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MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability

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MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability




Call us:  800.906.8312



Now accepting applications

The MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability degree program is for students who seek low-residency, trans-/interdisciplinary and self-designed graduate studies, focusing on social innovation and sustainability on the community level, as well as for non-profit and for-profit organizations. Teaching and learning will encourage and support the vision, determination, and practical skills needed to design and enact new solutions to social issues. Apply now using our online application.

Goddard will begin accepting applications for fall enrollment in the spring. If you are interested in learning more about the MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability degree program, use the online inquiry form to submit your name and preferred contact information.

Questions? Speak to an admissions counselor at 800.906.8312 or email
The MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability is a revision of Goddard’s MA in Sustainable Business and Communities degree. The revised curriculum will enable students to design new ways of organizing communities, enterprises and economies addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.


The complexity of today's social, economic and ecological challenges necessitates creative and collaborative approaches to interacting and engaging that are not only multi-dimensional, but are meaningful and vital to the realities of individual and collective lives. Goddard’s Master of Arts in Social Innovation and Sustainability reframes Goddard's former MA in Sustainable Business and Communities degree to encourage a more expansive and generative approach to problem solving. Students in this program will learn strategies for facilitating inclusive participation that acknowledges diverse perspectives and encourages genuine collaboration.

The MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability will prepare scholars and practitioners to address significant social, economic and ecological concerns, on local and regional levels. Whether you are a scholar seeking to explore  issues and solutions more deeply or a seasoned practitioner looking for strategies that will enable you to have greater and more sustained  impact, the MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability offers an opportunity to engage in a dynamic learning community of social change activists. Students will draw from several disciplines to pursue new ideas and approaches for engaging community, generating social value and nurturing viable and resilient ways of living and being in community; for example: sustainability; community economic development; place studies; environmental studies; humanistic geography; organizational development; community planning, and social innovation and social enterprise.

You may also speak to an admissions counselor by writing to or by calling 800.906.8312.

Values and Approaches Emphasized:

  • Grounding in relevant theory, philosophies and practices and ecological and social sciences
  • Systems thinking and design
  • Diversity, inclusion and engagement
  • Social, ecological and economic justice
  • Human rights and equitable allocation of resources
  • Social entrepreneurship and innovation
  • Deconstructing narratives and processes for generating alternatives
  • Intersectionality
  • Localist movements including local foods, currencies, economies, and resilience
  • Creative expression (all forms)
  • Communication and social and emergent media
  • Interdisciplinary models of community and organizational engagement and planning
  • Community organizing

Student Learning Goals (A Partial List):

  • How to understand community and organizational infrastructure, relationships, power dynamics and competing interests
  • How to engage diverse people, perspectives and interests in productive exchange
  • Definitions of sustainability and how sustainability practices might be created, learned, and/or applied
  • The nature of global and community economies and how they interface
  • How creative expression, social media and communications can be used to effect change, create and sustain local and global economies and further the goals of sustainability, organizing, etc.
  • How to live in harmony with a place; how to restore and maintain natural local systems
  • How to design new and cross disciplinary ways of working with community members to plan and implement change
  • How to develop and support community based leadership
  • How to create new models of social enterprise and social entrepreneurship
  • How to develop and lead nonprofit and for-profit organizations to effect positive change
  • How to understand and create different approaches to place studies and action in place including, humanistic geography, place-making, bioregionalism, place-based literature, place and culture, and place-based learning