A project-based initiative and course aimed at solving complex global problems through design

Design for Social Innovation (DFSI) is a project-based initiative and course where Columbia University students work in teams to solve real-world problems on behalf of social sector clients including nonprofits, social enterprises, and government agencies. 

In DFSI, Columbia University students and faculty support social enterprises, nonprofit organizations, and the public sector to address complex, ambiguous global problems through human centered design. The course is open to students from Columbia’s 20 undergraduate and graduate schools via an application and interview process.

  • The 3.0 credit course is a collaboration between the Columbia Entrepreneurship Design Studio and the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA).

  • Spring 2024 welcomed students from Columbia College, Columbia Engineering, General Studies, Barnard, the Climate School, SIPA, Columbia Business School, Mailman School of Public Health, Teachers College, the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and the School of Professional Studies.