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Space to Create

The Lang Center’s Innovation Hub will be designed to inspire

The Lang Center was one of the first offices Lang Scholar Omri Gal ’19 visited as a freshman. 

He became familiar with the setting and staff and soon enrolled in a social entrepreneurship course with Denise Crossan, the Eugene M. Lang Visiting Professor for Issues in Social Change.“I conducted an independent study with her on the design of innovation hubs and hope to integrate my findings into the development of our own hub,” says Gal, a psychology and peace and conflict studies major who was recently named the student leader of the Lang Center Lab for Social Innovation. Their first order of business is to launch an inaugural meeting place for Lang Center students who are starting social entrepreneurship projects. 

“One thing I’m going to be pushing for is to transform it into a stunning workspace,” says Gal. “It will be a place where not only students, but also community members, can come and work on projects and collaborate.”

Crossan sees the designated space as critical for creative collaboration.

“We want to give students a chance to see themselves as social innovators,” she says. "Part of what we are doing is giving them the skills to analyze the experiences they are involved in through a practice called Design Thinking."

With hanging whiteboards, cozy seating nooks, laptop centers, and a small private room to take phone calls, the communal area will include some of the amenities of a working office for the students. “Space is a foundation for innovative thinking,” Gal says. “Everything should be designed to inspire.”

In addition to the Social Innovation Hub, Nimesh Ghimire ’16 helped create a virtual hub to highlight Swarthmore's civic engagement. Ghimire built an online map for The Lang Center with Crossan. The centralized web portal displays all projects and initiatives happening on campus, says Ghimire. “The goal is to use the platform as a way to make Swarthmore’s civic engagement activity easily visible for all members of the community and help foster synergic collaborations between and among faculty, staff, students and members of the nearby communities.”  

Explore Civic Engagement Map: an initiative to help connect the campus, community and curriculum.