Berkeley Changemaker Courses

Best course I've taken. Ever.
Berkeley Changemaker Student

Spring 2024

The Berkeley Changemaker®

Lower-Division Versions: L&S C12 or UGBA C12

Upper-Division Versions: L&S C196C or UGBA C196C

Instructor: Christyna Serrano

3 units

You could have gone almost anywhere and you chose UC Berkeley—we’re so glad you did! For generations, people like you have come to Berkeley to leave their marks on the world, questioning the status quo as they think, and act, beyond themselves. Our gateway course will activate your passions and help you develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, providing the tools you’ll need along the way. Whether you want to start your own company, launch an NGO, discover your passion, or learn how to effect positive, lasting change from wherever you are, our Berkeley Changemaker community has a place for you. In this asynchronous online course, you can engage with our lectures, assignments, and readings at the time of day which works best for you. Our class is taught by an all-star team of 26 UC Berkeley faculty members, representing 19 diverse departments and 8 schools across our campus. Our guest faculty includes Chancellor Carol Christ, former Federal Reserve Chair & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and 9 Distinguished Teaching Award winners. This is the only course on campus that introduces you to how more than 25 of our most distinguished faculty think about changemaking and leadership, and how to put all of that into action. This course includes an optional "live" one-hour weekly session featuring guest speakers and opportunities for you to build your Berkeley Changemaker network.

UGBA 159: Becoming a Changemaker

Instructor: Alex Budak

Class #14522

2 units

This course inspires, trains and equips participants to convert raw energy and enthusiasm for creating a better world into real leadership skills and mindsets which will empower you to create positive change at an individual, organizational and societal level. Anchored in change leadership and bringing together the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation, leadership & social impact, the course is focused on moving from ideas to action; gaining inspiration from diverse changemakers across roles and sectors; learning how to navigate, shape and lead change to thrive amidst uncertainty; and helping you become the kind of leader our companies, our communities and our world need right now.

CHEM 171H Berkeley Changemaker: The Green Materials Innovation Challenge

Instructor: Megan Arnett and Kim Hazard

Class #14780

3 units

View the course flyer

At the same time as chemistry has dramatically improved our lives, it has also exposed people to hundreds of harmful synthetic chemicals and pollutants via air, water, food, consumer products, and workplaces. Green chemistry aims to develop chemicals and materials that are inherently safer for human health and the environment. 

This course is a project-based class that partners students with companies, non-profits, community groups, and government agencies that are interested in adopting safer, greener chemistry for their products and processes. The course is designed to give students a foundation in the principles of green chemistry by providing a real-world green chemistry challenge that students will work to solve throughout the semester. Students will have the opportunity to meet and work with multiple on and off campus partners, including industry, non-profit, and government collaborators, via guest lectures and a final student presentation given to a broad audience of BCGC partners.

Instructor: Christyna Serrano

Course #16721

4 units

This course examines how learning environments can empower and disempower individuals and explores the role of education in the social construction of hierarchy, inequality, difference, identity, and power.  It embodies a democratic philosophy and practice, creating a learning community that encourages students to take responsibility for their own education and learn through theory, experience, dialogue, and a capstone course project titled: the Digital Changemaker Project.

ENGIN 183A or 283A: A. Richard Newton Lecture Series

Instructor: Victoria Howell

Course #16477 or 30784

1 unit

This lecture series serves as an entry point for undergraduate and graduate curriculum sequences in entrepreneurship and innovation.  The series, established in 2005, is named in honor of A. Richard Newton, a visionary technology industry leader and late dean of the University of California Berkeley College of Engineering.   The course features a selection of high-level industry speakers who share their insights on industry developments, leadership, and innovation based on their careers. 

