Centers and Programs (Students)

North America

Arizona State University, Tempe – School of Social Transformation

The ASU School of Social Transformation strives to reveal intersecting forms of injustice, engage multiple visions of justice and transform pathways to justice.  Multi-disciplinary social inquiry allows scholars and community leaders to translate lessons learned during one historical moment or location to solutions appropriate for emerging social justice concerns.  Justice and Social Inquiry faculty and students engage with practitioners, decision makers and other social change agents to identify sustainable solutions to difficult social problems.  In addition to its degree seeking programs, this department also has certificates in socio-economic justice and economic justice for students.

Graduate Certificate in Socio-Economic Justice: This certificate offers a trans-disciplinary program concentrated on the social and political implications of global and local economies for economic inequality and social justice. The program fuses interests in 1) political economy (defined as the systematic analysis of the convergence of economic and political systems) with the 2) systematic analysis of socio-economic inequality (defined as the analysis of the factors related to economic inequality, e.g., in areas of income, housing, employment and education), and 3) the analysis of the social justice issues related to various types of political-economic systems, socio-economic inequalities, related policies, and the consequences for social welfare.

Undergraduate Certificate in Economic Justice. The undergraduate certificate in Economic Justice focuses on the application of justice principles to the study of the political and social economy. Covering a wide variety of conceptual and theoretical approaches to wealth and poverty, labor force participation, labor movements and workers rights, social innovation and community development, and employment and welfare advocacy, the certificate offers undergraduate students a trans-disciplinary knowledge base from which to analyze the role of justice in the economy.  See website and attached flier (Economic Justice undergrad certificate) for more information.

Boston College – Program in Social Economy and Social Justice, Graduate Studies in Sociology

The Social Economy and Social Justice department at Boston College believes that sociologists are ideally placed to understand and committed in becoming what American Sociological Association President Michael Burawoy has called “public sociologists.” Their graduate curriculum includes not only in-depth training in the central traditions of sociology, but also a focus on “critical sociology” which puts them at the cutting edge of developments in sociology and related disciplines. Their faculty members write influential books and publish widely in major sociological journals. A significant number consider themselves to be public sociologists, whose work is influential beyond the academy. They also support students who have similar ambitions.

Center for Popular Economics

The Center for Popular Economics is a non-profit collective of political economists based in Amherst, MA. Since our founding in 1978, thousands of people have participated in our workshops and institutes.  Our programs and publications simplify the economy and put useful economic tools in the hands of people fighting for social and economic justice. We examine root causes of economic inequality and injustice including systems of oppression based on race, class, gender, nation and ethnicity.  In the past they have held summer institutes to further educate those introduced in economics and social impact.

CPE also hosts a Summer Institute.  This is a week-long intensive training in economics for activists, educators, media makers, and anyone who wants a better understanding of how the economy works. Our trainings are highly participatory and build on the knowledge and experience of our participants. No background in economics is necessary.

Centre for Co-operative Studies, University College Cork

A university research center that promotes education, training, independent research, and consultancy in all aspects of co-operative organization.


A regional research project focusing on cooperatives. It’s goals are to promote and coordinate research and create a forum for the interaction between all parties with an interest in cooperatives.

Cornell University – Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research (CISER)

The Cornell Institute for Social and Economic Research was founded in 1981.  Their mission is to anticipate and support the evolving computational and data needs of Cornell social scientists and economists throughout the entire research process and data life cycle.  Their support includes computing systems, data access, software consulting, national affiliations and six affiliated colleges.

Duke University – Center for the Advancement of Social Entrepreneurship

In their first five years, CASE has focused on providing thought leadership for the growing field of social entrepreneurship, building a robust MBA Program for students and alumni interested in applying their business skills for social impact; and establishing a strong institutional presence and base of support at Duke University. Through their knowledge development and dissemination efforts, they have produced over 20 publications, presented more than 50 times at universities and conferences, and hosted several convening’s of business school colleagues, thought leaders, or practitioners. Their MBA Program has served over 300 students in the classroom, provided over $330,000 in financial aid to MBAs working in the social sector, and engaged our students in projects and volunteer service with over 50 social-purpose organizations.

Echoing Green

To accelerate social change, Echoing Green invests in and supports outstanding emerging social entrepreneurs to launch new organizations that deliver bold, high-impact solutions. Through a two-year fellowship program, they help their network of visionaries develop new solutions to society’s most difficult problems. These social entrepreneurs and their organizations work to solve deeply-rooted social, environmental, economic, and political inequities to ensure equal access and to help all individuals reach their potential. To date, Echoing Green has invested nearly $30 million in seed funding to almost 500 social entrepreneurs and their innovative organizations.  In addition, their blog provides articles with information for entrepreneurs in regards to technology, leadership and much more.

