Accelerating Social Transformation

A one-week professional development certification course | August 7-12, 2016


“Everything Changes and Nothing Stands Still.”  --Heraclitus

“Only the Paranoid Survive.”  --Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel

From Heraclitus to Andy Grove, leaders have understood and shown that the only way forward is through change. Today’s leader not only must know best practices, but should also have the ability to comprehend the peculiarities of situations, identify problems and deploy the skill sets necessary to develop a contextualized response.

Accelerating Social Transformation is a partnership between the University of Washington’s Bothell School of Business and the Catalytic Innovators Group. Geared toward professionals in the social good/development space, this course is designed to help you think broader and deeper by learning from leading organizations and experts on effectively adapting to change.

Over the week, participants will learn fresh approaches to social development and better understand how to effectively combine innovative solutions with technology and policy to accelerate social transformation. We will have site visits to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and PATH to understand how they are managing social development in this changing environment. We will also visit Microsoft and Global Good to hear from experts on the continuous evolution of technology and its impact on the poor. In addition, participants will spend a day at the Seattle Impact HUB and apply course learnings to their specific project/program to co-create new approaches of accelerating social impact. This course provides participants with a great opportunity to interact with the rich social innovation network of the Pacific Northwest through shared activities and capacity-building trainings.

Why does this matter? Over the last several years, there has been a significant shift in how we undertake social impact and philanthropic efforts. The Institute for the Future refers to this shift as the “Second Curve Philanthropy,” which includes the following changes we will learn more about and address in this course.


  • A new generation of funders are creating different opportunities for social investments, posing new challenges and opportunities, and demanding greater risk-taking while minimizing harm. Mitigating failure in such a disruptive and evolving environment has become increasingly crucial to successfully drive positive change.


  • As the dialogue around more risk-taking and doing no harm is increasing and the use of different funding instruments is gaining traction, new ways of measuring impact and outcome are being introduced, making it critical for us to (re)consider how we take risk, scale projects and determine impact.


  • The rampant growth and dominance of technology is impacting how we design development projects, make social investments, collect data and report results. There is an evolving intersection of technology, creativity and social impact, which is paving the way for project design and implementation that is much for appropriate and effective.


  • As policy continues to integrate more with technology and society, it becomes imperative to establish a deeper understanding of its role in order to design innovative solutions and effectively scale projects to accelerate social transformation and maximize impact. 

As the curator of this program, I will lead the teaching and facilitation. I’m a seasoned executive with over 30 years of international development experience. I have managed corporate philanthropic programs and co-founded a global nonprofit for social enterprise. I previously also taught architecture and urban development at MIT, and classes on social innovation, philanthropy and corporate social responsibility at the University of Washington and Columbia University. 

Please join me and a select group of participants from across the non-profit, foundation, international development and business community for this evolutionary approach to professional development training. This will be a stimulating, eye-opening, and thought provoking week that will help you return to work energized and inspired with fresh thinking and new tools to accelerate the social transformation of the projects you are working on



As mid-20th century philosopher and writer Ken Kesey said, “You’re Either on the Bus or off the Bus.” 



For more information, visit:  Accelerating Social Transformation