.

What makes DSI unique is its balance of the academic and practical, the breadth of its curriculum, the diversity and caliber of its faculty and students, and the access we offer to a global network of the most accomplished practitioners of social innovation and social design, all in the heart of New York City.

It is a degree for people who want to write their own rules rather than follow them. Our students join us because it fulfills a deep need that nothing else can — to go out and create change, disrupt the status quo and use their own powers of creativity to bring something to life that has not existed before. They are remarkable people, unpredictable and visionary.

Please browse the site, then talk to students, faculty, and alums to learn about our program.

Best regards,

Cheryl Heller

Chair

136 W 21st St,
5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011
(212) 592–2205

SUBSCRIBE