by Marianne McCarthy
Fellows from the Institute for Social Innovation (ISI) pursue consulting work and research projects that bring about innovation and change for individuals, organizations, and communities. Several ISI fellows gathered at winter session to share and present updates on their work in areas of education, leadership, politics, incarceration, healthcare, and social change.
Silvina Bamrungpong and Drew Foley (HOD '12)
During the past year, Drs. Drew Foley and Silvina Bamrungpong have shared their research on Learning in Motion – Designing Connected Learning Spaces through conference presentations and workshops for innovative thinkers in the fields of education and business.
In October, Drs. Foley and Bamrungpong conducted a workshop at the Innovative Pedagogy and eLearning Conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. The workshop focused on two central concepts: 1) Learning is in motion and 2) Learning spaces are connected. They collaborated with educators and researchers with affiliations ranging from the London School of Economics to universities in Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia.
In 2015, they plan to publish a book that focuses on application of their research.
Steve Schein (HOD ‘14)
Dr. Steve Schein presented details from his ongoing research and new book, A New Psychology for Sustainability Leadership: The Hidden Power of Worldviews. The book is based on his dissertation research on the deeper psychological motivations of sustainability leaders and how these motivations may influence their capacity to lead transformational change.
Zieva Konvisser (HOD ’06)
Dr. Zieva Dauber Konvisser presented an update on her research project on the implications and impact of wrongful conviction on innocent individuals and the findings from interviews with 21 innocent women in the United States. This study provides the wrongfully convicted women an opportunity to give voice to their lived experiences and the strategies that helped them cope with their situations and move forward.
Dr. Konvisser also reported on the numerous publishing and promotional activities related to the 2014 release of her book, Living Beyond Terrorism: Israeli Stories of Hope and Healing (Gefen Publishing), which is based on interviews that were conducted as part of her doctoral and post-doctoral research studies.
Her latest collaborative project on exonerees in the innocence movement involves Wayne State University Criminal Justice Professor Marvin Zalman and looks at the effects of this work on the innocence movement and the lives of participants.
Susan Mazer (HOD ‘11)
In the two years since her graduation, Dr. Susan Mazer has entered a different dialogue within healthcare and within the academic music community. Her presentation provided an overview of both what has been achieved and what is in process regarding improving the patient experience and quality of caring.
Linda Honold (HOD ’99)
To ensure a healthy vibrant democracy our political structures must engage citizens, be fair and transparent. Dr. Linda Honold’s case studies of state redistricting campaigns are critical because if the process does not fairly represent us our democracy is at risk.
She is conducting five studies of reform efforts in California, Florida, Illinois, Ohio, and states limited to legislative reform efforts. Data derived from interviews with activists and other primary players will be analyzed to discern activities and events contributing to the outcome of the effort revealing commonalities and differences. These lessons learned might then be used to inform plans for other ballot initiatives that advocates in other states engage in.
Susan Stillman (ELC '07)
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) is the ability to use emotions, combined with cognition, to make optimal decisions. Emotions affect how and what we learn. Scholar/practitioners have demonstrated how critical it is for all students and the adults who care for them to learn the skills of EQ, or Social Emotional Learning as it is called in education. Emotional literacy, consequential thinking, emotional navigation, optimism, and empathy, are a few of the skills that comprise SEL.
Dr. Susan Stillman shared the iterative process used to develop the free online course, Introduction to Social Emotional Learning. She also discussed how participants in the ISI session can become involved in the project to share iSEL with thousands of educators worldwide.
Stephen White (MP '13)
Stephen White's current research centers on a social innovation in the film issue space: the emergence of an online convener platform called FilmRaise. The website was created to allow the audience to watch a social issue documentary film and choose a charity to donate to for free. He hopes to explore whether measures that are used to evaluate and promote people’s subjective well-being or happiness, can be used to shape content and measure impact for media makers trying to bring about positive social change.
To learn more about the work of these and other ISI fellows, view the current list of fellows and their research topics.
ISI Fellows pictured above from left to right (first row) Susan Stillman, Linda Honold, Anita Chambers, Zieva Konvisser, (second row) Drew Foley, Silvina Bamrunpong, Pamela Kennebrew (guest), (third row) Steve Schein, and Tracey Long.