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Salt Lake City, UT
Early Childhood Innovation Lab
October 2 - 6, 2017


October 2 - 6, 2017


University of Utah, in Salt Lake City, Utah



The Early Childhood Innovation Lab (ECIL) is a collaboration between the National Head Start Association (NHSA), the Sorenson Impact Center, and the David Eccles School of Business (DESB). The mission of the Early Childhood Innovation Lab is to identify, disseminate, and test innovative best practices for providers of early childhood services.  


Program Approach

This singular executive education seminar will equip nonprofit leaders with the knowledge and skills to drive innovation, entrepreneurship, and evidence-based actions. The seminar’s approach is designed to infuse sustainability and diverse funding streams into participants’ organizations through the following framework:

  • A cohort model that creates a supportive network of like-minded, innovative colleagues for dynamic learning.
  • Workshops, lectures, site visits, and case studies by leading experts in the social impact space.
  • Customized organizational social impact plans:
  • Participants will complete pre-seminar work to identify and articulate an organizational challenge that they are experiencing
  • Participants will apply knowledge gained during the seminar to build out their impact plan.
  • Participants will complete post-seminar work with ongoing mentorship and technical assistance provided by the Sorenson Impact Center to generate sustainable solutions to their identified organizational challenge.


What is the Sorenson Impact Center?


Executive Education Curriculum

Leading experts in the fields of social impact, entrepreneurship, impact measurement, and innovative finance models will deliver seminar content that covers the following topics:

  • Social impact and innovation
  • Social entrepreneurship and social enterprise
  • Impact-based storytelling
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Data science for social good
  • Impact measurement
  • Innovative funding models (e.g., new markets, social impact bonds (SIBs), impact  investing, performance-based contracting)


Innovation Lab Faculty

  • Courtney McBeth is a Managing Director of Research and Academics at the Sorenson Impact Center, where she creates academic curriculum and programming and also facilitates social impact projects and evaluations.
  • Ruth V. Watkins is an American scholar of child language and speech pathology. She is currently the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the University of Utah.
  • Taylor Randall is Dean & George S. Eccles Faculty Fellow in the School of Accounting. He has led The University of Utah David Eccles School of Business since 2009. Randall has elevated the school’s national reputation as a place of innovation, garnering Top 25 entrepreneurship rankings for both undergraduate and graduate programs.
  • Fraser Nelson is Director of Strategic Partnerships at Sorenson Impact, where she facilitates social impact and innovation projects throughout the United States.
  • Ellesse Balli is the Communications Director at Sorenson Impact, where she develops and oversees all media, including the website and media outreach.
  • Lisa Cox is the Communications Manager for Sorenson Impact, where she develops content for external communications, including the Center’s website, grant applications, articles, and other publications.
  • Troy D’Ambrosio is the executive director of the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, assistant dean at the David Eccles School of Business and holds a Presidential Chair in Entrepreneurship at the University of Utah.
  • Harris Sondak is a Professor of Business and Ethics and Management at the David Eccles School of Business. Dr. Sondak is also Adjunct Professor of Law at the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah.