Ashoka U's Virtual Accelerator and Professional Development Community


The Commons is an online, professional development program for higher education faculty and staff working to advance social innovation education opportunities on their campuses.

Over the course of a semester, participants are grouped into small cohorts and supported by a Cohort Coach as they work to advance a core component of social innovation education (such as creating a new course or mapping student learning journeys) at their institution.

Participants graduate from the Commons with concrete plans and action steps that meet their goals of advancing social innovation and changemaking education across their institution.


“I can’t imagine doing this work without access to colleagues who have been there before.  I’m so grateful for the Commons experience, and to know that I can continue to learn from my cohort in the future.”

– Cynthia Sarver, Assistant Director, Social Innovation Collaboratory, University of St Thomas


You’re invited to apply and join us for the upcoming Fall 2018 Commons! As a participant you will gain:

Professional Development  – The Commons is an opportunity to build broad field knowledge and context. Participants gain concrete skills in core areas of importance for developing and leading social innovation education.

Curated Connections to Peers and Experts – Participants develop strong ties with program peers and Ashoka U’s community of subject-matter experts through community dialogues, peer reviews, and presentation opportunities.

Guided Learning Journey – Each cohort is facilitated by a Coach with in-depth knowledge of social innovation and a deeply aligned understanding of Ashoka U’s philosophy and approach.

Connection to Broader Ashoka U Network – Immerse in a program community of 15+ peer institutions advancing social innovation in higher education, 150+ Commons alumni, and a vast group of coaches and mentors dedicated to your success.

Check out these slides for a brief Commons experience overview.