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Be the change


Welcome to Social Innovation Leadership Team at Amherst College.

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Be the change


Welcome to Social Innovation Leadership Team at Amherst College.

An Invitation to Innovation

There are many paths to make the world a better place, but a question that rarely gets asked is, could there a better way?  Here at SILT, we seek to inspire and support a new generation of change-makers to rethink our solutions to current social issues.  We believe in social entrepreneurship : the recognition of a social problem and the uses of entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a social venture to achieve desired social change.

 

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About Us


Introducing Social Innovation Leadership Team (SILT), a unique student-staff group at Amherst College.

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About Us


Introducing Social Innovation Leadership Team (SILT), a unique student-staff group at Amherst College.

A Team with a Unique Vision

Created in 2009 by a group of Amherst students, Social Innovation Leadership Team (SILT) is a student-staff group at Center for Community Engagement at Amherst College.  Committed to inspire proactive, collaborative responses to pressing public issues, SILT provides students with the tools to grow and sustain their innovative action, ideas, projects, and organizations. 


Our Mission

Inspire

We foster innovative design-thinking and approaches to social problems.

Support

We provide skills and resources to students who are interested in social change.

Engage

We provide connections that can lead to sustainable collaborations.

Our Team


Hailing from across the world, our team is committed to helping you with your ideas.  Come talk to us.

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Our Team


Hailing from across the world, our team is committed to helping you with your ideas.  Come talk to us.

SILT Team, 2013-4.

We are the Social Innovation Leadership Team.

 

 

Xiangyu Zhao '14

Xiangyu Zhao '14

Xiangyu Zhao '14

Xiangyu (Shane) Zhao ’14 is the team leader of Social Innovation Leadership Team (SILT) at Amherst College. SILT, as one of the sponsors of TEDx Amherst College, aims to raise awareness about social innovation and support student social entrepreneurs. Prior to college, Zhao co-founded China’s Green Beat, a bilingual video podcast on China’s environment. China’s Green Beat was one of the 7 founding organizations of China Youth Climate Action Network (CYCAN), one of the largest youth climate organization in China, and Zhao is the founding board member of CYCAN. 

 

Olivia Traux '16

Olivia Truax is a sophomore from North Carolina and prospective Law Jurisprudence and Social Thought major. Aside from her work as a member of SILT, Olivia works as a research assistant for the LJST department and as a student EMT for Amherst College Emergency Medical Service. She is also a member of the crew team, green Amherst project, and outing club. In her minimal free time, she likes to rock climb, contra dance, and read nonfiction. 

 

Crystal Yan '14

Crystal Yan '14

Crystal Yan '14

Crystal Yan is a senior studying Economics at Amherst College, and has been working on the Social Innovation Leadership Team (SILT) since 2010. She leads marketing strategy for programming on campus, develops speaking engagements for thought leadership off campus, and works with students to develop and execute on ideas that leverage business principles for social impact. At Amherst, she works as a designer at Reader to Reader and founded Amherst Splash. Originally from California, Crystal loves to travel and spent her junior year abroad in 11 countries across 5 continents.

 

Tabeth Nkangoh ’15

Tabeth Nkangoh ’15

Tabeth Nkangoh ’15

Tabeth Nkangoh, a junior at Amherst College, was born in Dallas, Texas. He is a psychology and computer science double major and is interested in incentive salience and its implications with pro-social behavior. In addition he serves on the Social Innovation and Leadership Team (SILT) as the technical specialist. 

Yi Lu '14

Yi Lu '14

Yi Lu '14

Born and raised in Shanghai, China, Yi is a senior at Amherst College majoring in history and French.  In addition to managing SILT's online presence, Yi is a research assistant to Prof. Ronald Rosbottom.  In his free time, he also enjoys horseback riding, baking, and graphic design.

Past Programs


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Past Programs


TEDxAmherstCollege, November 2013

Sponsored by the President's Office, Amherst Student Association, and the Center for Community Engagement and SILT, TEDxAmherst College brings together a diverse array of speakers and explores the theme of disruptive innovation in a dynamic and interactive forum.

Idea Challenge, Spring 2013

Big Idea Challenge is an opportunity for students to present their original solutions to pressing social problems.  At the Challenge, students give a 90 second pitch about an idea that they think can change the world for the better.

Business Plan Competition, Spring 2013

Co-organized with ACES (Amherst College Entrepreneurship Society), the Business Plan Competition inspires students to generate ideas for creative ventures.

Business Plan Competition, Spring 2013

Co-organized with ACES (Amherst College Entrepreneurship Society), the Business Plan Competition inspires students to generate ideas for creative ventures.

Social entrepreneurship in Africa by Eric Glustrom, December 5, 2012

Eric Glustrom '07, the founder of Educate!, an organization based in Uganda that is dedicated to empowering the next generation of young leaders, shares with Amherst students his expertise of starting a social entrepreneurship project in Africa.

"Smashing Fear" by Ted Gonder, November 1, 2012

Gonder is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence at the Department of Homeland Security, advising the Obama administration on immigration policy for foreign entrepreneurs.  In this interactive workshop, Ted shares with Amherst students how to take courage and tackle their life obstacles.

Social Entrepreneurship Course, January 2011

Organized by the SIL team and taught by Steven Garrow '84, the interterm course helped more than 50 students interested in social entrepreneurship create a mission, develop marketing strategies, and learn financing and pricing tactics.

Gumball Challenge, March 2011

SILT ran this international entrepreneurship competition that gives students $27 and 

27 gumballs to raise money for microfinance. Teams raised over 500 dollars in a week, a 517% return on investment.

Ten9Eight Kickoff, December 2010

Amherst College students and community members gathered in Cole Assembly Room for a screening of Ten9Eight, a film about inner-city youth entrepreneurs from across the US competing in an annual business competition. The campus was officially introduced to the new Social Innovation Leadership Team. 

Speaking Engagements:

Amherst LEAD Conference

AshokaU Exchange

Amherst Regional High School

Conferences Attended:

TED

Harvard Social Enterprise Conference