Harvard University – Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Berkman Cooperation Group

The Berkman Cooperation Group is an interdisciplinary community of researchers and practitioners engaged in studying the underlying factors that contribute to human cooperation. Our current projects include a weekly seminar series where we discuss research on cooperation from a variety of academic disciplines, large-scale study of online cooperation, an investigation of how traditional institutions have adopted cooperative practices, and the development of an online platform for conducting economic game experiments.

Cooperation Seminar

The Cooperation Seminar is an informal multidisciplinary weekly meeting that discusses issues and reviews emerging research on the underpinnings of cooperation, both online and in the material world. The program combines speaker presentations with discussions of our participants’ ongoing research initiatives. Past seminars have covered work in evolutionary biology, computer science, experimental economics, psychology, sociology, neuro-psychology, law, and anthropology.  Our group seeks to bring together people from varied backgrounds who are interested in studying cooperation, promote discussion, and foster interdisciplinary collaboration. Each meeting we will generally have one speaker give an informal presentation, with many interruptions for questions, discussion, and debate. Last year talk topics included intentions vs consequences in moral judgments, the role of punishment in the evolution of cooperation, collaboration in scientific research, political fundraising, and human systems design, to mention a few.

Johns Hopkins University – Center for Civil Society Studies

The Center for Civil Society Studies of the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies is engaged in a wide variety of research and capacity-building activities designed to improve understanding of the role that philanthropy and nonprofit organizations play in modern society and to strengthen the capacity of these organizations to carry out their missions.  The Center is one of the foremost academic research centers in the world concentrating on the nonprofit sector and civil society issues. Building on the pioneering empirical studies of the American nonprofit sector conducted by its director in the early 1980s, the Center has extended its analysis to the international sphere, producing the first comprehensive comparative assessment of the size, structure, financing, and role of the nonprofit sector at the global level.

Kansas State University – Arthur Capper Cooperative Center (ACCC)

The Arthur Capper Cooperative Center’s (ACCC) mission is to serve as a premier center of excellence in cooperative education.  They focus on cooperative research, cooperative business development, cooperative finance, cooperative leadership, cooperative strategic management and cooperative marketing.  Their primary objective is to increase understanding of the cooperative form of business.  We conduct teaching, research and educational extension programs to help students and cooperatives understand and improve decision making in cooperatives, cooperative performance, customer service to patrons of cooperatives, cooperative industry standards and the ability of cooperatives to compete with other businesses in the marketplace.

Quentin Burdick Center for Cooperatives, North Dakota State University

Description: Provides education at the university level and for executives, conducts research, and coordinates with other organizations and agencies in the region.

Southern New Hampshire University – Community Economic Development

In the Community Economic Development Program one can learn to empower communities all over the world.  Community economic development gives people control over their economic futures by developing leadership in the poorest communities and eliminating the apathy that can result from generations of poverty and neglect.  The CED Program at SNHU offers academic programs that draw participants from all sectors of the community economic development field and from all parts of the world.

Standford Graduate School of Business – Center for Social Innovation

The center offers programs for MBA students, alumni, faculty and field practitioners. The goal of the center is to break down boundaries and promote the mutual exchange of ideas and values across sectors and disciplines and between theory and practice.  This includes building and strengthening the capacity of individuals and organizations to develop innovative solutions to social problems.  Their mission is grounded in a strong theory of change.

Transformative Studies Institute

The Transformative Studies Institute (TSI) is a fully-volunteer social justice think tank managed and operated by a global team of scholar-activists, grassroots activists, and the concerned public.  Their goal is to establish a tuition-free accredited graduate school to foster interdisciplinary research that will bridge theory with activism and encourage community involvement to alleviate social problems. TSI publishes independent peer-reviewed journals including Theory in Action, operates a speakers’ bureau, fellowship program, and various community outreach projects, and provides consulting services and custom policy papers.

Tufts University – Management and Community Organizations, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

The certificate in Management of Community Organizations (MCO) provides management training within the framework of the social, economic, and political values that shape the nonprofit sector. The program trains people with a commitment to social purpose and effective management who wish to work at the community level.

UCLA – Center for Civil Society

The Center for Civil Society is the focal point for the School of Public Affairs’ programs and activities in nonprofit leadership and management, grassroots advocacy, nongovernmental organizations, and philanthropy. Located in the global city of Los Angeles, the Center focuses on both regional and international aspects of civil society.  The Center coordinates teaching on nonprofit organizations and aspects of civil society; conducts research; and offers seminars, conferences, colloquia, and executive education as part of our community engagement. In undertaking these mutually supporting activities, we seek to contribute to the policy dialogue on the current and future role of nonprofit organizations, philanthropy, and civil society.

