Center for Social Impact Learning

Our new Center for Social Impact Learning (CSIL) brings three existing programs together under one umbrella:

  • The Frontier Market Scouts fellowship program, which provides graduate students from MIIS and other schools, as well as mid-career international professionals, with an intensive two-week program followed by a 2-12 month fellowship in impact investing and social enterprise management;
  • The Ambassador Corps, which will provide undergraduate students with ten-week in-field learning experiences in development and business in underdeveloped and emerging economies; and
  • The Development Consulting Program, which will engage Monterey Institute students as team members on projects initiated by some of the most reputable consulting firms to provide consulting services to nonprofit organizations. 

The new center plans to develop an active research program on management issues in social venture and impact investing, leveraging existing experiential and professional learning programs. 

CSIL is unique among the many social entrepreneurship programs in existence today in that it is designed to serve the full spectrum of budding social entrepreneurs, from undergraduates to graduate students to young professionals, offering them not only valuable learning experiences but also seamless transitions from one stage of professional development to the next as they prepare for careers in the social enterprise field.

Program Origins & Partners

The Ambassador Corps and Development Consulting Program were created by the new center’s director, Jerry Hildebrand, who most recently headed the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship at the University of the Pacific. 

Managing the research program and the academic programming for CSIL is Dr. Yuwei Shi, dean of Graduate School of International Policy and Management at MIIS, who also founded the Frontier Market Scouts fellowship program. 

CSIL expects to collaborate closely with Middlebury College’s Center for Social Entrepreneurship (CSE), which integrates social entrepreneurship and liberal arts education. Led by faculty director Jon Isham and operations director Elizabeth Robinson, CSE sponsors fellowships and supports summer projects for undergraduate students, and hosts an annual forum on teaching social entrepreneurship that draws educators from across the country. Together, the two centers will constitute an international Middlebury network of programs to advance social entrepreneurship across educational sectors and around the world.

The Center for Social Impact Learning will be supported by a generous grant from the Cordes Foundation. The foundation also funds the Cordes Innovation Awards given each year by Ashoka U; the Monterey Institute’s Frontier Market Scouts fellowship program won a Cordes award in 2013, and Middlebury’s MiddCORE program was a winner in 2014.

The center formally launched at MIIS effective July 1, 2014 with related academic programming beginning in Fall 2014.