Florida State University

College of Social Sciences & Public Policy

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Social Entrepreneurship Program Recognized For Best Practices

The FSU Bali Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship (SIE) Immersion program has been included in the Forum on Education Abroad’s Curriculum Toolbox as representative of the Forum’s best practices standards.

The immersion program, a project of SIE@FSU in partnership with FSU International Programs and the Bali Institute, takes social innovation and entrepreneurship students to Bali for one month in early summer to learn about urgent social and environmental problems through an interdisciplinary lens.

Students have the opportunity to engage with successful local social innovators, entrepreneurs and enterprises, to gain hands-on experience with problem-solving approaches that involve the human perspective in all steps of the process and to collaborate with agents of change in Bali.

The Forum is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission as the standards development organization for the field of education abroad. The nonprofit membership organization develops and disseminates comprehensive standards of good practice, resources and training; advocates for education abroad and its value; and engages the field in critical dialogue to benefit students.

The Forum’s Curriculum Toolbox is an online resource center where education abroad professionals share their unique approaches to encouraging student learning abroad. The Toolbox contains course and program profiles, and the FSU Bali program is now one of those, with its syllabus and other course-related materials available for Forum member institutions and organizations.

“I’m extremely grateful to FSU International Programs and the Bali Institute for their essential roles in helping the Bali SIE program achieve this distinction,” said Bruce Manciagli, director of SIE@FSU and the Bali program leader. “I also want to recognize the students who have entrusted us with their education abroad. Of course, they, along with the Balinese leaders, communities and organizations we collaborate with, are integral to making this immersion experience deeply meaningful and transformative.”

Bali Immersion was one of several FSU programs profiled in an article by university communications in August 2019 about experiential learning opportunities. The story focused on Charlie Gardner, a finance major who switched to pursuing a degree in entrepreneurship after his experience on the immersion program earlier that summer.

“We visited a variety of social enterprises and socially responsible organizations around Bali and learned about their history, vision and social impact while participating in activities related to the topic at hand,” Gardner said.

A large portion of the students’ experience in Bali included a “Social Innovation Sprint,” where they collaborated with local students to work on design challenges and possible solutions to major issues that the people of Bali face today.

“Coming into this trip, I was fairly confused on what I wanted to do with my life and honestly felt like I was getting very little out of my college experience,” he said. “Not only did this trip spark my curiosity in the field of social innovation and entrepreneurship, but it opened a new door in my life.”

Social innovation and entrepreneurship is an interdisciplinary approach to creating systems-level change that applies the best thinking and practices from across the nonprofit/civic, private, and public sectors. It aims to address a complex problem or “unjust equilibrium” through which the value created is targeted primarily to a segment of society experiencing marginalization or to society as a whole.

SIE@FSU began in August 2014 with Manciagli’s hiring as social entrepreneur in residence in the College of Social Sciences and Public Policy. The following spring, the college began offering a secondary concentration in SIE in the Interdisciplinary Social Science (ISS) program.

In 2018, ISS inaugurated a 33-credit specialization. The Bali initiative was launched that same year.

SIE@FSU also offers international experiences in Latin America and West Africa.

“We’re very proud of how social innovation and entrepreneurship has grown at FSU,” said COSSPP Dean Tim Chapin. “The Bali Immersion program exemplifies the university’s global reach and its commitment to high-quality experiential learning as a way to enrich academic performance and professional opportunities. And it perfectly showcases one of the college’s core values, contributing to the advancement of social and economic mobility, equal opportunity and a sustainable world.”

For more info on the Bali Immersion program, visit this link.

Kelsey Klopfenstein of FSU Communications contributed to this story.