Designing for Social Innovation

Theatre for the Free People Fall Courses 2014

About the Course:

Our Designing for Social Innovation course fuses arts education, design thinking and creative entrepreneurship in an interactive workshop series geared towards fostering a new generation of Changemakers. Our mission is to empower students with the necessary tools to tackle the world’s most pressing problems through empathy, creativity, leadership and team work.


This course is designed to tap into the students’ passion, curiosity and imagination. Through this workshop they will develop critical skills to thrive in a rapidly changing world, and be equipped with the confidence to more effectively tackle social, environmental and economic changes. They will re-imagine learning to be a playful, creative and engaging experience and empowered to be active contributors (not passive participants) in the learning process.


In order for our global society to develop solutions to pressing problems in an increasingly technology-driven and constantly changing world, we need to empower our children to be enterprising, independent and strategic thinkers - to be purposeful creators. Throughout this course, students will explore some of the world's most defining social, environmental and economic challenges through a series of participatory games and activities. They will then be asked to work in teams to create a viable solution, (whether it be a product, service or organization/business) that best solves this problem. Each group will be asked to develop a creative strategy for pitching their solution to the class and have the opportunity to present their work to a supportive community of their peers.


This workshop strengthens academic performance in the following areas: critical thinking, problem solving, public speaking, creative writing, creative and performing arts, mathematics/accounting (9th grade and above), marketing and entrepreneurship.

Check out the Packages:

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About the Instructor:

Joi M. Sears is a social innovator. She is an artist, activist, educator and Creative Director of Free People International, a social enterprise which specializes in offering creative solutions to the world's biggest social, environmental and economic challenges through arts education, design thinking and social innovation. She has earned a Masters Degree from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in Arts and Social Change. She is one of twenty social innovators from 17 countries that has been accepted into the United Nation's University of Peace, "Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership" Course in Bangkok, Thailand and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She has also been invited to present her work in social innovation at the Rhodes Youth Forum in Greece, this year's SXSW ECO conference in Austin, TX and is a finalist for the World Summit Youth Award.