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Gateway Elective



Social Innovation introduced me the importance of social impact and remains one of my favorite classes taken at Duke. Taught by Matthew Nash, the course focuses on sustainable solutions to social problems through entrepreneurship. The class delves into experiential learning emphasizing the necessity for innovative approaches and solutions. The course has several awesome guest speakers and incredible readings, culminating in a final problem analysis paper, a design project, and a biography of a social innovator.




I took this course given my interest in social innovation. I wanted to tailor my I&E certificate toward creating a social impact. This is why I have taken another elective on Non-Profit Cultural Institutions and joined the Duke Impact Investing Group. I figured that Mathew Nash would teach me necessary and interesting skills in order to advance my knowledge in this field. Professor Nash was an incredible and eye-opening professor who certainly taught me the benefits of innovative solutions in lieu of less practical charity. I hope to one day use some of what I learned in social innovation to start my own socially impactful venture.


I learned how to find complex solutions to problems through mechanism such as using a problem tree. I learned how to analyze the specific problem of rhino poaching, and the potential solutions to this devastating epidemic. In researching I also learned about starting something that matters through reading an amazing biography by the founder of TOMS, Blake Mycoskie. I learned the do’s and don’ts’ of starting one’s own venture and how to accurately assess and create impact.