Frank batten school of public policy

PPOL 5225/GDS 3559/NUIP 4005/RELG 3559: Conscious Social Change [3]

Gretchen Wallace, Visiting Lecturer


In January 2015, the College of Arts and Sciences, the Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy and the Contemplative Sciences Center at UVA will partner with Global Grassroots to launch a unique program in Conscious Social Change at the intersection of personal leadership, global citizenship, social entrepreneurship, community engagement, and contemplation. The Conscious Social Change course, which would be offered at UVA as a two week JTerm course, is an experiential education program designed and taught by Gretchen Wallace, president of Global Grassroots, in coordination with UVa professors David Germano (Contemplative Sciences Center, Tibet Center) and Christine Mahoney (Batten). The course provides future leaders with the skills to invest in their own self understanding and initiate social change or engage in community service mindfully, sustainably and with impact at home or abroad. The program incorporates four components: conscious leadership practices, social entrepreneurship tools, conscious social change methodologies, and contemplative ideas and practices. After completing this program, students should be equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to:

  • Deepen cultral awareness and global citizenship skills and work collaboratively under a conscious social change and participatory paradigm in a foreign or domestic context to support communities in advancing self-sufficiency and wellness.
  • Employ social entrepreneurship frameworks to diagnose the root causes of an issue and to design a solution that will create conscious, sustainable, and systemic change
  • Pursue personal growth practices that foster responsible, ethical, and compassionate leadership