Establish the Pittsburgh region as a world leader in social enterprise by helping nonprofits build innovative earned-income ventures that contribute to their social mission.
President Tim Zak is spearheading this effort and he is also active on the academic front:
Carnegie Mellon University’s H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management has created the Institute of Social Innovation (ISI) to foster creativity and entrepreneurship in the social sector. Funded by a two-year grant from The Grable Foundation and an anonymous donor, the institute will focus on creating new courses, conducting research and establishing outreach programs aimed at promoting innovation and societal change.
The institute is being led by Denise Rousseau, the H. John Heinz II Professor of Organizational Behavior at the Heinz School and the Tepper School of Business; Tim Zak, president of the Pittsburgh Social Innovation Accelerator and an adjunct professor at the Heinz and Tepper schools; and Marie Coleman, senior director of development and special projects at the Heinz School...
"An entrepreneur is a packager of change," Zak said. "Social entrepreneurs are passionate, smart and motivated — just like entrepreneurs in the for-profit sector — but they apply their energies to solving intractable social problems. We want to inspire more people to pursue those dreams."
This is another example of Pittsburgh taking cues from Bay Area creativity. Stanford has its own Center of Social Innovation, which "leverages Stanford's knowledge, expertise and networks, bringing community leaders together with our faculty, alumni and students to illuminate and address social problems." Pittsburgh's embrace of social enterprise aligns the region with the Stanford-Silicon Valley knowledge engine.
CMU has its own impressive network and a substantial presence near San Francisco. The foundation is there for inter-regional cooperation and collaboration. The actor missing from this scene is the Mobility Class. Pittsburgh expatriates form a strong link between the two regions. When does Stanford East open shop?