Skip to main content

The Carolina Seminar on Innovation for the Public Good (formerly the Carolina Seminar on Social Innovation) sits at the cross-section of the two core strategies of UNC’s overarching “Blueprint for Next” strategic framework: “Of the Public, for the Public” and “Innovation Made Fundamental.”

This seminar will play a catalytic role in amplifying the mission of Carolina by providing an educational pathway for our faculty and students to explore modern changemaking and practice the skills necessary to contribute toward meaningful change in the world. Participants will explore evidence and promising based creative problem-solving approaches and early, team-oriented, customer/community discovery methods to develop solutions that address pressing human concerns.


Daniel Gitterman

Duncan MacRae ’09 and Rebecca Kyle MacRae Professor and Chair of Public Policy

Melissa Carrier

Director of Social Innovation, IEED and Adjunct Professor of Practice, Department of Public Policy

Liz Chen

Design Thinking Lead, IEED and Assistant Professor, Department of Health Behavior, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health


AY 2020-2021

“How to think about social innovation?” with Danielle Logue | January 27, 2021 

Danielle Logue is an Associate Professor of Innovation, Entrepreneurship & Management at University of Technology Sydney Business School. She completed a Doctorate of Philosophy (PhD) and Master of Science (MSc) at Said Business School, University of Oxford, and is currently a Visiting Associate at the University of Cambridge.

This conversation considered whether social innovation is more hype than substance, looking at when and where the concept emerged, and argue that it is not new but rather a contemporary manifestation of historical tensions between ‘economy’ and ‘society. From across academic and practitioner literature, Dr. Logue looks at how social innovation often generates new networks and collaborative configurations across individuals, organizations, and sectors, and how it also requires us to be conscious of the implicit and different moralities at play when we invoke or operate under the guise of ‘social innovation’. She identifies three frameworks that highlight and open up distinct ways to think about social innovation: (1) as a form of social value creation, capture, and distribution; (2) as a polysemous concept that creates networks of meaning necessary in cross-sector collaborations; and (3) as striving for institutional change.

“Design Thinking Pedagogies: What do we know and where might we go from here?” with Danielle Lake | December 4, 2020

Dr. Danielle Lake, Associate Professor at Elon University and Director of Elon By Design.

Danielle shared her research findings on design thinking as a tool in engaged learning and social innovation. She also discussed the vision and story for the Center for Design Thinking at Elon and their approach to assessment. There was plenty of time for questions and conversations and we will share opportunities to get involved in a regional university research coalition on design thinking in higher education.


Previous Carolina Seminars

The Carolina Seminar on Social Innovation

The Carolina Seminar on Social Innovation brought together scholars and practitioners with interests in social innovation. Social innovation is defined as a novel solution to a social problem that is more effective, efficient, sustainable, or just than current solutions. The value created accrues primarily to society rather than to private individuals. Ultimately, the most difficult and important problems cannot be solved without involving the nonprofit, public, and private sectors.

For more information on Carolina Seminars, see