Accelerating Social Transformation

A three-day development certification course | September 10 - 13, 2017

This exciting new certificate program will explore the changing dynamics of social investments and provide insights to create the next wave of innovation and progress.

We invite you to participate in Accelerating Social Transformation, a 3-day institute in which you think more broadly and deeply about the major challenges change-makers face and to learn from leading thinkers and organizations how they perceive and adapt to change. You will co-create approaches to function much more effectively as you navigate the complex environment in which you operate.  


The Institute is offered through the University of Washington Bothell School of Business and the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Policy & Governance, in partnership with the Catalytic Innovators Group. The Institute will also feature guidance from world class change-makers from the Seattle area who are having both local and global impact.  

Certification Facilitator

The program is curated and facilitated by Dr. Akhtar Badshah a seasoned executive with over 30 years of experience in international development managing a corporate philanthropic program and co-founding a global nonprofit for social enterprise. Badshah has taught architecture and urban development at MIT and is a published author, and an acclaimed international speaker. View more featured experts.

Akhtar Badshah headshot

In this course, you will:

  • Understand how a new set of funders and funding instruments such as equity, debt and online, are creating new opportunities for social investments and mobilizing people.
  • Explore the evolving intersection of technology, creativity and social impact.
  • Determine impact, take risks and scale projects.
  • Design innovative solutions combining technology and policy for maximum impact.

View program outline

Registration Closed

Learning module outcomes:

  • Enable participants to apply learnings to their specific project/program and co-create new approaches to accelerating social impact.
  • Develop an enhanced appreciation of on the ground realities and understand linkages between innovation/policy/design and the value of quick prototyping.
  • Appreciate the importance of communities, social fabric and the structure of belonging in creating a better future.
  • Develop an online network of alumni to continue explorations and build future collaboration.

executive meeting

Social Innovation in the Pacific Northwest

The three days includes exclusive conversations and insights and tours with senior leadership at:

  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation sharing their work on Financial Services for the Poor and Grand Challenges.
  • Global Good, a visionary organization established by Bill Gates and Nathan Myhrvold that through innovation and inventions is deploying commercially-viable technologies that improve life in low-resource countries.
  • Microsoft where technologists are understanding how new technologies such as AI, VR and AR will impact societies in low-resource communities, including a tour of the Envisioning Center showcasing cutting edge technology in future homes and offices.
  • Seattle Foundation, to understand innovative approaches to philanthropic solutions with a conversation around the launch of the Giving Compass, a joint effort with the Raikes Foundation that is organizing the world’s information to make it easier to give well.
  • Tableau in partnership with PATH is working to eliminate malaria in Zambia, and understand how data and data insights can lead to effective interventions in complex situations.

Over the three-day program, participants will be exposed to innovative thinking by faculty from the University of Washington and interact with leading social innovation practitioners in the Seattle area. Visit our Experts page to learn more about the professionals leading this program.

Ready for a new adventure? Come to Seattle and benefit from the rich social innovation network of the Pacific Northwest by participating in shared activities, networking opportunities and capacity-building exercises.

Why attend?

We are going through enormous changes in society and many of them have been driven by access to and development of technology. As a result, it is possible for one or few individuals to create change on scale that was previously inconceivable, or only a large organization or entity could undertake. This has given rise to a new set of funders who are looking to create a paradigm shift in how we design and implement social programs. Participants will  discover new approaches to social development and learn how to combine innovative solutions with technology and policy for maximum impact.

Who should participate?

Accelerating Social Transformation is designed for mid-career professionals working in or contemplating a switch to the social development space. We invite you to be a part of this novel approach to professional development training and join a select group of participants from across the non-profit, foundation, development and business communities.

Participants will receive a certificate on Social Innovation from the University of Washington and become part of a network of social innovators and receive ongoing online information.

The course experience

The Institute is designed to be a stimulating, eye-opening and thought-provoking experience that will help you return to work energized and inspired with fresh thinking and new tools to accelerate the social transformation of the projects you are working on.  

Those with vision, insight and understanding will create the next wave of innovation and progress to bring about positive change for the most vulnerable people in our society.

Tuition | $2,500 USD

NEW – 2 Global Impact Fellowships for participants from the nonprofit community available. For more information contact

Tuition covers the following:

  • Programming
  • Catered breakfast and lunch for all three days
  • Evening reception/s
  • Professional Development Certificate from the University of Washington

Tuition does not cover:

  • Travel to Seattle
  • Accommodation
  • Travel to and from the airport
  • Dinners during the Institute (unless where specified)
  • Miscellaneous food and drinks 


"Great opportunity for development professionals that are bridging social and business principles. And anything Akhtar Badshah does WILL be fantastic!"  -Rita Soni

2017 Cohort:

AST 2017 Cohort

Sponsors and Hosts:

CECP Logo - The CEO Force for Good    GlobalGood logo    Global Impact logo

Global Washington logo    Microsoft Logo    Microsoft Alumni Network Logo

Raikes Foundation Logo    Seattle Foundation Logo     Seattle International Foundation Logo

SecondMuse Logo      Tableau Foundation Logo     Vulcan Logo


And a special thanks to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the U.S. Chamber Corporate Citizenship Center


Course Dates:

September 10 - 13, 2017

Registration Closed

View program outline

Faculty and experts

Local accommodations


For more information, please contact Akhtar Badshah at


“Everything changes and nothing stands still.” --Heraclitus


“Only the paranoid survive.” --Andy Grove, former CEO of Intel


From Heraclitus to Andy Grove, leaders have always known that the only way forward is through change. Today’s leader not only must know best practices, but also have/possess a savvy comprehension of the peculiarities of each situation, the ability to define a relevant problem or set of problems, and then deploy the necessary skill sets to develop a contextualized response.