Innovate the Lean Way

  • Faculty: Elizabeth Weaver Engel, MA, CAE
  • Microcourse
  • 3 hours/week, 4 Weeks + 2 Weeks for Final
  • Content Category: Knowledge

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58 Lessons

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.

Microcourse Contact Information:

Microcourses are not led by faculty. With the exception of “lite” versions, microcourses are led by a Course Facilitator (CF) who is available to answer questions, offer additional assistance and assess your final creative assignments for academic credit. For questions, you may contact our Director of Course Facilitation at facilitator @ (Sorry! Direct email link not provided due to spam bots.)