MOOCs are a great way to learn something in a new field of interest. Many of the of the massive open online courses out there are for free and some even self-paced, which means you can start and finish them when it suits you best. Here an overview of upcoming Changemaker MOOCs – courses related to Social Impact, Social Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship.

1. Lean Startup Principles for Social Impact

  • 4-week course (Start January 10, 2017)
  • Instructor: Sasha Dichter,Chief Innovation Officer, Acumen
  • Free course by Acumen
  • Statement of Accomplishment from +Acumen for course completion

“In this course you will learn how to test, validate, and adapt your vision of change to ensure you’re creating the greatest impact and investing your time in something that truly meets your stakeholder’s and customer’s needs.”

2. Design Kit: The Course for Human-Centred Design

  • 7-week course (Starts February 7, 2017)
  • Group process (you need to build a team of 2-6 people)
  • Free course by Acumen in partnership with
  • Statement of Accomplishment from +Acumen and for course completion

“The Course for Human-Centered Design is a seven-week curriculum that will introduce you to the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change.”

3. The Search for Great Ideas: Harnessing creativity to empower innovation

  • 3-week course (Started January 6, 2017 – You can still enroll)
  • Instructor:
    • Ken Szymusiak, Managing Director, Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation Broad College of Business
    • Forrest S. Carter, Associate Professor, Faculty Director of Institute of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Marketing
    • David Wheeler, Director, Media Sandbox Media and Information
  • Offered by Michigan State University

“Where do great business ideas come from? We all have compelling business concepts that we’ve been thinking about for years. In this course we will explore how to use observational tools and other techniques for idea generation and we will talk about how to evaluate the good ideas from the bad. The goal is to settle on a business idea that you are not only passionate about but also has real market application.”

4. Becoming a changemaker: Introduction to Social Innovation

  • 6-week course (Started January 9, 2017 – You can still enroll)
  • Instructors:
    • François Bonnici, Director Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
    • Warren Nilsson, Senior lecturer Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town
    • Marlon Parker, Founder RLabs
  • Free course by the University of Cape Town

“This free 6 week course is for anyone who wants to make a difference. Whether you are already familiar with the field of social innovation or social entrepreneurship, working for an organization that wants to increase its social impact, or just starting out, this course will take you on a journey of exploring the complex problems that surround us and how to start thinking about solutions.”

5. New Models of Business in Society

  • 4-week course (Starts January 16, 2017)
  • Instructor: R. Freeman, University Professor; Elis and Signe Olsson Professor of Business Administration
  • Free course by the University of Virginia

“In this course we will be discussing the emergence of a new story about business. This new story locates business within a societal framework. Almost every business creates or destroys value for customers, suppliers, employees, communities and society, in addition to shareholders and other financiers. A number of new models of business can be built on this idea such as corporate responsibility, philanthropy, shared value and sustainability. Profits and stakeholder value go together, and this course explains how. The final session explores the idea of how to become a stakeholder entrepreneur and create a business that makes money and makes the world a better place.”

6. Become a Social Entrepreneur – 3 courses

“Entrepreneurship is not about a single genius doing magic, but about a group of people who combine forces, take action and initiate change. Throughout the 3 courses learners will be encouraged to work in teams and form a social venture.”

There is a discount of €120 for all 3 courses in the Specialization and Specialization Certificate.

Course 1: Identifying Social Entrepreneurship Opportunities
  • 5-week course (Starts February 6, 2017)
  • Instructor: Kai Hockerts, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Offered by Copenhagen Business School
  • Free to audit or €45 for certificate for completion

“This Course will clarify the definition and meaning of Social Entrepreneurship and will focus on the need to learn about the source and root of a social problem. You will be introduced to different perspectives about Social Entrepreneurship and you will learn about complementary and opportunistic assets which will help you to detect an opportunity and develop an idea of how to create a business for social change.”

Course 2: Social Business Model and Planning for Social Innovation
  • 5-week course (Started January 9, 2017 – You can still enroll)
  • Instructor: Kai Hockerts, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Offered by Copenhagen Business School
  • Free to audit or €45 for certificate for completion

“In this course we will take the social business opportunity that you have identified in the first course to a higher level. Specifically, you will develop a business model using the Business Model Canvas. Gradually you will also start writing your business plan. Moreover, you will be able to assess different organizational forms and select the one that is appropriate for your developed business model. By the end of the course you will be able to compare different social impact investment methods and choose the right funding strategy for your social venture.”

Course 3: Unleashing the Impact of your Social Enterprise
  • 5-week course (Started January 16, 2017)
  • Instructor: Kai Hockerts, Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Offered by Copenhagen Business School
  • Free to audit or €45 for certificate for completion

“In Course 3 of this Specialization you will first of all learn about Social Impact Assessment. Hence you will be able to develop a method to evaluate the social mission that you achieve while implementing your business plan. Next you will outline an appropriate communication strategy for your social enterprise and will demonstrate how to market your products and services to beneficiaries and other customers. Here you will employ an adaptable communication strategy as you move from early adopters to a broader market share.”

7 . Changemaker MOOC

  • Free self-paced course by University of Kiel (You can start anytime)
  • Instructor: Christoph Corves and  Felix Wenning
  • No exams and no issue of certificates
  • Also available in German

“The Changemaker MOOC helps you to plan your own change project. The course shows how you can use entrepreneurial approaches in order to solve social and environmental challenges. It helps you to develop your change project no matter whether your interest is focused on society, the environment, education or culture. The course takes you step by step from the first idea to a detailed project concept. It deals with all relevant aspects of planning your project: defining aims and target groups; developing the strategy; planning the implementation of the project in terms of tasks, costs, team and time; developing a fundraising strategy; communicating and marketing your project.”

8. Social Impact Strategy: Tools for Entrepreneurs and Innovators

  • 4-week course (Starts January 23, 2017)
  • Instructor: Peter Frumkin, Professor, Nonprofit Leadership Program, School of Social Policy & Practice
  • Offered by: University of Pennsylvania

“This course offers an introduction to social impact strategy and social entrepreneurship, including key concepts, an overview of the field, and tools to get started as a changemaker. Students will learn how to innovate and design new ideas and new organizational forms to implement those ideas. Students who take this course will be better prepared to launch social impact organizations of their own invention.”

9. Innovation and Design for Global Grand Challenges

  • 5-week course (Starts January 30, 2017)
  • Instructor: Alex Dehgan, J.D., M.S., Ph.D, The Chanler Innovator in Residence and the Inaugural David M. Rubenstein Fellow
  • Offered by Duke University
  • Free course (no certificate) or €26,00 for certificate for completion

“The purpose of this course is to introduce you to current global challenges in conservation and development, including changes in both sectors. This course will inspire you to rethink assumptions to address global challenges in conservation and development, and introduce you to new models and approaches that harness technological, behavioral, and financial innovation.”

10. Social Innovation MOOC

  • Course is from 2015, but you can still enroll and audit
  • Instructor:
    • Nicholas Wenzel, Co-founder of InternsGoPro
    • Dr. Susan Mueller, Senior researcher at the Swiss Research Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of St. Gallen
    • Christine Rimke
  • Self-Paced

“Social innovations, i.e. new social practices, are everywhere and largely influence our lives: they change the rules of the game in business, civil society and politics. With social innovations, we can design social practices that are more beneficial, sustainable or just. But what are social innovations? And what effects can they have? This course is an introduction to the topic. You will gain an overview of what social innovations are, how they function and how they can be developed.”