Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative

A Call for Experiments

The Baylor Social Innovation Collaborative (BAY-SIC) is designed to bring together faculty, staff, and students in efforts to discover and develop innovative ways to promote human flourishing. Social innovation is an approach to tackling complex, “wicked” problems that involves cross-sector collaboration and multiple strategies and experiments. It aims to create a new equilibrium by building, renewing, or transforming institutions and offering approaches to social problems that are more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than existing ones.

In Fall 2017, with the aid of seed support from the Office of the Provost, the BAY-SIC will launch several transdisciplinary initiatives designed toward these ends. These experiments will be diverse, designed and tailored to the particular nuances of a given problem and the context of the collaboration. This semester, beginning now, faculty and staff are invited to submit ideas and develop proposals for launch in the fall. We anticipate, and indeed we hope for, a wide variety of experimental ventures.

In the midst of that diversity, BAY-SIC experiments that receive University support will be marked by certain shared traits. In particular, they should:

  • Address wicked problems
  • Present an opportunity to develop generative and transformational approaches
  • Be transdisciplinary
  • Be community embedded and involve partnerships across sectors.
  • Be animated by faith.
  • Have an educational mission.
  • Be well-crafted and planned.

The information on this and subsequent pages is designed to assist faculty and staff as they conceive and design initiatives for implementation next academic year. Specifically, the above-mentioned traits are explained in further detail, followed by several ideas and possible models for BAY-SIC experiments. In addition, there are links to several cutting-edge social innovation initiatives at other universities, which might help spur the imagination.

As soon as possible, and sometime before February 1, faculty and staff who are interested in developing new initiatives should contact Andy Hogue (andrew_hogue@baylor.edu), who will serve as the point person to assist with design and implementation of these new ventures. In addition, because there are many faculty and staff who are interested in a particular wicked problem but don’t have established cross-disciplinary partnerships, we encourage any interested participant to reach out to Andy, who will assist in the creation and development of collaborations.