Connecting with our Community
TAYLOR connects organizations and people across Tulane’s campus and across the nation in support of social change.
At the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking, we strive to develop mutually beneficial partnerships with a variety of high impact organizations working to address social and environmental issues including food justice, youth development, and community resilience. Community partners provide enriching learning experiences in the field, engage with faculty in research endeavors, collaborate with Taylor to explore creative approaches using human centered design, and host motivated students for internships and service-learning activities.
Partnerships can take different forms depending on the needs and assets of the partner organization and Taylor team members. Some partnerships revolve around a single event, while others involve long-term collaborations with multiple people and activities across an organization.
- One-time activities could include speaking to a class to share experiences or joining a design thinking workshop;
- Semester-long or academic year collaborations could include hosting a service-learning or internship experience with undergraduate students, partnering with a class to address a challenge faced by your organization, or developing a practicum experience for professional graduate students over the course of a semester or a full academic year;
- Multi-year partnerships could involve the previously mentioned activities as well as participatory research, project design, and co-hosting visiting scholars. Long term partnerships have the potential to become a part of the Community Innovator Circle.
Who We Are
The Taylor Center is a network of Tulane University faculty, undergraduate students, professional graduate students, and alumni from across campus working to advance social and environmental change.
Who You Are
Partners embody the spirit of social innovation, design thinking, or changemaking. Taylor aims to cultivate reciprocal partnerships in which both parties contribute learning opportunities, foster growth, and exchange complementary resources. Taylor collaborates with non-profits, for-profits, educational institutions, government offices and hybrid organizations at various stages of growth, including startups.
Become a Partner
For consideration as a partner, please complete this form and a member of the Taylor team will contact you.
Q: Can individuals apply for partnerships?
A:Generally, no. We seek to work with community-based organizations addressing social and environmental challenges. Individuals who want to get involved can attend Taylor speaker events and workshops or reach out to specific classes and programs to share their expertise. Sign up for the newsletter to learn more about activities and other ways to become involved.
If you are interested in speaking to a specific class, please contact that instructor directly. Similarly, if you are interested in working with a specific program, such as IGNITE or the Changemaker Institute, please contact the staff member who oversees your program of interest.
Q: Does Taylor offer financial grants to community organizations?
A: Taylor does not have a grants program for community organizations. Most partnerships take the form of in-kind support, aiming to match current Taylor programs and people with the needs of informed community organizations. Community organizations that become partners may receive payments depending on their specific relationship with Taylor. Community organizations may receive a small honorarium for speaking in a class or working with a program such as IGNITE or the Changemaker Institute.
Q: What are the benefits of a Taylor Partnership?
A: Taylor partners can advertise events and opportunities through Taylor social media channels, gain access to Tulane students and the Taylor network, receive feedback on programs, and learn new skills such as design-thinking.
Q: As a Taylor partner, are we also a Tulane partner?
A: You are a partner with the Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation and Design Thinking of Tulane University. You may also be a partner with other units at “Tulane”, which the Taylor Center encourages.
Q: Do we have to be based in New Orleans?
A: No. While many of partners are New Orleans based non-profits and social enterprises, it is not a requirement. Faculty and students collaborate with organizations around the world. Typically, partner organizations have a clear social mission, an interest in social innovation approaches, and a strategic fit with Taylor’s current needs.
Q: Is there a deadline for applying?
A: Interest forms for partnerships are accepted on a rolling basis.
Q: How do you select partners?
A: A committee of Taylor faculty, staff, and affiliates will select partners.
Q: How do we start this process?
A: Potential partners should begin to learn about Taylor before applying by:
- Visiting the Taylor website, signing up for the newsletter, and connecting on social media;
- Attending a Taylor event—a public speaker, brown bag lunch, classroom visit, open-house, design thinking public crash course, etc, or
- Reaching out directly to faculty and staff to explore possible synergistic interests
Q: How does a Taylor partnership differ from a Center for Public Service (CPS) partnership
A: CPS partners are organizations that host Tulane students for credit-bearing service-learning experiences and internships. Organizations that want to host service-learning classes or unpaid Taylor interns MUST register to be a CPS partner and Taylor encourages most partners to register with CPS it they are eligible. Taylor partners have more access to faculty, students trained in design-thinking and human-centered design as well as other activities related to Taylor. Organizations can be both a Taylor and CPS partner.
The Community Innovators’ Circle
The Community Innovators’ Circle presents a unique opportunity to engage a small, strategic cohort of innovative community organizations with students participating in social innovation and social entrepreneurship programming at Tulane University. Community partners selected for the Innovator’s Circle will commit to sharing their expertise with Tulane students through experiential learning opportunities, thereby providing more meaningful community engagement that is cultivated over a student’s academic career rather just one semester.
Selected community partners receive:
- Access to highly motivated student volunteers and interns that progressively develop skills focused on increasing social impact and financial sustainability,
- Membership in a cohort of community partners that are creating ethical,sustainable, and scalable solutions to pressing social problems in New Orleans, and
- Funding to support expenses related to teaching and facilitating student learning.
- Deeper and more meaningful service-learning opportunities through the SISE Minor,
- Formal internship placements in social enterprises and innovative non-profit organizations, a key unmet need voiced by current students, and
- Mentors that can share personal insights related to the skills and experiences students will need as they pursue careers that are right for them and good for the world.
Through the Community Innovators’ Circle, Tulane is investing in a strategic cohort of community organizations that are using innovative strategies to deepen and scale their social impact. These organizations can act as a community board for the Taylor Center’s work, developing an institutional listening model that maintains Tulane’s position at the cutting edge of social innovation in higher education. When Tulane invests in its community partners, the benefits to our students are evident through both deepening engagement and sustaining that engagement over multiple semesters.