Social Innovation and Sustainability Impact Project

The Impact Project is an initiative intended to increase enrollment of students of color from underserved and/or marginalized communities in the Goddard Graduate Institute’s MA in Social Innovation and Sustainability, who are working on social innovation and sustainability projects that will benefit their communities.

With faculty, staff, and peer guidance and instruction, MASIS students design transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary studies that deepen their research skills, explore place-based solutions, and apply theories to real-world situations. We believe that those who live or work in the communities or organizations being studied have a better opportunity to facilitate change. Their firsthand knowledge and their intimate connection with stakeholders help shape relevant research inquiries and may help transform social dynamics.

The Impact Project is aligned with Goddard College’s mission “to advance cultures of rigorous inquiry, collaboration, and lifelong learning, where individuals take imaginative and responsible action in the world.” Social Innovation and Sustainability students may choose community-based studies, or they may seek cutting edge environmental, social and economic justice activism and movement building to help transform social and cultural relationships, as well as the design and conception of public space, organizations and enterprises.

A limited number of grants are available for qualified new students with financial need who enroll in Fall 2018 or Spring 2019. If requesting an enrollment grant, applicants’ essays should briefly describe the ways in which their proposed graduate studies meet the Impact Project criteria. An interview with a member of the MASIS Impact committee is part of the application process.

The Master of Arts in Social Innovation and Sustainability is a 48-credit degree for students who seek low-residency, interdisciplinary, and self-designed graduate studies, focusing on social innovation and sustainability. The program is intended for activists, scholars, and practitioners who would like to create community-based innovations that advance social, economic, and environmental justice. Students develop the skills and methods needed to analyze theories at community and organizational levels. They become changemakers, who engage diverse stakeholders to generate equitable and sustainable solutions to local and global challenges.

Guided studies, applied learning and reflection emphasize:

  • Cultivating self-awareness through intersectional analysis as well as a sense of purpose
  • Applying systems thinking
  • Local and global impact
  • Building relationships, coalitions and systems to support and sustain transformational change and the evolution of social movements
  • Understanding the impact of economic, political and social systems and the nature of conventional and alternative business structures and finance

Additionally, applicants may apply for GGI’s 36-credit accelerated study option.

These Final Thesis Products represent the “tip of the iceberg” as far as scope and depth in the MASIS program:

  • An online AIDS Archive and Activism
  • A rooftop garden as a means of cultivating cross cultural/intergenerational community connections
  • A Community Engagement Strategy for an international border organization creating community structures using reclaimed materials and trash
  • A primer for engaging communities in ReUse practices and activism
  • A personal reflection on facilitating more equitable, cooperative economic systems and empowerment
  • Social Justice Walking Tours in Lower Manhattan
  • Enacting culturally resonant strategies to promote the Solidarity Economy in New Orleans
  • Promoting youth development and civic engagement through nurturing connection to place and environment
  • Creating a youth led magazine
  • Increasing the pipeline of people of color talent into nonprofit hiring and leadership
  • A workshop on organizers and activists of color sustaining themselves

Important Announcement

The Board of Directors for Goddard College have made the difficult decision to close the college at the end of the 2024 Spring term.  


Current Goddard students will have the opportunity to complete their degrees at the same tuition rate through a teach-out with like-minded institution, Prescott College. Updates and scholarship funds will be available in the coming weeks and months. Information will be posted to

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