Portland State University Changemaker Campus

Portland State University is Oregon’s most diverse public university, serving 28,000 students in the heart of one of America’s most dynamic cities. Our mission to “let knowledge serve the city” reflects our dedication to turning ideas into action — in Portland and around the world. This is demonstrated in PSU’s ranking as one of America’s most innovative universities for several years running, along with top rankings in sustainability, social impact, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.

Our 50-acre campus serves as a vibrant living laboratory for innovation and community-based learning. A university-wide capstone program ensures that all students work with the broader community to tackle civic, social, and environmental challenges. The Impact Entrepreneurs initiative enables students to create their own ventures and to actively work with social entrepreneurs in our community. The Nonprofit Institute supports leaders to engage in culturally responsive and sustainable organizational change efforts. The Center for Public Interest Design delivers community-focused architecture projects worldwide. A new Homelessness Research and Action Collaborative brings together multidisciplinary faculty and staff to generate lasting impact for our city, and others.

The next generation of solutions to seemingly intractable challenges requires unprecedented collaboration across disciplines and between scholars and practitioners, and this is where we shine.

Portland State University’s Thought Leadership


2021 Exchange:
Three big ideas for the future of student preparedness

2020 Exchange:
Can Higher Ed Curb Toxic Polarization A Look at Changemaking & Bridge Building
Changemaker Campus Pathways to Social Impact Careers 
Experiences Evaluating Changemaker Education
What the World Needs is Love Changemaking Across Differences in Divisive Times

2019 Exchange:
Big Idea Talk: Fusion Leadership: Driving Cross-Sectoral Social Change from Ancient Wisdom

Changemaker Campus

Launched in 2008, Ashoka offers the Changemaker Campus designation to leading institutions in social innovation education. These institutions share the vision for higher education to become the next global driver of social change by transforming the educational experience into a world-changing experience.