Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership


Course Information

10-day field immersion in Asia and online virtual classroom program, starting in June 2017.

The Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership Course (DSIL) is a global social impact accelerator for individuals from around the world.   DSIL is a alternative executive education training program designed for active professionals who are ready to grow their knowledge and social capital network through live online sessions and 10-day field immersions on the ground across Asia.  Apply by May 15th to join  other graduate students, professionals and practitioners interested in creating sustainable impact and systems change around the world through social enterprise.


Course Details

This year  the 5 month certificate course experience runs  August – December, and  will be in the field across Asia and live in the Virtual Classroom.  Join us in Thailand, Indonesia (West Bali), the Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia or Myanmar.

DSIL Tracks


To learn all of the details about the DSIL course, please visit the official DSIL application website here.

Please apply by May 15th, 2016 to be eligible for scholarship consideration.

Course Format

DSIL is an intentionally sequenced program with distinct building blocks:

  1. Virtual Classroom Preparation
  2. 10 day Field-based immersion across Asia
  3. Implement and Accelerate Your Social Impact Work

Program Block I: Virtual Classroom

Join from Anywhere – We are Online Worldwide

In 2016, the VC slate will comprise 15 online sessions with thought leaders and practitioners from around the world. The speakers are selected for their ability to deliver accessible and engaging sessions to enhance the way you understand, live, and work in your day to day life. These sessions are a critical component to understanding key issues, case-studies, and lessons that you will encounter in the field. Can’t join the field immersion? No problem, join the VC only certificate track and meet the entire community.

See the Virtual Classroom here.

Program Block II: 10 Day Field Immersions

Thailand | West Bali | Philippines | Taiwan | Cambodia | Myanmar

After the start of the Virtual Classroom you will join a field immersion and accelerate your own project concept, organization or business idea while meeting partners from academia, leading social enterprises and entrepreneurial ecosystem drivers in the grassroots. You will discover first hand development challenges while investigating complexities on the ground. In Southeast Asia the DSIL team will guide you with technical training, tools and workshops leading up to your final pitch on the closing day. The real-world is our classroom and you won’t find anything like a traditional academic environment- we are all teachers and students.

See our partners on the community page here.

Program Block III: Implementation

Apply What You’ve Learned and Take it Forward

Upon returning home you will be positioned to apply your action plans and integrate your sharpened skill sets. Throughout the course you’ll also have access to mentorship and a powerful personal and professional network of high-impact leaders from around the world. Upon completion of the Virtual Classroom and Field Immersion requirements, you will receive a certificate in ‘Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership’ from the Centre for Executive Education at the United Nations University for Peace.

Accelerator Experience

The DSIL experience includes 5 months of multiple ‘Virtual Classroom’ sessions with industry thought leaders and 10 day field immersions on the ground – intentionally sequenced to cultivate personal, local and global impact.



Our model centers around a ‘Core Curriculum’ focused on the themes below.

We aggregate the best open access tools and explore frameworks with world-class facilitation and deep community building.


Key Transferable Frameworks

  • Human Centered Design (HCD)
  • The Business (and Social/Lean) Model Canvas
  • Liberating Structures facilitation methods
  • Non-Violent Communication (NVC)
  • Art of Storytelling for Impact

What will you gain from the DSIL?

The DSIL experience empowers international participants with contemporary tools, a cross sector knowledge network and analogous field immersions focused on personal and professional development. We believe that those who have the skills to unlock, re-imagine and create solutions to the world’s most daunting challenges will be at the helm of systems level change. Authentic transformation begins within the individual and those who are trained in the principles of design and leveraging empathic collaboration will be best positioned for success.

By the end of this course, you will have:

  • Reflected on your strengths and passions, and how to channel them into an endeavor that is also financially viable
  • Developed a ‘lean canvas’ for creating or accelerating organizations
  • Gained fluency in human centered design methodology, business model generation, liberating structures and non-violent communication
  • Expanded your global professional and personal social capital network of peers
  • Gained a Centre for Executive Education, of the UN University for Peace,  certificate in ‘Designing for Social Innovation and Leadership’ upon successful completion of the course


Please see the official application page for full details:
 A limited number of partial scholarships are available. Apply by May 15th to be considered for a partial scholarship.

DSIL can also be the launching pad for your Diploma in Social Innovation, counting as the first of five courses in the program. Take DSIL, Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Change, and your choice of 3 of our other online courses for changemakers, and earn your Diploma. Add the Diploma to your DSIL course for an additional $1,600 beyond the regular price of your chosen DSIL Track.

DSIL Founder

Courtney Lawrence. Courtney Lawrence is based in Southeast Asia where she continues to build DSIL into a global impact driven organization. She is Adjunct Faculty at Thammasat University, School of Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship and the THNK School of Creative Leadership in Amsterdam for incompany programs. Her academic research focuses on the intersection of sustainable economic development, social enterprise and design thinking. Previous experience includes launching and scaling the Japan based and foundation funded ‘Global Studies, Peace and Leadership Summer Seminar’; a program that included fieldwork with students from more than 40 countries to India, Thailand, Cambodia and the Philippines. From 2006-2014 she served on the Executive Committee of the of the Swiss-based NGO, World Alliance of YMCAs. Previous to co-founding a US social enterprise in 2011, she worked with Ashoka’s Full Economic Citizenship initiative in the Washington, D.C. area and has facilitated multiple trainings across Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, North and South America. She is a Rotary Scholar and holds a Master’s in Sustainable Economic Development and Responsible Management from UPEACE, the UN Mandated Graduate School of Peace and Conflict Studies and has lived, worked and traveled across more than 50 countries; see more at the d.hive.

Stay Connected

Not sure you’re ready to apply? Interested in staying connected with the UPEACE Centre for Executive Education? Receive free e-newsletters, updates, videos, sample readings and materials by joining the Centre’s email list (click here) or liking our Facebook page at UPEACECentre. You may also contact us at

To apply for DSIL, please fill out the online application.