Meet a Social Scientist: Dr. Manciagli from Interdisciplinary Social Sciences

What is your name?
Dr. Bruce Manciagli.

What kind of work do you do in the College?
I am a Social Entrepreneur in Residence in Florida State University’s (FSU) College of Social Sciences and Public Policy, a faculty member in the Jim Moran School of Entrepreneurship, and a Director of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Florida State University. I teach, do research and engage in service in the department, profession and community.

Why did you decide to become an academic? 
I’ve always believed in the transformative power of education and learning, defined in their broadest and deepest sense; my career has focused on developing the capacity of individuals, organizations, and communities to more effectively address social and environmental problems and catalyze meaningful systems change. Education has represented a thread of continuity throughout my work. This is reflected, for example, in my time leading the Florida Community, Higher Ed, School Partnership, a cross-sector initiative aimed at addressing community needs through innovative K-HE service-learning partnerships; my role in helping to strengthen and scale a network of high-impact nonprofits addressing the opportunity gap and dropout epidemic in Florida through Communities In Schools; training and empowering a parent leadership team as part of system-focused youth-prevention and community-development model; designing and facilitating immersive ‘leadership-development-for-social change’ education abroad programs in Indonesia, Costa Rica, and Italy; and co-founding—with renowned traumatology scholar Charles Figley—the Traumatology Institute and its Traumatologist Certification Program, which provided cutting-edge training and certification to first responders and mental health professionals and deployed them through the Green Cross Projects to disasters like 9-11 and the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean. 

In addition to extensive work in social innovation & entrepreneurship and international & community development, I have a background in the social foundations of education. The opportunity to develop and lead the social innovation & entrepreneurship initiative at FSU was extremely compelling for me. After years in the field, I believed I could add value in helping prepare the next generation of change leaders, particularly within the rich and dynamic environment of higher education. One can read more about my philosophy of education, SIE@FSU’s pedagogical approach, and the SIE Ecosystem we’ve established at FSU in my recent draft paper: Can SIE Be Taught? An Integrative SIE Ecosystem Model. See:   https://www.sie.fsu.edu/sie-courses-pedagogy

What do you find most fulfilling about your job? 
Working with students: Getting to know them as individuals with inspiring goals and dreams; fears and challenges; courage and resilience; a desire for meaning, purpose, and personal growth; a yearning to express themselves and leverage their skills, talents, and passions to make a contribution in the world. Helping students cultivate a lifelong passion for learning; learn how to learn more effectively; and become skilled at leveraging their knowledge in service to society. Receiving comments from students such as:

  • My experience in the SIE ecosystem at FSU was personally and professionally transformative.
  • Participating in SIE @ FSU completely changed my outlook on life. It opened my eyes to things I didn’t even recognize as problems, and even better, taught me how to ideate the solutions for such problems.
  • It has opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. It has given me the inspiration and confidence to facilitate real change in an innovative and creative manner.
  • This field of social innovation and entrepreneurship has truly made me a more open and empathetic individual.

What are you working on or teaching right now that has your excited professionally? 
While I’m inspired by all aspects of this work, three projects in particular stand out at the moment:

Last semester, I developed and began teaching a new leadership course that reflects one of the four pillars of my Adaptive SIE Framework for Systems Change, which is how I define, teach, and practice the field of social innovation & entrepreneurship. The course focuses on how students can strengthen their capacity to effectively lead change. To this end, we explore adaptive leadership and key related themes, such as mindset, values, vision/mission, relationships, habits/culture, powerful questions/stories, and impact, within the contexts of the personal, organizational, and communal. This content has really resonated with students, who are hungry to develop a powerful, purposeful vision for their lives and learn how to actualize it. See: https://www.sie.fsu.edu/sie-courses-spring-2021

The Bali Institute (my partner in Indonesia for which I serve as a Global Advisor) and I co-founded Makadaya, an SIE Fellowship program based in Bali for emerging leaders across Indonesia. We prototyped the Fellowship in 2019 and launched the pilot this February, with 10 fully-funded Fellows from a number of islands. The Fellows are working on developing and implementing social impact models and social enterprises that address a diversity of issues, including female empowerment, economic opportunities for people with disabilities, helping ex-convicts find employment or start enterprises, sustainable community development, waste management and recycling/repurposing plastic waste, and recycling hard plastics into prostheses. SIE@FSU serves as the principal curriculum partner, providing consultation, curriculum materials & design, as well as mentorship to the leadership team and Fellows. Several students of mine are helping with this initiative. See: https://www.sie.fsu.edu/overview-of-sie-indonesia 

Locally, SIE@FSU recently began partnering with Victory House, a local nonprofit founded by one of my students, and other partners to develop a community empowerment & resilience model based on the Adaptive SIE Framework I mentioned above. Victory House’s current point of entry/intervention into the community and interrelated challenges is food access; the partnership will work to mature the model with a holistic set of client-centered, wrap-around supports that address the overlapping issues—including economic empowerment, health, youth leadership, and community resilience—more systemically. As part of this larger model, the team is developing an SIE-focused experiential education model that will provide FSU and FAMU students with opportunities to collaborate in interdisciplinary teams as they learn, apply, and gain confidence in the principles of SIE. The vision also includes helping other universities & communities adopt and tailor the model. Several students of mine are working on this initiative. 

Dr. Manciagli is the Director of the Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Florida State University. You can learn more about Dr. Manciagli here.

The feature image is from Dr. Manciagli.

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