Course code:



M - Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • HS - Human Studies

Lab fee:


Typically offered:


We live in a world of problems … global warming, inequality, discrimination, child labor, slavery, waste, species extinction, domestic violence and a myriad of other issues occupy the headlines, courses and can feel overwhelming at times. Unfortunately, we rarely hear about solutions, let alone have the opportunity to create our own solutions for the issues that concern us and inspire us to action.

Changing the world takes more than a critical eye for what is wrong, proselytizing a good idea, and hope. There are many factors which contribute to creating social change and in this course we explore what it takes to be a successful change maker in our communities, and thus in the world. Reversing the lens we use to approach the problems of the world is part of what a Human Ecologist needs to do to understand our challenges: 

“…social entrepreneurs are uniquely suited to make headway on problems that have resisted considerable money and intelligence. Where governments and traditional organizations look at problems from the outside, social entrepreneurs come to understand them intimately, from within.”—David Bornstein, How To Change The World

In this experiential, project-based course students will select a specific problem they would like to solve. Students will perform thorough research into a problem of their choosing, understanding it from within by identifying root causes and other exacerbating factors as well as investigating positive deviance and what people around the world are doing to solve this issue. Through these projects and other readings, students will examine a myriad of problems around the world and look at different strategies people are using to tackle them and create positive social change. The final project for the course will be a concrete proposal for solving the problem they selected.

Students will be evaluated based on their performance, participation and the quality of the projects they produce over the course of the term.



Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.