Innovate the Lean Way

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58 Lessons


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 micro-course 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 Objectives

1. Students will learn, be able to articulate, and use the key principles behind lean startup methodology
2. Students will learn the differences between the various type of business planning canvases so they can choose the most appropriate one for their social innovation idea
3. Students will complete the appropriate business planning canvas for their social innovation idea
4. Students will create a prototype of their social innovation idea, identify an audience, choose at least one test to run, and identify at least one metric to measure


Elizabeth Weaver Engel, M.A., 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.

Course Contact Information:

Micro-courses are not led by faculty. Each course has a Course Facilitator who is available to answer questions, offer additional assistance and assess the final projects for credit. This micro-course is being facilitated by Rod Chambers. You can contact Rod with any questions through your student portal or by emailing

Registration Type Standard Price
Immersive $80
Undergraduate $100
Masters $200

Module 1 – Introduction to Lean Startup

Module 2 – A tale of two projects

Module 3 – Origins of Lean Startup

Module 4 – Intro to Lean Startup Key Elements

Module 5 – Build

Module 6 – MVP/MAP

Module 7 – Measure

Module 8 – Learn

Module 9 – The Pivot

Module 10 – The Business Model Canvas

Module 11 – Why the Social Lean Canvas?

Module 12 – Using the Social Lean Canvas