UGBA 13 Berkeley Changemaker: Human Health

Instructor: Darren Daniel Cooke

Course #32991

2 units

View the course flyer

Do you wonder how you might play a part in changing human health and improving the lives of others? Find your path with Berkeley Changemaker: Human Health. In this course you will apply the core principles of the Berkeley Changemaker curriculum by Critically exploring a full understanding of an important human health issue, Collaborating with diverse colleagues on a project team to investigate solutions using gold-standard discovery techniques, and Communicating what you’ve learned and providing thoughtful feedback to your classmates. Each week you will also research and then have a curated conversation with a changemaking expert on a range of human health topics, from startup solutions, to healthcare economics, to health equity issues

For more information and a past course flyer, see lsec.berkeley.edu/bc-hh(link is external)

UGBA 192T-1 Sustainable Capitalism in the Nordics: A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Robert Strand

1 unit

Course #14135

View the course flyer

We face big challenges in this world.  Climate change, poverty, health & wellbeing, access to quality education, decent work, loss of biodiversity, and growing inequalities are just a few of the interconnected sustainability challenges represented by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  In the face of these challenges, the Nordics can offer inspiration.  Nordic countries and companies are cited as global sustainability leaders, frequently topping sustainability performance indicators like the SDG Index.  This discussion-based course explores sustainability in the Nordics and considers what learnings may be prosperously applied in the US. Our inquiry focuses on the very concept of capitalism itself, and the relationship between capitalism, sustainability, democracy, and freedom.  In doing so, we consider the ideas of “American shareholder capitalism” vis-à-vis “Nordic stakeholder capitalism” to compare American and Nordic policies and cultures, and their effects on sustainability practices and performances. 

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: Design of Plant-Based Foods | A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructors: Ricardo San Martin and Sarah Klass

Course #16480

4 units

The current food system heavily reliant on animal-based products must undergo a transformation to mitigate its adverse impact on global warming and alleviate animal suffering. However, despite the initial enthusiasm surrounding plant-based foods, progress in product development and sales has plateaued. There is an urgent need for innovation in the form of more delectable and cost-effective ingredients, advancements in plant cultivation, utilization of by-products, and the integration of automation to facilitate scaling up. This course serves as a dynamic nexus where students engage closely with entrepreneurs, corporations, venture capitalists, and plant-based organizations, allowing them to gain a comprehensive understanding of the plant-based food landscape. Students will delve into the principles of food science as applied to the conception and production of plant-based edibles. Through collaborative teamwork, they will confront industry challenges and endeavors to create innovative, tangible plant-based products.

This course requires an application.

COLWRIT 11 Berkeley Changemaker: Public Speaking

Instructors: Margi Wald and John Levine

Course #22050

1 unit

Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking and communication, this one-unit practicum is designed to help students refine their academic speaking skills. Students will learn the techniques of effective public speaking, practice their skills, and develop confidence in oral communication. Online, asynchronous class sessions will be complemented by “live” opportunities that enable students to practice course content in front of an instructor and audience and receive feedback.

Fall 2023

The Berkeley Changemaker®

Lower-Division Versions: L&S C12 or UGBA C12

Upper-Division Versions: L&S C196C or UGBA C196C

3 units

Instructor: Christyna Serrano

You could have gone almost anywhere and you chose UC Berkeley—we’re so glad you did! For generations, people like you have come to Berkeley to leave their marks on the world, questioning the status quo as they think, and act, beyond themselves. Our gateway course will activate your passions and help you develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, providing the tools you’ll need along the way. Whether you want to start your own company, launch an NGO, discover your passion, or learn how to effect positive, lasting change from wherever you are, our Berkeley Changemaker community has a place for you. In this asynchronous online course, you can engage with our lectures, assignments, and readings at the time of day which works best for you. Our class is taught by an all-star team of 26 UC Berkeley faculty members, representing 19 diverse departments and 8 schools across our campus. Our guest faculty includes Chancellor Carol Christ, former Federal Reserve Chair & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and 9 Distinguished Teaching Award winners. This is the only course on campus that introduces you to how more than 25 of our most distinguished faculty think about changemaking and leadership, and how to put all of that into action. This course includes an optional "live" one-hour weekly session featuring guest speakers and opportunities for you to build your Berkeley Changemaker network.

