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About Us

The Center for Social Innovation and Impact (CSII) extends the Rady School's unique combination of rigorous business thinking and entrepreneurial spirit to address the big issues and big challenges our society is facing.

The CSII works with students and faculty from the Rady School and UC San Diego, as well as with community partners based locally and across the globe. The Center promotes the development and adoption of tools and practices traditionally considered unsuitable to the domain of social change. In doing so, the CSII considers the entire range of stakeholders — the communities being helped, social entrepreneurs, investors, funding agencies, research institutes, and more. 

Student engagement, faculty research and cross-discipline collaborations across campus and beyond facilitate our goal of having a meaningful impact on individuals and society the world over.

Our approach

The CSII works closely with schools, divisions, and student organizations across the UC San Diego campus. We strongly believe that a true, interdisciplinary collaboration enhances the impact we can have on pressing social issues. We promote and support a variety of various social venturing initiatives, with a focus on education, health, and sustainability.

Our approach to social impact builds on the following principles:

  • Understanding of the Problem: The most impactful nonprofits and social ventures behave like successful businesses — investing in infrastructure and developing sustainable models not solely dependent on philanthropy. The tools and practices used by successful businesses are applicable to and important for the social arena.
  • Data-Driven Solutions: Data and evidence matter in social endeavors as in business; good intentions are not sufficient.
  • Unified Impact Assessment: Today’s social impact landscape features a plethora of criteria and tools to measure impact for a given problem. In San Diego alone, 30 different nonprofits are working on hunger, each looking at different ways of measuring value and impact. In order to assess impact and relative impact at the societal level, we need to move toward unified approaches for measuring success.

Our History

The CSII was established with assistance from Carol Lazier and Family, whose $1 million endowment supported the launch of the center. This endowment will continue to assist in integrating social innovation into the Rady School’s course offerings, research, and community engagement.

Our Partners