Social Impact Strategy, Analysis, and Leadership (SWRK 798)

Wednesday, January 11th 2017
All Day


Spring semester 2017

Students can win the Franklin SP2 Innovation Prize!

Around the world, new types of organizations are emerging, advances in technology and access to information continue, and there is a growing recognition that all sectors – business, public, and private nonprofit – have a role to play in creating social impact. While the desire to create social impact is clear, the field is just beginning to grapple with ways to translate these aspirations into real and meaningful change.

Since 2006, Penn’s Center for High Impact Philanthropy has been a pioneer in developing approaches for identifying, assessing and growing opportunities for social impact. Team-taught by the Center for High Impact Philanthropy, the course will be directed by the Center’s founding executive director, Katherina ‘Kat’ Rosqueta, and will include guest lectures from other leading faculty and social impact innovators working in Philadelphia and around the world. Through hands-on practice, team projects, and highly interactive case-based discussions, students will gain:

  • Knowledge of how to analyze opportunities for impact and potential for impact, including how to determine the scale and scope of an opportunity and how to use the tools of social impact economics (Cost-benefit, SROI, cost per impact etc.)
  • Frameworks to address the strategic issues and key tasks (goal-setting, managing trade-offs, assessing a dynamic environment) faced by managers/leaders with a social impact mandate
  • Tools for influencing others towards social impact, including a review of relevant research and real-world examples of effective communication and stakeholder management
  • Hands-on experience applying analytical skills, effective storytelling  approaches, and stakeholder  engagement strategies to different formats (e.g., video short, vc/donor pitch, policy brief).

This class is designed for a highly multi-disciplinary cohort of students committed to understanding solutions to society’s most pressing issues. It is open to advanced undergrads and graduate students from across the university, by permission of the instructor. For consideration in the class, please email Sarah Gormley at and provide

  • Your name
  • Your year and major/school
  • A copy of your resume
  • A recent writing sample from an academic course
  • A brief statement of no more than 100 words describing why you are interested in taking this course, what you expect to contribute to the cohort of students taking the course, and what you hope to get out of it

Decisions on inclusion in the course will be made on a rolling basis.

University of Pennsylvania location details