Master in Social Innovation for Sustainable Development

Master in Social Innovation for Sustainable Development (ed. 2021-22)
Photo © Unsplash/Paula Prekopova

Master in Social Innovation for Sustainable Development

1 novembre 2024–31 octobre 2025
Le cours est disponible en English

The master aims to stimulate a critical thinking on the global trends affecting our society and provide the main tools and techniques for anticipating change and responding to complex situations in the different dimensions of sustainable development.


Présentation du Master

With a global faculty and participants, this Master will challenge candidates' current beliefs and notions of social innovation, developing a new understanding of its principles and tools. Global trends show that, as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, social exclusion, youth unemployment, migration, climate change and the problems of an ageing society have escalated. As they explore the implications of different models, participants will acquire tools and techniques for anticipating change and responding to complex situations in their respective fields. Social innovators and entrepreneurs are expected to play a crucial role in the implementation of the 2030 SDGs in the medium term. Government agencies are encouraged to seek out the "best social innovations" in their programmes. The entrepreneurs of tomorrow are required to use their new models to achieve results and scale their services, including public-private partnerships. Throughout the course, participants will be supported in the development of a specific project that will constitute their final thesis. During the classroom-based period, academics, practitioners and other resource persons will use lectures, case studies, laboratories, group work and practical exercises to strike a balance between theory and practice.

Groupes cibles

The Master is intended for officials and/or professionals working in the public and private sectors and for UN agencies, foundations and NGOs; recent university graduates from developing and developed countries; people working or interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship and related research; members of cooperatives. The essential requirements for admission are a Bachelor's degree (minimum three years' duration) and fluency in English.

What are the topics?

The Master prepares students to become leaders in sustainable social innovation endeavours.

  • Innovation for sustainable development
  • New skills, productive employment and decent work
  • Leadership, collective intelligence, and creativity
  • Public policy, social business, finance, and impact evaluation
What will I learn?

Participants will acquire tools and techniques to anticipate change and respond to complex situations in their respective relevant fields. A crucial role for social innovators in the implementation of the 2030 SDGs is expected in the medium term. Government agencies are encouraged to seek out “the best social innovations” in their programmes. Entrepreneurs of tomorrow are requested to use their new models to achieve results and scale their services, including public-private partnerships.

What will I be able to do?

Students learn how to design the social development policies and principles of the future.

  • Design responsive solutions to societal challenges that fit the 2030 Agenda framework
  • Foster collaboration, through partnerships and networks, that spark public action
  • Analyze the social impact of innovative sustainable development projects

It combines one distance learning module with a face-to-face component.

1 November 2024 to 4 April 2025

Students learn and practice on their own time using an online platform and through live webinars

This phase introduces students to the concepts of social innovation and sustainable development. It will be aimed at fostering a better understanding of today’s and tomorrow’s societal challenges, the necessary skills for social innovators, the impact of social innovation on the future of work, its contribution to the SDGs, and the best practices for crafting a social innovation project.

Topics covered include:

  • What is Social Innovation, its prospective and the links with SDGs
  • Social Transformation, Societal Challenges and the future of work
  • How social innovation can foster productive employment and decent work
  • How Social Innovation underpins Sustainable Development
  • Social Innovation policies and tools & the contribution to the SDGs
  • From Public Policies to Social Business: Crafting a Social Innovation Model
  • Introduction to Project Design

7 April – 6 June 2025

in Presence at the ITCILO Campus in Turin

This phase will introduce students to next steps of social innovation and the definition of a social innovation project. It will be aimed at providing a deep understanding of the eco-social impact of innovative sustainable solutions and explore social impact finance in relation to them, focusing on promoting long-term sustainability in social innovation project.

Topics covered include:

  • How to measure the environmental and social impact of social innovation
  • Identification and definition of the more appropriate indicators for monitoring and evaluation
  • Social Impact Finance and financial models to the achievements of the SDGs
  • How to guarantee the long-term financial sustainability of social innovation

9 June to 31 October 2025

Through home-based research, students complete an original project work related to a specific environmental and/or social challenge. The project should be testable at the country or community level. Tutors and professors will provide guidance.

Why should I enroll?

This Master draws from the ITCILO’s training portfolio, the ILO, UN-related agencies, and international organisations, the Università di Torino’s academic expertise and leading international research centres and universities

Students interact with their environment through a hands-on learning approach, which includes case studies, workshops, and group exercises.

Each student develops a unique final project, in the form of a thesis project.

Our partner
University of Turin

The University of Turin is one of the most ancient and prestigious Italian Universities. Hosting over 74.000 students and with 120 buildings in different areas in Turin and in key places in Piedmont, the University of Turin can be considered as “city-within-a-city”, promoting culture and producing research, innovation, training and employment.


The master's program in Social Innovation not only facilitated my transition into an impactful career, but also transformed my approach to innovation by exposing me to diverse contexts, experiences shared by change-makers, and a user-centric mindset. The program's emphasis on a well-rounded curriculum comprising theory, practical application, and peer collaboration was instrumental in its resounding success.

Larissa Veronez

The program on Social Innovation at the ITC ILO surpassed my expectations! In a short time, through a rigorous blended approach of theory, lectures, workshops, and the final project, we developed a good understanding of the subject with increased confidence and commitment to collaborate for a sustainable future. The global nature and network of the program were a distinguishing feature as we continue to build a supportive ecosystem to put into action all we have learned.

SOCIAL 2022-2023

I loved the master's experience because of its wide variety of experienced lecturers who broadened my understanding of social innovation on a global scale alongside the in-depth resources shared to guide our learning. This course initiated me into the world of sustainable development and helped me better comprehend how I can instill concepts relating to this field into my career journey in addition to making lots of memorable experiences with the lovely cohort.

SOCIAL 2022-2023

Des questions? Nous avons les réponses