Taylor’s Changemaker Institute (CI) cultivates changemakers within the Tulane community by building student capacities to identify and create lifelong pathways to tackle pressing social issues.
Changemakers (n) – People who use their skills, expertise, gifts, and power in a way that creates positive social change and affirms the humanity of all people.
CI is a social venture accelerator for Tulane graduate students that deepens students’ understanding of social issues, connects them to local mentors and experts, and equips them with entrepreneurial tools to create a social enterprise. We support ideas with strong social or environmental missions.
What Happens During the Changemaker Institute?
Participants in the Changemaker Institute meet weekly (1.5 hrs) and on five Saturdays through a semester.
During these meetings, participants gain:
- A framework and process to deepen one’s understanding of social issues and form partnerships with change agents tackling that issue.
- Growth in social entrepreneurial skills
- Business model development skills
- Mentorship from Tulane and New Orleans’ social entrepreneurial communities
- Support from an active international Changemaker Institute alumni network
- Preparation for applying to funding opportunities at Tulane and beyond
- The Changemaker Institute programming offers access to funding for impact-related activities through Tulane-based grants as well as other advanced opportunities in social impact beyond campus.
- All participants of the Taylor Changemaker Institute are eligible and coached to apply for the following funding opportunities:
The Alvarez Spark Innovation Award offers up to $2,500 to pursue a social venture idea by prototyping or testing a component of an idea.
The Changemaker Catalylst Award offers up to $1500 to participate in an engaged learning experience.
Changemaker Institute Alumni
- Trash to Treasure seeks to create a revolving sustainable fund for outreach project in New Orleans. T2T deliver this by collecting and selling dorm room necessities thrown away by Tulane students during move out. Their profits fund subsequent sales as well as further sustainable ventures.
- SHRI (formerly Humanure Power) works to eradicate outdoor defecation as a normal practice for hundreds of millions of villagers in rural India by building community toilet blocks. These toilets leverage proven and existing technology that convert human waste in to energy that can be sold, generating a revenue stream that helps further their mission of building more toilets.
- Radical Grandma Collective is a nonprofit online store that creates a platform for women to support other women in environmental justice work.
- STEM Library Lab is a science equipment lending library that fosters academic success by providing teachers and students with access to equipment and support for high-quality active learning.
- Fund 17 is a Louisiana registered non-profit that works to empower micro-entrepreneurs in the New Orleans community. Fund 17 does this by providing financial education and micro-loans.
- Network Volunteers (formerly Crescent City Connections or “CCC”) promotes and facilitates customized volunteer and cultural activities for visitors and residents in New Orleans to better connect people with community organizations in the city.
- Top Box Foods Makes high-quality nutritious food (lean meats, fish and fresh produce) available at extremely affordable prices. The non-profit uses volunteers to deliver food, focusing on areas identified as food deserts.
The Changemaker Institute (CI) graduate assistant works with staff to develop, organize, promote, and execute Taylor’s social venture accelerator program.