Social Entrepreneurship & Development

The Social Entrepreneurship Program at Tulane

I am fortunate to have been appointed “Carnegie Corporation of New York Professor of Social Entrepreneurship” effective July 2011. This is a new appointment, one of five this year. My faculty colleagues come from architecture (Mouton), education (Whelan), political science (Schneider) and African Diaspora and English (Lewis). We are building Tulane’s university-wide program in Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation, working with the existing Social Entrepreneurship program and the Provost’s office on a university wide programs, such as an interdisciplinary undergraduate coordinate major and minor.

Down by the River Project

A story about a design-thinking challenge, working with Tulane graduates on the Design Krewe with the Down By the River Project of the LA Bucket Brigade and others. Read the story.

Ashoka U Exchange 2014

The Ashoka U Exchange is an annual, global convening for social entrepreneurship education—representing over 150 institutions from 40 countries. At the Exchange, entrepreneurial students, faculty, administrators and community members come together to share action-oriented best practices on how to foster a campus-wide culture of social innovation.

View my slides from a panel on "Design Thinking for Social Impact." Thanks to fellow panelists and Lee Davis, moderator.

Design Conversations

"Design Conversations" a TEDxTU 2012 talk (slides and youtube video)

Meanwhile, I am developing an applied research and practice agenda, which builds on my previous work in western Kenya, and is inspired by diverse non-profit organizations on technology, environment, and development themes. These include ACE-Africa, for community innovations in Western Kenya, the iHub, a Nairobi-based technology innovation incubator and UniquEco, a Kenyan social venture repurposing used flipflop to clean waterways and create jobs. Lighting Africa is catalyzing sustainable lighting systems for African families and small businesses; they have provided products for my “Power is Knowledge” phone-charging project. In New Orleans, I am working more with the LA Bucket Brigade on greening Mardi Gras through a new social venture, and LifeCity on building sustainable impact economy.

I am considering a range of questions: What are appropriate scales to action? What theories of change guide community-based entrepreneurial ventures? What sort of global philanthropy is needed to support their innovative work and transition to the long run? What is the role of government—especially in development-aid-saturated East Africa-- in creating an enabling environment for viable social entrepreneurial ventures? How can international aid agencies incorporate social entrepreneurship 3.0 into their work? What can we learn from these organizations to improve international development practice?

Organizational websites
Louisiana Bucket Brigade:

Lighting Africa:
Barefoot Power:

The iHub:

Social Entrepreneurship initiative at Tulane:


Green Conversations at LifeCity seminar


Ideas from and for Kakichuma district, western Kenya.
Green Conversationsat a recent IdeaGroups luncheon.