Learning how to pivot is a fundamental skill for all social entrepreneurs, and the Global Social Benefit Fellows have learned that by the necessary adjustments of our program this year. With international travel impossible this summer, our social enterprise partners have adapted their requests for practical research to projects that can be delivered remotely via WhatsApp and Zoom. Projects have shifted toward more global research teams (fellows and local social enterprise staff work collaboratively) and more social media strategy / marketing and communication projects. We have remained true to our foundational principle of providing value to our social enterprise partners, but pivoted in how we deliver that value. You can watch presentations of their research project proposals below.
That our fellowship can continue during a pandemic is a testament to the value that our social enterprise partners perceive in our fellows’ work. Six of the original host enterprises have continued with modified projects, and two additional social enterprises have come on board. Ours is one of the few international fellowship programs offered by Santa Clara University that has continued during the pandemic. Unlike other international student programs, our Global Social Benefit Fellowship is designed first to advance the mission of our GSBI social enterprise partners, and secondly to facilitate fellows’ learning. Our partners’ work on the frontiers of sustainable development is needed, now more than ever, and thus so too is the action research of our fellows.