Annenberg and SP2 Launch New Digital Media Executive Education Program
It’s designed for media industry professionals, activists, community organizers, nonprofit leaders, and social entrepreneurs looking to build mission-aligned digital media strategies.
- Annenberg's first executive education program is now open to applicants.
- The program focuses on how social impact leaders can make the most of the opportunities available to them through digital media tools.
- Courses will be taught by Penn experts, including Annenberg faculty and alumni.
Digital media platforms and technologies have created new possibilities and introduced new challenges for people working across sectors to create social impact. Changemakers and other social action workers sometimes find it difficult to navigate the constantly changing online world and use the tools available to advance their causes.
The Center on Digital Culture and Society (CDCS) at the Annenberg School for Communication and the Center on Social Impact Strategy (CSIS) at the School of Social Policy and Practice (SP2) aim to help meet this need, and have jointly launched a new executive education program entitled Digital Media for Social Impact (DMSI).
“The University of Pennsylvania has a long history of valuing collaborations between schools and disciplines,” says John L. Jackson, Jr., Walter H. Annenberg Dean and Richard Perry University Professor. “The DMSI program falls squarely within that tradition, and I am excited that Annenberg and SP2 will be working together to provide this interesting learning opportunity to social impact leaders across a variety of industries.”
Annenberg’s first executive education offering, the program combines action-oriented education with leading scholarship on digital media and social change. It’s designed for media industry professionals, activists, community organizers, nonprofit leaders, and social entrepreneurs looking to build mission-aligned digital media strategies.
“In recent years, academics have talked a lot about the importance of public-facing knowledge in today’s world,” says Guobin Yang, Grace Lee Boggs Professor of Communication and Sociology and CDCS Director. “DMSI is an initiative to create an institutional base for such engaged scholarship. CSIS has done trail-blazing work in this area, and I cannot think of a better partner in this venture.”
“DMSI is a unique opportunity because it combines leading scholarship in communication with a hands-on, action-oriented curriculum.” — Rosemary Clark-Parsons
The five-month program is online and asynchronous, so students can go at their own pace. Courses will be taught by Penn experts on digital media, including Annenberg School professors Sarah J. Jackson, Jessa Lingel, Victor Pickard, and Guobin Yang, and Annenberg alums Rosemary Clark-Parsons (Ph.D. ‘18), Emily Dean Hund (Ph.D. ‘19), and Hanna E. Morris (Ph.D. ’21). Students will gather virtually every week to build community and learn from one another. In addition, the program features two online convenings and one on-campus convening.
Through the DMSI program, students will gain a critical understanding of digital media platforms' affordances and limitations for social impact and social justice work, develop a toolkit for building and evaluating mission-aligned digital campaigns, and build a community of likeminded changemakers.
“DMSI is a unique opportunity because it combines leading scholarship in communication with a hands-on, action-oriented curriculum,” says Clark-Parsons, CSIS Program Manager. “The assignments in each course ask students to apply their learnings immediately to their social impact work. This is a really exciting opportunity for anyone looking to take a research-driven approach to their digital outreach strategies and build their professional network along the way.”