Leadership for Community Driven Social Change

The Goldin Institute is partnering with Imagine Chicago, DePaul University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to develop a tablet-based mobile learning platform to train grassroots activists in Community Driven Social Change.

This innovative distance learning course will be built for the iPad with the necessary instructional materials and interactive capacity built in to the device as a way to overcome the digital divide that limits many leaders in our network.

Through our work we have found that communities often face similar sets of critical challenges. By linking and supporting grassroots efforts – both online and on the ground – we provide opportunities to build innovative multi-sector partnerships and solutions that adapt to particular local contexts and draw from creative approaches from around the world.

This course will offer a new and cost effective way to bring grassroots leaders together to share innovative strategies, unique insights and knowledge. The twelve week pilot course will be launched in Spring 2015 with 20 – 25 select grassroots activists who will take the course together “online”.

Pilot Course Overview


  1. APPLICATION PROCESS Out of over 400 applications from around the world, this course will select a geographically and demographically diverse group of 20 – 25 highly motivated grassroots leaders with a demonstrated commitment to Community Based Social Change. Selected participants will need to commit to up to eight hours per week devoted to the twelve week course.
  2. COURSE OVERVIEW The first section of the course will offer a basic tutorial on using the iPad and course navigation, an introduction to the Goldin Institute, an overview of the course and its primary goals. Using audio-visual resources and robust interactive capacities, this section will offer participants opportunities to get to know and engage with their new peers and colleagues.
  3. COMMUNITY DRIVEN SOCIAL CHANGE Through readings, recorded interviews, case studies and interactive exercises, this module will introduce participants to the theory and practice Community Driven Social Change. As opposed to traditional organizing and mobilizing initiatives, this approach builds broad-based support and engagement towards goals set by the community.
  4. GLOBAL ASSOCIATE APPLICATION In addition to course evaluation and reflective sessions, this final section will offer participants an opportunity to apply to join the Goldin Institute’s team as a Global Associate staff member. Successful applicants will be provided the financial, material and consultative support need to utilize the tools learned through the course in their own communities.
  5. GLOBAL NETWORK In addition to the selected Global Associate-led projects that result from the course, the Goldin Institute will provide continuous consultative support to the growing alumni network.  Alumni and their partner organizations with innovative approaches adn expertise will help inform and create a growing body of courses in service to grassroots leadership development and community-driven social change.

 Preview of exclusive video content from the course:




Download the overview to learn more.