POL3900 - Social Innovation and Public Policy

Offering Academic Unit
Department of Public Policy
Credit Units
Course Duration
One Semester
Course Offering Term*:
Semester B 2017/18
Semester B 2018/19 (Tentative)

* The offering term is subject to change without prior notice
Course Aims

This course aims to introduce students to the fundamentals of social innovation and its linkage with the broader public and social policy discourses. It introduces theories, techniques and approaches to diagnose social problems and to generate social innovation ideas for systemic change from multidisciplinary perspectives. It exposes students to the best practices in social innovation as a “hybrid” (partly pro-social, partly revenue generating) organization that creates benefits to the society as a whole.

The course equips students with the theoretical understanding and practical skills in creating launching and managing social innovation ideas using tools and logic from public policy, social welfare, marketing, management, and finance. Students will learn the debates and challenges in social innovation as an alternative solution to solve the world’s pressing social problems and as extension of government’s arm in the provision of public and social services. Students will develop in-depth knowledge of the concept of social impact and a variety of social innovation strategies from local and international context, how to market their ideas, how to create and sustain social innovation, and how to seek financial resources to ensure sustainable operations.  The course is the core course for the Minor in Social Entrepreneurship. Departments that contribute to the Minor include Public Policy, Applied Social Sciences, Management, Marketing, and College of Business. As a core course, POL3900 sets out the over-arching intellectual framework for various courses in the Minor. Social Entrepreneurship being an interdisciplinary process, it draws on concepts, theories, skills and tool kits from various disciplines. In the course of delivery, pointers will be made to these other courses that feed into the Minor.

The course is also offered as a free elective to students from all disciplines. Students who have not yet selected Social Entrepreneurship as their Minor but are interested to do so can progress to courses that make up the Minor requirements upon completing this course. We would be very happy to provide academic advising to steer uncommitted students to relevant courses.

Assessment (Indicative only, please check the detailed course information)

Continuous Assessment: 60%
Examination: 40%
Examination Duration: 2 hours
Detailed Course Information