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Innovate the Lean Way

This microcourse is included in a series of nine microcourses that can be bundled together into our Microcertificate in UN SDG Impact. Click here to learn more: UN SDG Microcertificate.

Microcourse Description:

There’s no bigger waste than investing resources working on the wrong thing. Lean start-up methodology, a development approach that requires articulating and testing assumptions, favors rapid experimentation over elaborate planning, relies on audience feedback over intuition, and encourages iterative design, has taken the business world by storm as a way of ensuring that you’re investing in the right thing. This microcourse will teach you to apply this technique in the social innovation sphere, helping you to move from idea to solution and create and test your first prototype.

Learning Outcomes:

By the end of this microcourse you should be able to:

  • articulate, and use, the key principles behind lean startup methodology;
  • understand the differences between the various type of business planning canvases so you can choose the most appropriate one for your social innovation idea;
  • complete the appropriate business planning canvas for your social innovation idea; and,
  • create a prototype of your social innovation idea, identify an audience, choose at least one test to run, and identify at least one metric to measure.


Elizabeth Weaver Engel, MA, CAE is CEO and Chief Strategist at Spark Consulting LLC. For more than twenty years, Elizabeth has helped nonprofits grow in membership, marketing, communications, public presence, and revenue, which is what Spark is all about. She speaks and writes frequently on a variety of topics in nonprofit management. When she’s not helping nonprofits grow, Elizabeth loves to dance, listen to live music, cook, and garden.


  • Lite: $35

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Microcourse Contact Information:

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Single microcourses do not qualify for academic credit. However, enrolled students can add three microcourses together, purchase a Microcourse Credit Conversion option, pay the difference between the cost of the microcourses and a regular trimester course at their degree level and submit your reflection journals and a Final Creative Assignment for grading. For assistance with this, please email our Registrar at registrar@ubiquityuniversity.org.

The rules guiding our assignment collection and grading process can be found here: Ubiquity University Grading Policy

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