ENGIN 183A or 283A: A. Richard Newton Lecture Series

Class #29278 or 29279

Instructor: Victoria Howell

1 unit

This lecture series serves as an entry point for undergraduate and graduate curriculum sequences in entrepreneurship and innovation.  The series, established in 2005, is named in honor of A. Richard Newton, a visionary technology industry leader and late dean of the University of California Berkeley College of Engineering.   The course features a selection of high-level industry speakers who share their insights on industry developments, leadership, and innovation based on their careers. 

DESINV 198 Sample Mode: Intro to Sound Design, Beat-making, and Creative Music Technologies DeCal - A Berkeley Changemaker ® Course (DeCal)

Instructor: Nassirah Nelson

Class # 28807

2 units

This 12-week course will be offered in collaboration with Berkeley Changemaker®  and Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, students will design, create, and perform original music using electronic instruments, music production software, and midi-controllers. We will also examine the history of sampling, its role in hip-hop, and its legacy in music production. Students will connect with and learn from industry professionals, each week. Class sessions will be complemented by community beat-making showcases and performances opportunities that enable students to practice course content in front of an audience and receive feedback. Midway through the semester students will even have an opportunity to build their very own midi-controller, as well as design a custom faceplate in a makerspace environment.

EDUC W190A Berkeley Changemaker: Critical Studies in Education

Instructor: Christyna Serrano

Class #29697

4 units

This course examines how learning environments can empower and disempower individuals and explores the role of education in the social construction of hierarchy, inequality, difference, identity, and power.  It embodies a democratic philosophy and practice, creating a learning community that encourages students to take responsibility for their own education and learn through theory, experience, dialogue, and a capstone course project titled: the Digital Changemaker Project.

ENGIN 183/283: Deplastify the Planet - A Berkeley Changemaker® Course(link is external)

Instructors: Mathieu Aguesse and Kelly Chou

Class #29288

3 units

The world is drowning in plastic that we've created, most of which takes hundreds of years to decompose. To solve this problem, we must find ways to replace or at least reduce plastic in manufacturing, to reuse, recycle or re-purpose plastic currently in use, to rescue discarded plastic from oceans or landfills, and to dispose of plastic responsibly.

For this course, we find companies that want to achieve the same and will partner with SCET and Schoolab around this problem. Each company prepares a “deplastify challenge” based on their own business, and will be given student teams that work together to develop an entrepreneurial solution. Supported by representatives from their partner companies, students will work to understand the industry and challenge, then design prototypes and pitch their final solutions. Past company sponsors include Whole Foods, Faurecia Automotive, Microsoft, Allbirds, Nestle, Recology SF, Method, Bank of the West, Surfrider Foundation, Samsung and more!

This class requires an application to be considered for enrollment.

Application: https://forms.gle/97B32xe9bnoCd82o8

More Info: https://scet.berkeley.edu/students/courses/special-topics/deplastify-the...

PB HLTH 155E: Seeing People: Understanding Homelessness' Roots, Stigmas, & Solutions - A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Colette (Coco) Auerswald

Class #30231

3 units

The goal is to support you as an informed citizen who understands homelessness, its roots, the multilevel systems & services that exist to address it, & the levers at each level to effect change. We will focus on developing skills to be a changemaker by working together to address homelessness & “housism” in our community. “Housism” is the belief that people experiencing homelessness are intrinsically less worthy/human. We will be informed in our growth by counter-narratives by people experiencing homelessness & by theoretical frameworks, such as the Social Determinants of Health, Critical Race Theory, Intersectionality, the Ecological Model, & theories of stigma. Students who have experienced homelessness or unstable housing are welcome.