University of California Davis –

University of California Small Farm Program

The Rural Cooperative Center closed on June 30, 2007 and its information and services were moved to the University of California Small Farm Program.  This program focuses on the challenges and opportunities of California’s small-scale farm operators.  They develop field and marketing research aimed at the needs of small- and moderate-scale farmers, and provide that information to farmers who are often not reached by traditional extension programs. Their clients include farmers of many different cultures who operate a wide variety of farming operations, often with limited resources.  They are a statewide program, part of the University of California’s division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and were created in 1979 by an act of the California legislature.

Human and Community Development Department

The Human and Community Development Department offers a wide variety of undergraduate and graduate programs, internships, and outreach programs. Community Development is concerned with the study of communities, and the people in them. It focuses on the community and organizational development, the role of culture and ethnicity in shaping community life, and the ways that knowledge can be used to solve social problems and improve the quality of life. Human Development explores the developmental process in humans throughout the life cycle. Biological, cognitive, and personality/sociocultural aspects of development are studied. Majors are offered in Community and Regional Development and Human Development.

University of Maryland – Department of Government and Politics

University of Massachusetts, Amherst – Economics Department of the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the Valley Alliance of Worker Cooperatives (VAWC)

They are working to create an applied research program in worker cooperatives.  Over the past ten months a unique educational opportunity geared towards introducing undergraduate college students to cooperative economic enterprises has been in the works. The program will be focusing on worker-owned cooperatives as one kind of economic firm, the field of cooperative enterprises in general, the history of the movement, and its sharing in the building of a solidarity economy.  In addition, the Economics Department, as of September 2010, has proposed an Undergraduate Certificate in Applied Economic Research on Cooperative Enterprises.

Economics Department:

Proposed Undergraduate Economic Certificate:

University of Saskatchewan – Centre for the Study of Cooperatives

The Centre for the Study of Co-operatives, established in 1984, is an interdisciplinary teaching and research institute located on the University of Saskatchewan campus in Saskatoon. One of the key people in its formation was the then president of the university, Leo Kristjanson, who found it surprising that although co-operatives play a crucial role in all segments of the provincial economy and society, very little research was being done into their role and operation. To answer this need, Kristjanson established the center, in conjunction with people from the co-operative sector, the university and the Government of Saskatchewan.

University of Toronto – Adult Education and Community Development Graduate Program

The Adult Education and Community Development program is an intellectual hub for teaching, research and outreach on adult and community learning. Their multi-disciplinary program develops community capacities and mobilizes leaders and organizations concerned with justice, equality and sustainability. This catalytic learning, which is often informal, forms the bedrock of vibrant, engaged communities which in turn creates opportunities for growth and facilitates equity for all individuals and groups, including those who are marginalized or disenfranchised. Communities exist and can be sustained through adult learning in a variety of settings such as civil society organizations, workplaces and schools.

University of Toronto – Social Economy Centre

The Social Economy Centre (SEC) of the University of Toronto promotes and disseminates multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on issues affecting the social economy. The Centre was established in 2005 as a unit of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto.  A central feature of the Social Economy Centre is to create a bridge between the university and other community organizations, particularly nonprofits and co-operatives. To this end, the SEC has a monthly workshop series through which leaders in social economy organizations can upgrade their skills and acquire a certificate, and it also has a monthly speakers series that is webcast and archived on its website.

University of Victoria, Canada – Center for Cooperatives and Community Based Economics

The Centre for Co-operative and Community-Based Economy is a focal point on campus for the promotion of interdisciplinary research and learning on subjects related to co-operative and community-based economy.  It is designed to engage faculty members from the University of Victoria and elsewhere, graduate and undergraduate students, and members of the wider community.

University of Waterloo – Social Innovation Generation

At Social Innovation Generation, University of Waterloo, the goal is to generate new knowledge about social innovations and the social innovation process in Canada.  In particular, the dynamics of learning, adaptation and innovation in the arena of sustainable development and in the mental health domain (identified as one of the most pressing challenges of engaging vulnerable populations). We will seek to disseminate new knowledge through publications and learning events, from workshops to lecture series developed inside and outside the university research community.

University of Wisconsin Madison – The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

The University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives pursues a research, educational, and outreach agenda that examines cooperative issues across multiple business and social sectors. The agenda encompasses all aspects of the cooperative business model, including development, finance, structure, and governance.  The Center benefits from an active Advisory Committee composed of cooperative business leaders, legal and accounting experts, public policy officials, and university scholars. Their insights into issues affecting cooperatives bring a timely, relevant perspective to the Center’s programs. They also maintain a listserve for cooperators from all sectors and links to various resources on its website and provide links to cooperative resources by topic:

Community and Environmental Sociology

Faculty and staff in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology provide a broad view of how forces such as new technologies, globalization, changing social values, public policies, and the rise of new social movements are related to each other. In addition, they study local and practical issues such as community change, the interaction of humans and the environment, applied demography, the social issues of science and technology, and the design of more locally oriented food systems.

