Arthur Levitt Public Affairs Center

Levitt Center
315-859-4451 or 315-859-4894

Social Innovation

Our social innovation initiatives work to prepare and support students to address persistent social problems. Programs such as the social innovation fellows, innovation roundtables, and the Levitt Center Social Innovation Lab draw together individuals to work together fostering creativity and self-awareness to develop novel solutions to solve social problems.


Social Innovation Fellows

A program designed to prepare and support students who aim to use innovative approaches to address persistent social problems. The program is a weeklong workshop the last weekend of winter break, January 11 - 16. The program is run by Anke Wessels modeled after an award-winning course she teaches at Cornell University. Selected projects will receive project funding, as well as guidance about developing networks and mentoring support from among alumni and community members.  APPLY NOW.


Innovation Fridays

Innovation Fridays at the Levitt Center happen through out the year, with multiple activities and programs focused on Social Innovation.  What is Social Innovation?  It is a "novel solution to a long standing social problem that is more efficient, effective, sustainable, or just" (Stanford Social Innovation Review).  Innovation Fridays will include Innovation Roundtables, lunches, office hours in the newly renovated Innovation Lab, and workshops focused on Social Innovation.


Innovation Roundtable 

A Levitt Center program designed to draw together individuals to discuss and to address a specific and long-standing social problem.  The facilitator, often a faculty member, introduces a social problem and leads an initial discussion in the hopes that there will be an on-going collective effort to address the issue in a meaningful way.  Roundtables meet on Friday afternoons and attract students, faculty, staff, and community members.  All members of the Hamilton community are welcome to propose and lead an Innovation Roundtable.  More...


Levitt Center Social Innovation Lab


The new addition to the Levitt Center includes rooms suited for group brainstorming with white board paint on the walls, and comfortable seating to aid in the brainstorming process. The space aims to attract and support student innovators to develop novel solutions to persistent social problems.

Innovation Workshops

Social innovation workshops provide opportunities for students to develop the skills and gain the knowledge necessary for them to make a positive impact on their community. More...


Ashoka U Changemaker Campus

Hamilton College is an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus.  Ashoka U is an initiative of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. Building on Ashoka’s vision for a world where Everyone is a Changemaker, Ashoka U takes an institutional change approach to impact the education of millions of students. They collaborate with colleges and universities to break down barriers to institutional change and foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.  

Clinton Global Initiative

Hamilton College is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative University network which convenes global leaders to create and implement innovative solutions to the world's most pressing challenges. Learn more about CGIU here.

Hamilton Student Changemaker

Tsion Tesfaye '16 (aka "T") was born and raised in Ethiopia. She is concerned about addressing the problem of brain drain: talented students leaving Ethiopia and never returning. So as a sophomore, T became a Levitt Social Innovation Fellow, and designed and implemented a six-week program for 15 high school students in Ethiopia, during which they were introduced to the concept of social innovation and began to think about how they might be able to address persistent social problems in their own country.