Being a part of this class is life changing and it truly shapes your identity, and I am so glad to be a part of this community.
Milo Harmon Maurer, Gateway Course Student, Class of 2024
Discussion Breakout Session

Photo credit: Jim Block

Summer 2023 Courses

The Berkeley Changemaker®

Lower-Division Versions: L&S C12 or UGBA C12

Upper-Division Versions: L&S C196C or UGBA C196C

2 units

You could have gone almost anywhere and you chose UC Berkeley—we’re so glad you did! For generations, people like you have come to Berkeley to leave their marks on the world, questioning the status quo as they think, and act, beyond themselves. Our gateway course will activate your passions and help you develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, providing the tools you’ll need along the way. Whether you want to start your own company, launch an NGO, discover your passion, or learn how to effect positive, lasting change from wherever you are, our Berkeley Changemaker community has a place for you. In this asynchronous online course, you can engage with our lectures, assignments, and readings at the time of day which works best for you. Our class is taught by an all-star team of 26 UC Berkeley faculty members, representing 19 diverse departments and 8 schools across our campus. Our guest faculty includes Chancellor Carol Christ, former Federal Reserve Chair & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and 9 Distinguished Teaching Award winners. This is the only course on campus that introduces you to how more than 25 of our most distinguished faculty think about changemaking and leadership, and how to put all of that into action. This course includes an optional "live" one-hour weekly session featuring guest speakers and opportunities for you to build your Berkeley Changemaker network.

COLWRIT 11 Berkeley Changemaker: Public Speaking(link is external)

Instructors: Becky Hsu

Class # 14498

1 unit

Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking and communication, this one-unit practicum is designed to help students refine their academic speaking skills. Students will learn the techniques of effective public speaking, practice their skills, and develop confidence in oral communication. Online, asynchronous class sessions will be complemented by “live” opportunities that enable students to practice course content in front of an instructor and audience and receive feedback.
I'm thankful that I've been able to learn so much from this course! I truly believe this is the greatest preparation I could have received going into my first year at Berkeley. I'm sad this has come to an end, but excited to apply the lessons and principles I learned into my Berkeley journey and my life!
Grace Kelly, Gateway Course Student, Class of 2024
Student listening under "Lead with trust" caption

Photo credit: Jim Block

Spring 2024

UGBA 156 Berkeley Changemaker: Living with Agency

Instructor: Laura Paxton Hassner

Course #33270

2 units

What does it mean to “live with agency”? This course emphasizes the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking, effective communication, and productive collaboration. You will combine critical examination of evidence-based, multi-disciplinary research and theories with personal self-reflection. These are interwoven with implementable strategies, directly applicable to the business context, to help you develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, along with tools to make that happen. Frequent guest speakers, simulations, and discussions allow you to learn from others as you expand your network. L&S/UGBA C12/C196C is not a pre-requisite but is highly recommended since this course complements and builds on that class.

UGBA 191L Leadership Communication | A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Suzanne HoulihanIngrid M GavshonMark Rittenberg

Course #14509

3 units

Leadership Communication is a workshop in the fundamentals of public speaking in today's business environment. Through prepared and impromptu speeches aimed at moving others to action, peer coaching, and lectures, students will sharpen their authentic and persuasive communication skills, develop critical listening skills, improve abilities to give, receive, and apply feedback, and gain confidence as public speakers.

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: SportsTech, Entrepreneurship & the Future of Sports - A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Christyna Maria Serrano

Course #16482

4 units

The University of California, Berkeley, is home to one of the best engineering programs in the world and a world-class athletic program. Cal is also #2 in the world for Venture-Backed Startups (and gaining) among elite universities. This course brings together and harnesses this excellence within an environment where diverse student teams will create technology-driven innovations to shape the future of sports.

Together, multidisciplinary teams of Berkeley Changemakers, future engineers, student-athletes, and students from a variety of majors will engage in active learning through the practice of entrepreneurship in identifying and addressing an issue in the field of sports--such as health and wellness, performance optimization, or Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: Designing Startups to Transform Society - A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructors: Anita Balaraman and Jill Kathryn Finlayson

Course #16483

4 units

AI and automation have significantly changed the way business is done. We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and have the opportunity to harness converging technologies to create an inclusive human-centered future. This course asks students to envision solutions that leverage tech to intentionally promote equitable economic mobility and to transform systems to benefit society.

