Hi! I’m Shawn Humphrey. A couple years ago, I was asked “If you could build a Social Innovation program without any constraints, what would you build?” IMAGINE U is my answer. Now, IMAGINE U is a thought experiment. It does not exist. Yet, having said that, a number of its components do. For example, the Curriculum and Pedagogy live in the Courses, which I teach at my university. Anyways, sticking with the thought experiment approach, this is the ABOUT page for IMAGINE U.
WELCOME TO IMAGINE U!
Here at IMAGINE U, we work with our students to launch social movements, build change-making organizations, and construct platforms to ignite social transformation via a strategic blending of our:
- Better Changemaker Curriculum – which equips them with the creative problem-solving skills our increasingly complex and rapidly changing world demands.
- Collision-Happy Courses – which inspire, guide, and accelerate their changemaking careers via unparalleled experiential learning opportunities.
- Rewilding Pedagogy – which flattens the hierarchical relationship between the student and teacher and transforms them into a “changemaking animals”.
Here’s some of what our students get to do:
- Articulate their vision of social change, mobilize communities to take action, excel under pressure, and humbly succeed.
- Develop the skills they need for a world in which social justice and social entrepreneurship are now a part of our daily vocabulary.
- Make decision with real consequences and take full responsibility for the success, as well as the failure, of their projects.
One more thing, upon graduation they’ll be able to apply for jobs, graduate schools, and post-graduation opportunities (like the Peace Corps, Teach for America and others) already having had hands-on experience working with and building out the capacity of a complex project. Indeed, we invite you to take the time to hear directly from some of our Alumni Testimonials (these are real testimonials).
Whose behind IMAGINE U?
My name is Shawn Humphrey. I’m a social entrepreneur. I’m also an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Mary Washington. Since 2005, I’ve been transforming my students into positive social disruptors. Over that time, my students and I have co-created movements, organizations, and thought-leadership platforms with national and global reach. For example, we:
- Designed the Two Dollar Challenge and invited the world to live on $2 a day.
- Built the only student-run microfinance institution working outside the United States called La Ceiba.
- Designated April as the Month of Microfinance and built a global coalition to spread the word.
- Orchestrated the IMAGINE Social Good National Student Summit.
- Launched the Sidekick Manifesto and asked do-gooders to reimagine their role in the story of poverty’s end.
With all of these projects, my students were fully accountable for any and all successes and failures. This intense responsibility allowed them to develop a unique skill set valued by today’s increasingly complex and dynamic world.