Announcing the Social Innovation & Change Research Seminar Series

The Social Innovation and Change Research Seminar is a venue for researchers of social innovation and social change to present and receive feedback on their research. The seminar is explicitly multi-disciplinary; work may draw on fields as diverse as sociology, political science, psychology, economics, and other social science approaches.

On behalf of the recently launched Social Innovation and Change Initiative at Harvard Kennedy School, we invite you to join our inaugural research seminar.

THE FIRST SEMINAR IS TUESDAY, MARCH 7, 2017, featuring
Maureen Scully, Associate Professor of Management at the University of Massachusetts – Boston
on “Mobilizing the Wealthy: Doing “Privilege Work” and Challenging the Roots of Inequality”
Time: 12:30-2:00pm; Location: 124 Mt. Auburn, Suite 160, Room 105

Summary: Wealthy individuals stand to gain materially from economic inequality, and moreover, have shaped many organizational and societal practices that perpetuate economic
inequality to their advantage. Thus, they are unlikely allies in the effort to remedy economic inequality and indeed likely to contest systematic policies to reduce inequality. In this paper, however, we study the mobilization of a small group of wealthy activists who join allies from lower socioeconomic strata to expose and redress the root causes of wealth consolidation. They offer an instructive alternative to “philanthrocapitalism,” whereby the wealthy present their wealth accumulation as a superior qualification for addressing societal problems and do not address the root causes of how their wealth was amassed. Our study contributes to the growing literature on inequality and organizations, which are the vectors for distributing wages and investment returns, by examining how the wealthy may sometimes wrestle with the sources of their wealth. Advocacy from wealthy allies is unexpected and may jolt attention and change. We derive the concept of “privilege work” from our observations of an often awkward and fraught process that enables the wealthy to engage with their own privilege, use their insider knowledge of wealth accumulation as a lever for change, and work respectfully alongside underprivileged allies. Privilege work represents a new type of ally work along the dimension of socioeconomic class, with potential, even if limited, to disrupt escalating inequality. 

We hope to see you there!

Learn more about the Social Innovation and Change Initiative (SICI ; pronounced “sigh-see”)  and see listing of upcoming seminars at: http://sici-hks.org/

Join us for the MLD Shopping and Welcome Event on August 28th!

The HKS Management, Leadership, and Decision Sciences Faculty (The MLD Area) invite all HKS degree program students to join us for our Shopping and Welcome Event on Monday, August 28th from 5:00 – 6:15pm in the Allison Dining Room, (Taubman Building 5th floor).

The purpose of this event is to provide students with a centralized opportunity to hear about courses in Management, Leadership and Decision Sciences, to meet the faculty, as well as to hear about the numerous related co-currcular activities in the MLD space. Examples of the latter include the Behavioral Insights Group (BIG), Social Innovation and Social Change (SICI) Studio, and the Kennedy School Negotiation Project (KSNP). Faculty in attendance will provide detailed overviews of our course offerings, and will introduce the MLD Certificate program. Plus… there’ll be cupcakes!

Should you have questions, please contact  MLD Area Administrator, Greg Dorchak at greg_dorchak@hks.harvard.edu  We hope you will join us on August 28th!

Please note: This event is not meant to be a substitute for the regularly scheduled MLD course shopping sessions taking place during the day on 8/28 and 8/29 at which you will hear in much greater detail about the fall and January courses.