Students in the Designing Startups to Transform Society Challenge Lab will be immersed in an entrepreneurial journey to discover and develop disruptive business models for transforming society, addressing sustainability, and reimagining the future of work. From access to jobs, job skills, and upskilling, to innovative approaches to transforming education, climate, government, and businesses for the good of society, we need solutions that leverage technology to accelerate positive impact.

ENGIN 183/283: Deplastify the Planet - A Berkeley Changemaker® Course

Instructors: Mathieu Aguesse and Kelly Chou

Course #16487 and 30785

3 units

The world is drowning in plastic that we've created, most of which takes hundreds of years to decompose. To solve this problem, we must find ways to replace or at least reduce plastic in manufacturing, to reuse, recycle or re-purpose plastic currently in use, to rescue discarded plastic from oceans or landfills, and to dispose of plastic responsibly.

For this course, we find companies that want to achieve the same and will partner with SCET and Schoolab around this problem. Each company prepares a “deplastify challenge” based on their own business, and will be given student teams that work together to develop an entrepreneurial solution. Supported by representatives from their partner companies, students will work to understand the industry and challenge, then design prototypes and pitch their final solutions. Past company sponsors include Whole Foods, Faurecia Automotive, Microsoft, Allbirds, Nestle, Recology SF, Method, Bank of the West, Surfrider Foundation, Samsung and more!

This class requires an application to be considered for enrollment. Find the application on the course website.

IB 75 Berkeley Changemaker: BioDiscovery, Community and Culture

Instructors: Nichole Lewis

Course #22828

3 units

View the course flyer

In this Culture, Community, and Discovery course we will explore the more personal impacts of the discovery experience, during which we can each share our own stories relating to community, ethics, and the communication and direction of science. This course is a part of the entry experience in the Paths to Discovery program in Integrative Biology. We designed the course for entering UC Berkeley students, particularly first-years and transfers, to support your journey towards thriving at UC Berkeley. By helping you to identify your personalized path of discovery during this course, we want to help inspire and facilitate collaborations and student-led discovery experiences. We aim for students to feel empowered as leaders for positive social change in laboratory, community, and entrepreneurial discovery!

ENGIN 183/283 Leadership Exploration and Discovery (LEAD): A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Carrie Requist

Course #16489 and 30787

3 units

Leadership Exploration and Discovery (LEAD) is an introspective class where you will learn who you are as a leader and how you can become the leader you want to be. Instruction takes many forms including individual learning through assigned reading, videos, case studies and self-assessments; and in-class learning with lectures, immersive activities, and dynamic guest speakers. These allow students to explore what is important to them and who they are authentically as a leader. The goal of this class is to arm students with specific knowledge both about leadership and about themselves for them to be effective leaders now and into the future.

This course explores key leadership concepts relevant to firms of all sizes from startups to large corporates. Topics include leadership traits and characteristics, leading when not in charge, leading through change/uncertainty/chaos, creating and leading teams, effective leadership communication, leading remote/distributed workforce, how to promote innovation, and motivating employees. We cover leadership at all levels from individual contributor to founder/CEO, and students will examine techniques required for success in various entities. Students will get a sense of how leadership impacts an organization, and how they can lead, grow, and improve to ensure their organizations are successful.

This course requires an application. Previous leadership experience is not required.

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: Transforming Brain Health with Neurotech: A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Gail Gannon

Course #16481

4 units

The mental health crisis and the long-term impact on our brains has risen to epidemic proportions, globally. For example, in the US, one in twenty people are diagnosed with depression, with certain demographics disproportionately affected by depression, (e.g. women and Black and Latinx communities); many go undiagnosed and neglected.

