I have watched the birth and growth of a social entrepreneurship movement at George Mason over the past few years and have been lucky enough to participate in it a bit through classes at GMU, partnerships with Ashoka, and various other interactions with students, faculty, and staff. This week, GMU announced the launch of The Mason Center for Social Entrepreneurship Center. From the release:
Roger Stough, Vice President for Research and Economic Development, announced the appointment of Greg Werkheiser as the center’s inaugural managing director. Werkheiser, a lawyer, educator and social entrepreneur is founding director of The Phoenix Project. The Virginia-headquartered organization engages in social entrepreneurship-focused teaching, technology and partnership-building. Under Werkheiser’s leadership, the Phoenix Project’s team and programs will align with the new center.
“Greg has been devising new strategies for preparing leaders to meet society’s great challenges for fifteen years. We are very excited to welcome his passion and vision and the experience of his team to this defining effort of the university,” said Stough.”Social entrepreneurs tackle failed social systems—economic, educational, and environmental—with business savvy and solutions that stick,” explained Werkheiser. “The world needs their audacity, and we invite them to consider the center at Mason as a second home.”
Paul Rogers, assistant professor of English will serve as faculty director and Philip Auerswald, associate professor in the School of Public Policy will serve as Senior Scholar, both helping to engage scholars in the work of the center. Deans and faculty members in several departments, including the School of Management, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the School of Public Policy, and New Century College have all been instrumental in laying the groundwork for the center and will play a vital role in the its activities.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner, a long-time supporter of the social entrepreneurship movement, commented, “The new center is ideally situated for its mission: it is located on the campus of a university known for innovation, within sight of our nation’s capital, in the middle of this region’s world class information technology corridor, and surrounded by leading social sector organizations.”
This has been a great interdisciplinary effort at Mason and the launch of the center is an incredible milestone for all of the students, faculty, staff, and partners that have participated.
#socent #socialinnovation #socialenterprise