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Innovation sociale: créer le changement pour un avenir durable

  • Teacher(s):   A.Headon  
  • English title: Social innovation: creating change for a sustainable future
  • Course given in: French
  • ECTS Credits: 3 credits
  • Schedule: Spring Semester 2021-2022, 0.0h. course (weekly average)
  •  sessions
  • site web du cours course website
  • Related programmes:
    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics

    Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Management

    Bachelor (BSc) in Economic Sciences
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Social innovation goes beyond the traditional domain of not-for-profit organizations and NGOs. In order to achieve the sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda set out by the United Nations, the need for social innovation is more pressing now than ever before. With the advent of for-profit social ventures, the B corporation, and social entrepreneurship, interdisciplinary teams are now working together to address social and environmental challenges.

In the same spirit, this interdisciplinary course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to reflect upon, identify, and ultimately address some of these challenges. Groups of five students from different faculties will be formed in order to bring different perspectives et competences during workshops and case studies.

Course objectives are:

  • Introduce students to the concepts of social innovation and sustainable entrepreneurship and explore how entrepreneurs are transforming society to deliver social impact.
  • Prepare students to be effective change agents capable of identifying and addressing social problems through the development of sustainable business models.
  • Enable students to create a social change plan and learn how to leverage human capital and other resources in pursuit of social innovation.
  • Provide an understanding of the differents ways to measure impact of the innovation
  • Bring an interdisciplinary experience around group projects with the opportunity to work with students from other UNIL faculties

This Bachelor course is in the programme of 4 UNIL Faculties : HEC, SSP, Lettres and the School of Biology. Students from other Faculties are welcome.

This course is given on Friday from 10:00 to 12:00. It can welcome up to 60 students, i.e. 12 groups of five. Thanks to preregister on Moodle.


To illustrate some of these major challenges, this course will be structured around three case studies on social innovation involving different stakeholders : Social entrepreneurs, NGOs and big corporates.

Course structure :

Session 1: Introduction and creation of interdisciplinary groups
Session 2: The sustainable development goals
Session 3: Collaboration and stakeholders, creating systemic change
Session 4: Challenge 1 : climate change and biodiversity, solving complex problems
Session 5: Measuring impact (with the participation of Jonathan Normand from B Lab)
Session 6: Discussion of case study Opaline
Session 7: Challenge 2, poverty and access to education, the role of the NGO's

Session 8: Sources of funding for social innovation

Session 9 : Discussion of case study Save the Children

Session 10: Challenge no3 : equality and inclusion
Session 11 : The role of big corporation towards the 2030 agenda
Session 12: Presentations case study 3


This course doesn't have any pre-requesite.

The number of participants is limited to 60. In order to have a truly interdisciplinary experience, a number of places is reserved for students of each faculty.

Please see details and pre-register on Moodle.


First attempt

Without exam (cf. terms)  

Course evaluation will be done on two main pillars:

  • Group work (70%): 3 case studies, groups of 5 students from different faculties
  • Personal work (30%): Moodle contributions and personal reflection paper on interdisciplinary group work


Without exam (cf. terms)  

Individual case study

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