Create social good from your good ideas

Are you passionate about finding a solution to a social or environmental problem in your community? Interested in working at the intersection of advocacy and entrepreneurship? Or are you building a for-profit business that aims to do good? Today’s innovators strive to shape society and the economy in creative and positive ways, and it’s small steps along the way that lead to transformational change.

Innovate Carolina’s Office of Social Innovation can help you create social good from your own good ideas. We understand that innovation means more than developing the newest app, the latest technology or even robust revenue models. You want to use your ingenuity to help solve some of the most daunting social challenges in North Carolina and around the world – education inequity, health disparities, hunger, climate change, closing the wealth gap and countless others.

Explore our social innovation services

Innovate Carolina’s social innovation team can help you learn, share and integrate social innovation methods and tools to create better outcomes for all. You’ll find new ways to maximize your social impact and create strategies for ideas that improve lives and sustain our planet. We can also help you tap into a network of social innovation experts who can bolster your work and connect you to additional resources provided by a network other departments and programs at UNC-Chapel Hill and beyond. For a full listing of resources, see our online resource directory.



CUBE is the social innovation accelerator designed and managed in partnership by the UNC Campus Y and Innovate Carolina. This space and community housed at the Campus Y is where innovation and advocacy intersect. By joining CUBE, you can become part of a supportive environment, collaborate, receive one-on-one coaching, and earn seed funding for your social venture.

Map the System Competition

Map the System is a global systems thinking competition hosted by Oxford University’s Said School of Business. Innovate Carolina’s Office of Social Innovation runs the local round of the competition for the UNC campus. During the competition, you create systems maps about problems you have a passion for solving. If chosen as the top UNC team, you can compete with other students in Oxford’s regional and global finals.

Carolina Graduate Certificate in Innovation for the Public Good

The certificate was developed by Innovate Carolina in partnership with three academic units: the College of Arts and Sciences (Public Policy), Gillings School of Global Public Health, and the School of Education. By earning this certificate, you’ll explore modern changemaking and acquire the mindset, tools and methods you need to solve complex problems across disciplines.

Faculty Innovation Workshop

Over the past decade, this workshop has given Carolina’s most entrepreneurial researchers and teachers the chance to develop new skills that help them turn their ideas into new innovation projects initiatives, nonprofits and startup companies.
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Design Thinking Services

Apply this creative problem-solving to your work so you can more quickly and fully understand the needs and wants of your customers and constituents. Through our design thinking programs and workshops, you’ll learn to “fail fast” and iterate your ideas to find solutions that will make a greater social impact, faster.

Resources for Minority and Female Entrepreneurs

Innovate Carolina has coordinated with entrepreneurial experts to publish a running list of resources available from organizations across the local region, state and country that support minority- and female-led startups and ventures.

Social Innovation Resource Site

This social innovation microsite allows you to explore a variety of resources: funding your ideas, social innovation courses to take and how to connect to others who are creating social good.

Connect with our team

Our lead social innovation expert is ready to strategize with you on how to scale your idea to make a social impact.  

melissa crrier

Melissa Carrier

Director, UNC Office of Social Innovation, Innovate Carolina