Social Innovation Program

A transdisciplinary program singularly dedicated– through classes, startups, events, a fund, and teacher training– to accelerating our mission of developing future world-wise leaders uniquely equipped to understand and solve global-scale problems.

We challenge students to design and execute projects that span multiple disciplines, tackle real-world problems and prepare them to be leaders and change-makers.

  • Our students grades 7–12 explore the field of social innovation with an interest-based, results driven approach in classes, clubs and events.
  • We support our teachers with content, curriculum, tools, training and project cases to engage student imagination.
  • We drive real impact by doing real-world work connecting students with our community of Pro Partners



Design Challenge

Avenues D4i students work with Pro Partners to solve real world problems. These sessions are entirely student run and foster design thinking and innovation.

Build Your Own Business (BYOB)

Student teams develop original financially sustainable social impact ventures and pitch them to a panel of entrepreneurs and experts. The class merges theory and practice, conscious capitalism, design thinking and lean startup.

Design 4 Impact

Our student-run startup D4i aims to bring real world problem solving to K12 education. Students host and facilitate events, classes  and share curriculum. Student can participate through Mastery, an elective or club.

In 2016 D4i launched with our first student-run conference to bring social innovation to K12 education. More than 200 people joined us at Avenues New York for workshops, keynotes and of course a student led design challenge. D4i has run half-day summits at SXSWedu, the nation’s largest education conference, in 2016 and 2018.

Our second student-led conference, SPARK, is coming up in May 2018. Please join stakeholders from education, industry and community to push social innovation education forward!

Community Design Incubator

In a grade 12 seminar, students are challenged to tackle challenges around quality of life, access to resources and civic health. Following best practices of research ethics community engagement and urban studies.


São Paulo

Pracinha Initiative:

Lower Division students work with Design Thinking teacher Paola Ricci to transform an abandoned public space near campus

Social Innovation

A brief profile of the three projects run by the grades 6–8 sections of our Social Innovation class.

New York

Design 4 Impact: D4i student leads facilitate a portion of a 9th grade science project. Learn more through these videos by D4i advisor Sebastian Martin:

BYOB: The class highlights filmed and edited by teacher Sebastian Martin :



Social Innovation relates to many of our World Elements, but these six in particular:


If you made it this far and still want to read more about Social Innovation Education, check out Ivan’s Medium page here and follow D4i on Twitter.

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