Demonstrating Innovation at Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship


In today’s fast-paced world, where change is constant and adaptability is essential, innovation is crucial for any organization aiming to make a meaningful impact. At Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship, this commitment to innovation is woven into our everyday practices. Over the past year, we’ve embraced Agile methodologies to refine our processes and enhance our impact in the social entrepreneurship ecosystem.

Our Agile transformation is centered on the idea of “Twice the Impact in Half the Time.” This principle guides us to work more efficiently and effectively while maximizing the social value we create. A key part of this journey is DemoDay, a quarterly event where we showcase the innovative and agile work happening within Miller Center.

DemoDay is a vibrant gathering open to all stakeholders — including staff, contractors, executive fellows, and advisory board members. It’s a platform where we celebrate our achievements, enhance visibility across various groups, and focus on creating customer value. Each demo begins with a customer value statement, grounding our efforts in addressing real needs and solving practical problems.

Presenters at DemoDay have just five minutes to showcase their results and must meet the following criteria: 

  • A real thing (not just an idea)
  • Focus on delivering value to customers
  • Highlight learning 
  • Keep it fun and engaging!

From improved donor outreach methods to advanced entrepreneur assessment frameworks, the innovations presented are truly inspiring.

DemoDay is more than a showcase; it’s a catalyst for organic innovation. By promoting a culture of innovation, we’ve seen a remarkable increase in creative ideas and initiatives across the organization. Simple demos often spark new collaborations and influence our flagship programs.

Innovation isn’t always straightforward. Some innovations may falter, while others thrive unexpectedly. The key is fostering an environment where experimentation is encouraged, failures are seen as learning opportunities, and knowledge is shared openly. DemoDay’s inclusivity — welcoming contributions from all parts of our organization — is crucial to this process.

At Miller Center, we believe that everyone has the potential to innovate. Whether you’re a seasoned researcher or a new intern, innovation knows no boundaries. By democratizing the innovation process and empowering individuals to share their ideas, we’ve unlocked a wealth of untapped potential.

This inclusive ethos also extends to the social entrepreneurs we support. Our team members and the changemakers we work with come from diverse backgrounds and experiences but share a common goal: building a better world through innovation and entrepreneurship.

Reflecting on our Agile journey and the impact of DemoDay, it’s clear that innovation is more than just a buzzword – it’s a mindset. By embracing agility, celebrating creativity, and championing inclusivity, we’ve sparked a wave of innovation that continues to spread through Miller Center and beyond. As we look to the future, we’re excited to see where this journey will take us – one demo at a time.