Social Innovation in Seattle (SIIS) participants explore the program themes of social innovation, leadership, and personal development through four modes of learning: integrated seminars, a professional site placement, site visits, and personal inquiry.
Each week, SIIS participants learn about social innovation and leadership through integrated seminars taught by experienced leaders in the field. The seminars are very participatory and enable SIIS participants to deepen their understanding about how to initiate and lead social innovation in their businesses and communities and, more importantly, where their passion lies for being a part of this work.
Integrated seminars help to weave together the experiences from the entire SIIS program, and serve as the foundation for the strong community of learning that grows over the four week program. Seminars are led by iLEAP staff and supplemented by guest speakers who come from the local social business and innovation community. Integrated seminars take place 2 to 3 times each week.
Professional Site Placement
For the entire month program, SIIS participants are assigned to a professional placement with a Seattle-based social business, institution, agency or nonprofit organization working in a field relevant to their interest. Like an internship, this Site Placement takes place 2 to 3 times each week, for the during of the working day. The specifics of the Site Placement work will vary from placement to placement and the needs of the collaborating business or organization.
Some past Site Placements include:
Over the four week program, SIIS participants attend a number of Site Visits to local organizations and businesses who are engaged in various forms of social innovation--including around Fair Trade, organic foods, sustainability, corporate social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, women's issues, homelessness, and more. These visits offer SIIS participants a unique opportunity to witness business practice from the “inside” and speak directly with those leading this work.
Some past Site Visits include:
Consistent with iLEAP’s mission, iLEAP staff and advisors work closely with each SIIS participant to help cultivate clarity around personal and professional direction through Coaching and Advising. This typically is nurtured through coaching sessions with a professionally certified coach and in advising sessions with the main seminar instructor. This is an opportunity for SIIS participants to better understand themselves, their dreams, and the way forward for their lives.
For many SIISers, it is the Coaching and Advising part of the SIIS program that has the greatest impact and that leads to this program being a signficiant "turning point" in their lives. In the SIIS program, we place a high priority on getting to know each participant and how we can best support their personal growth and professional development.