Social Innovation in Seattle (SIIS) is a four week training designed to introduce participants to the idea of social innovation and inspire greater clarity in their personal leadership and future path. The integrated curriculum balances classroom learning with a professional internship and different site visits to Seattle-based businesses and organizations pursuing some degree of social innovation. SIIS participants also take part in individual advising and coaching sessions which serve to weave the experience together and make it uniquely relevant to his or her life.
For university students and the general public; for those not currently living in the United States, you must be coming from a country currently approved under the United States Department of State Visa Waiver Program.
- Location: Seattle
- Duration: 4 weeks
- Frequency: 2 times per year (February/March and August)
- If you are based in Japan or are a Japanese citizen interested in the program, please visit our program website in Japanese(日本語ページ).
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.
Integrated Seminars >
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:
Washington CASH, Northwest Center, Social Venture Partners International, Brown Paper Tickets, OnePacific Coast Bank, Feet First, Ten Thousand Villages, Seattle Tilth, One World Now!, and Pro-Use Produce.
Site Visits >
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.
Coaching and Advising >
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.