Reaching Beyond Ourselves: Hillbrook Announces first-of-its-kind Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship

Mary Hammers
Hillbrook School in Los Gatos is launching a first-of-its-kind educational hub dedicated to teaching students how to change the world. The Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship is a dynamic new program focused on integrating design thinking, making, project-based learning, and community partnerships in order to help students and faculty make a difference in the world. The idea is to foster innovation and problem-solving skills with an eye towards reaching beyond the Hillbrook campus to contribute to the greater good.
Social entrepreneurship applies entrepreneurial thinking - creating an innovative new product, concept, or process - with a focus on making a difference in the world. It integrates processes like design thinking, which closely resembles the Hillbrook Way, with a focus on tackling real-world problems and challenges. Micro-finance and micro-credit (making small loans to customers who lack traditional financial resources) are examples of the life-changing power of social entrepreneurship.

While many schools across the country have focused on pieces of this puzzle - creating centers for design thinking, for example, or building MakerSpaces - the Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship will create an integrated program that prepares children to be the future leaders and problem-solvers that will make our world a better place. Hillbrook Head of School, Mark Silver, Ph.D., says, “The Silicon Valley is the epicenter of innovation, so it is appropriate that a school in the heart of the valley lead a shift in education. With its focus on developing young social entrepreneurs, The Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship will lead educators in a new and important direction: teaching the pathways to social change”. In addition to serving students and faculty at Hillbrook, the Scott Center for Entrepreneurship will look for opportunities to engage the broader community outside of the Hillbrook campus, as well as ultimately teaching other schools how to create similar programs.

The Scott Center for Social Entrepreneurship is named for philanthropists Shannon Hunt-Scott and Kevin Scott. Through their non-profit, The Scott Foundation, the Scott family focuses on hunger and education projects, aspiring to empower Bay Area children to achieve their personal best.

Click here to read Mark Silver's inspiring blog post, Making a Dent in the Universe, sharing this monumental and exciting moment in the school's history.