GreenHouse students talking to each other

Minor in Social Innovation and Impact

The Minor in Social Innovation and Impact is designed to equip you with the skills to develop and implement solutions that advance social justice in local and global communities. Depending on what you're passionate about, you can tackle problems like social isolation, climate change, food insecurity, and more. This is your opportunity to make meaningful change happen.

This eight-course Minor in Social Innovation and Impact is open to all undergraduate students enrolled at the University of Waterloo. On completing the Minor, students will be able to:

  1. Identify and define opportunities for social innovation and impact
  2. Apply a range of tools and skills to design and develop responsive initiatives
  3. Launch and test these initiatives for the intended impact
  4. Collaborate with stakeholders across the public, private and civil society sectors to enhance the scale and sustainability of their initiatives

INNOV Required Courses

  • INNOV 200: Theory and Practice of Social Innovation (offered Fall 2024)
  • INNOV 201: Social Innovation for Global Impact (offered Winter 2025)
  • INNOV 300: Case Studies in Social Innovation and Impact
  • INNOV 302: Measuring and Evaluating Social Innovation for Impact
  • INNOV 311: Research for Social Impact
  • INNOV 411: Designing for Social Impact

INNOV Electives


  • Two of REC 201, 218, 356, 361 or;
  • Two of INDG 201, 272, INDENT 200, 310
  • Two of INDEV 200, 212, 308, 387 or;
  • Two of BET 100, 300, 360,

My four months with GreenHouse completely changed my perspective. Imagine the impact this could have over four or five years. That would be huge.

Ridham Chadha

Faculty of Environment student

GreenHouse alumnus

Founder of Reaplenish

A lot of students are very anxious to apply their skills in a meaningful way. The new minor would provide an awareness and allow students to really get in there and channel their passions, giving them a whole four years to develop and grow their ideas.

Paige Petcoff

Faculty of Health student

GreenHouse student

Co-founder of Health Link

The application of knowledge and case studies are a crucial part of the new minor. Having real-life application is invaluable. The more you do, the more you learn.

Miraal Kabir

Faculty of Math student

GreenHouse Alumnus

Co-founder of Safi

Meet the professors 

Tania Del Matto

Director of GreenHouse

Tania Del Matto has supported the launch of hundreds of ventures and has nurtured the entrepreneurial mindset of thousands of undergraduate and graduate students. Prior to her role at United College, she co-founded and operated a social venture with a national mandate to help organizations adopt more sustainable consumption and production practices. Tania is currently pursuing a PhD in Higher Education from the University of Toronto at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education. Her research focuses on how students assimilate the knowledge, skills and values gained through their social entrepreneurship education into their personal and professional identities and how graduates perceive their social entrepreneurship education in relation to their career choices.

John Abraham

Academic Dean, Continuing Lecturer and Manager of International Work Experience for the INDEV and MDP programs

John Abraham spent most of his childhood and youth living across four countries on three continents. It was here that his interdisciplinary academic journey began. He completed an undergraduate degree in Religious Studies at the University of Calgary, followed by a Masters in Philosophy degree in Modern South Asian Studies at the University of Cambridge, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Politics and International Relations from Royal Holloway, University of London. Subsequently, he undertook two postdoctoral fellowships: one on Community Based Conservation at St. Mary’s University (Halifax, Nova Scotia) and the second on Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo (WISIR), before serving as Assistant Professor of Global Studies and Social Entrepreneurship at Wilfrid Laurier University between 2016-19. Following the completion of that appointment, he joined the International Development Program at United College.

His current research takes an interdisciplinary focus, engaging with issues of religion, political economy, environment, social innovation, and decolonization. His recent and forthcoming journal publications have addressed issues of social innovation, the intellectual history of international development, and the global political economy. Two of his longer-term research projects include a book-length study of the political economy of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party in India and a decolonial analysis of the life and work of the English activist and clergyman Charles Freer Andrews. He actively engages with the international development professional community and serves as a Board member of both the Mennonite Central Committee, Ontario and the Ontario Council for International Cooperation.