The Social is a collaborative week of events, bringing together social innovators and entrepreneurs from across the broader Denver and Front Range innovation ecosystem to engage with and learn alongside students, faculty, staff, and administrators of the University of Denver community. Speakers and special guests will include world-renowned thought-leaders, philanthropists, government officials, and investors.

The Experience

Participants in The Social will have the opportunity to network with colleagues from across sectors, and to roll up their sleeves through experiential workshops and collaborative learning opportunities. Attendees will take part in powerful, thought-provoking discussions that will spur ingenuity and broaden perspectives regarding the power of social innovation and impact work in the global economy.

The first three days of The Social are organized into unique programming tracks by audience. Events and activities will include a hackathon, keynotes, workshops, and receptions designed to inspire new ideas, broaden networks, and encourage collaboration across sectors. Please also learn more about the Colorado Solutions Summit, which is happening on Thursday, October 26th.

The Schedule

Monday, October 23 @ Graduate School of Social Work

[9:00] AM – [1:00] PM: Civic Hackathon on Youth Homelessness Part 1: Human centered design

This civic hackathon is a chance for participants to join interdisciplinary teams to learn about the challenges faced by youth experiencing homelessness through engaging in quick, creative design thinking. Teams will receive expert consultation, engage in brainstorming, and develop solutions that could make life easier for unstably-housed youth and the organizations that serve them.  The hackathon will take place over two sessions from 9am-1pm on both Monday and Wednesday.   Teams will be formed at the event, and participants are encouraged to attend both sessions.

[4:00] PM: Kickoff Address

Jason Green, Director and Producer at 1331 Productions, Co-Founder of SkillSmart, and Former Special Asst. to the President and Associate Counsel to the President

[5:00] PM – [6:30] PM: Innovation Showcase and Kickoff Reception

Tuesday, October 24 @ Ritchie School of Engineering & Computer Science 

[9:00] AM – [11:00] AM: Design Thinking Workshop

Michael Caston, Associate Professor of the Practice in Innovation & Product Design & Development, Executive Director of the Innovation Floor, Faculty Director of Creativity and Entrepreneurship Living Learning Community – Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science


Melissa Akaka, Ph. D.  Assistant Professor – Department of Marketing / Co-Director – Consumer Insights and Business Innovation Center

[11:30] AM – [1:00] PM & [1:30]PM – [3:00]PM: Community Workshops

Social Innovation/Social Enterprise 101 with Dean Amanda Moore McBride, MSW, PhD.

Community Voice & Design with Cara DiEnno

Earned Income Stream Development with Leslie Foster and Teresa Densmore (The Gathering Place)

[1:30]PM – [3:00]PM: Community Workshops

Evaluating Social Impact with Jennifer Bellamy and Jennifer Wilson

Social Impact Investing with Barton Institute

Social Innovation/Social Enterprise 101 with Dean Amanda Moore McBride, MSW, PhD.

[3:30] PM – [5:30] PM: Open Garage Social

Open Garage Social is an opportunity for students, faculty, staff, and the greater DU community to meet and exchange knowledge, skills, and talents directly with their neighbors. Come find a helping hand and offer one in return – together, our goal is to strengthen the real world connections within the University of Denver community.

Wednesday, October 25 @ Anderson Academic Commons 

[9:00] AM – [1:00] PM: Civic Hackathon on Youth Homelessness Part 2: Iterating and pitching solutions

Please see Description Above

[10:00] AM – [12:00] PM: Flash Design Workshop for Students

Have you ever wondered what goes into planning a city? From basic utilities to an inviting aesthetic,  many cities work decades to build an intentional space that is inviting for the varying social demographics of their community. Students, join us for this fun and experiential activity where you will build a series of cities on a “state-map” out of a variety of resources in teams of 3-5. This is a great chance to get your hands dirty and build a city out of physical materials while engaging in design thinking and community-focused outcomes.

[12:00] PM – [1:00] PM: Faculty Workshops

Experiential Learning in the Classroom with Julie Anne Laser-Maira

[12:15] PM – [1:45] PM: Faculty Workshops

Project X-ITE with Managing Director Nina Sharma and Co-Director Matt Rutherford

Community and Curriculum with Cara DiEnno and Anne DePrince

Emergent Digital Practices/Gaming with Raphael Fajardo and Scott Leutenegger


[2:15] PM – [3:45] PM: Faculty Workshops

Intellectual Property with Alex Hall

Consumer Insights & Business Innovation Center with Melissa Akaka and Ali Besherat

Barton with David Miller and Rebecca Arno


[3:45] PM – [6:00] PM: Reception, Colorado Solutions Summit Kickoff, and Social Networking Event @ Korbel School of International Studies

Megan Smith, Entrepreneur, Engineer, 3rd U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Former Assistant to the President

 5:00 PM Tech Jobs Tour wiht Megan Smith. Learn More Here


All events are free for DU students, staff, and faculty, but registration is still required. 

Community Tickets are available until the date listed or when the category sells out, whichever comes first.

Full Summit – $60.00 + $4.29 Fee (10/22)

Monday Only – $20.00 + $2.09 Fee (10/22)

Tuesday Only – $20.00 + $2.09 Fee (10/22)

Wednesday Only – $20.00 + $2.09 Fee (10/22)

Cancellation Policy

Tickets canceled prior to October 16th, 2017 at 9 am will receive a full refund. After October 16th, all tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. This policy is subject to change; all registered attendees will be notified of any changes.