York University – Business and Society, Department of Social Science

The BA and the Honors BA programs in Business and Society (BUSO) provide the opportunity to study the impact of business on society and society on business. Students who enroll in Business and Society will undertake this study through a multi-disciplinary approach, using texts from philosophy, history, economics, geography, sociology and political science. The program combines courses that provide the analytical tools necessary to study and research business and society with courses that focus on the political, social, and cultural context of business.


British Columbia Institute for Co-operative Studies

A catalyst for research, learning, and teaching about co-operative thought and practice through the development of Co-operative Studies as an established field of inquiry. Collaborates with other post-secondary institutions, the co-op sector, government, individuals and communities interested in co-operative development.

CINEFOGO (Civil Society and New Forms of Governance in Europe)

The network existed from September 2005 to November 2009 and strived to enhance the education and understanding of social and democratic processes, participation and citizenship in Europe.  While it is not longer being funded it does contain a plethora of information on these topic areas.

Collegio Carlo Alberto – Master in Public Policy and Social Change (MAPS)

The Collegio Carlo Alberto in Turin, a joint initiative between the University of Turin and the Compagnia di San Paolo, is pleased to offer a new Master in Public Policy and Social Change (MAPS). It will emphasize the tensions between economic and social policies at the national level in the shadow of Europeanization and globalization. The program is taught in English by an international faculty. For more information, view this pamphlet.

EURICSE – European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises

Euricse’s mission is to promote knowledge development and innovation for the field of cooperatives, social enterprises and other nonprofit organizations engaged in the production of goods and services. The Institute aims to deepen the understanding of these types of organizations and their impact on economic and social development, furthering their growth and assisting them to work more effectively. Through activities directed toward and in partnership with both the scholarly community and practitioners, including primarily theoretical and applied research and training, they address issues of national and international interest to this sector, favoring openness and collaboration.



The Co-operative College – Manchester, UK

The Co-operative College is an educational charity which works from its home in Manchester with learners and co-operatives all over the world, from schoolchildren to African worker co-operatives.  The Co-operative College is dedicated to the promotion of Co-operative values, ideas and principles within co-operatives, communities and society, from managing the Rochdale Pioneers Museum, birthplace of the modern co-operative movement, to pioneering work with schools and young people.  Today, the College works with all the major co-operative societies in the UK and delivers programs of training and education around the world to help individuals and groups achieve the level of skill, knowledge and understanding required to translate ideals into effective practice.

Open University at Milton Keynes – Cooperatives Research Unit (CRU)

The Cooperatives Research Unit (CRU) has nearly 30 years of experience in research, training, consultancy, and publications related to co-operatives, social enterprise, and other organizations in the social economy. Its three main aims are to encourage and develop thinking and research on the social economy, to support the development of cooperatives, and to work with practitioners, policy makers, and researchers to develop comparative analyses of issues for improving policy, development and management. The Open University where it is hosted is one of the best distance learning institutions in the world.

Roskilde University, Denmark – Centre for Social Entrepreneurship

The center carries out education and research activities in the area of social entrepreneurship, social enterprise, welfare studies and civil society. It has pioneered Europe’s first Masters in Social Entrepreneurship. Founded in 2007, it is based in the Department of Psychology and Lifelong Learning at Roskilde University Centre just outside Copenhagen. It conducts contract research, most recently on welfare to work policies in Denmark, and is establishing an extensive research programme for doctoral students.

University of Milano-Bicocca – Doctorate in Urban and Local European Studies

The objective of the URBEUR European doctoral programme is to serve as a benchmark for excellence in social and urban studies. URBEUR offers scholars, researchers and professionals a program of study designed to deliver a broad and thorough grounding in the field along with the skills to develop a specific areas of expertise. The programme promotes international mobility for young students and researchers, and is closely associated with the UrbEurope ( Research and Training Network financed by the European Commission.

University of Mondragon, Spain – Mondragon Cooperative Academic Community

The aim of this project is to synthesize and vitalize the concern for promoting a fairer and more democratic method of performing business; a concern shared with many people from the academic sphere on a world level. Their goal is for their community to serve as a link for alliance and cooperation on a worldwide basis, set apart by its global vision. As an academic community, they wish to be a world reference point for training, research and dissemination of information and knowledge on the Mondragon Cooperative Experience, and consequently on cooperativism in general.

Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank

The overall goal of the Program is to promote social equity and the economic development of poor and/or marginalized groups. In order to contribute to this goal, the Bank will finance small projects that provide financial, business, social and/or community development services to the target population in an efficient and sustainable manner.  The institutions purpose is financing small productive projects, including commerce and services, and certain community development and social projects which have a positive impact on the livelihoods of the poor and marginalized groups.  The IDB is the main source of multilateral financing and expertise for sustainable economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean.,2837.html#.UmzubJGEyf1

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