This course will challenge you to build multi-disciplinary teams of co-founders and unleash your business, technical, marketing and entrepreneurial creativity to develop a new business from the ground-up that addresses one of the key mental health challenges in modern healthcare here or abroad. All majors are welcome (science, arts, and the humanities). The goal is to build a course full of passionate students willing to push their boundaries and learn to create amazing innovations and, possibly, create a start-up. Experienced business leaders, entrepreneurs, and technologists will mentor you in addition to the course introducing you to several methodologies, processes and tools that will guide you through company ideation and creation process; help you refine and test your business ideas, plans, and models; design and build first prototypes and collateral; and analyze markets and competitive landscapes.

This course requires an application.

Spring 2023 Courses

The Berkeley Changemaker® (Gateway Course)

Lower-Division Versions: L&S C12 or UGBA C12

Upper-Division Versions: L&S C196C or UGBA C196C

Spring 2023 Lead Faculty: Christyna Serrano and Chelsea Gregory
Class # (Lower-Div) 25827 or 20528
Class # (Upper-Div) 33360 or 33385
2 units
You could have gone almost anywhere and you chose UC Berkeley—we’re so glad you did! For generations, people like you have come to Berkeley to leave their marks on the world, questioning the status quo as they think, and act, beyond themselves. Our gateway course will activate your passions and help you develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, providing the tools you’ll need along the way. Whether you want to start your own company, launch an NGO, discover your passion, or learn how to effect positive, lasting change from wherever you are, our Berkeley Changemaker community has a place for you. In this asynchronous online course, you can engage with our lectures, assignments, and readings at the time of day which works best for you. Our class is taught by an all-star team of 26 UC Berkeley faculty members, representing 19 diverse departments and 8 schools across our campus. Our guest faculty includes Chancellor Carol Christ, former Federal Reserve Chair & Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, and 9 Distinguished Teaching Award winners. This is the only course on campus that introduces you to how more than 25 of our most distinguished faculty think about changemaking and leadership, and how to put all of that into action. This course includes an optional "live" one-hour weekly session featuring guest speakers and opportunities for you to build your Berkeley Changemaker network.

DESINV 198 Sample Mode: Intro to Sound Design, Beat-making, and Creative Music Technologies DeCal - A Berkeley Changemaker ® Course (DeCal)

Instructor: Nassirah Nelson

Class # 29528

2 units
This 12-week course will be offered in collaboration with Berkeley Changemaker®  and Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking, collaboration, and communication, students will design, create, and perform original music using electronic instruments, music production software, and midi-controllers. We will also examine the history of sampling, its role in hip-hop, and its legacy in music production. Students will connect with and learn from industry professionals, each week. Class sessions will be complemented by community beat-making showcases and performances opportunities that enable students to practice course content in front of an audience and receive feedback. Midway through the semester students will even have an opportunity to build their very own midi-controller, as well as design a custom faceplate in a makerspace environment.

UGBA 157 Berkeley Changemaker: Living with Agency

Instructor: Laura Paxton Hassner

Class # 20347

Course Flyer here

2 units

As Berkeley Changemakers, what does it mean to “live a life of agency”?

In this class, you will strengthen your sense of agency over your own life—defined as a new way of conceptualizing how to construct your purpose with the flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. You will sharpen your focus on changemaking ethically, acting with sensitivity and compassion. You will learn how to plan for and overcome setbacks, practice negotiating, manage imposter syndrome, and build courage in your changemaking. You will better understand how to communicate with empathy and be a storyteller who 'paints pictures' that inspire others. You will leave as a more effective collaborator whose equity-sensitive leadership brings out the best in your teammates.

This course emphasizes the three Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking, effective communication, and productive collaboration.  It combines critical examination of theories with self-reflection, interwoven with implementable strategies to help you to increase agency over your own life. You will develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, along with tools to make that happen.

Instructor: Christyna Serrano

Class # 29649

4 units

This course examines how learning environments can empower and disempower individuals and explores the role of education in the social construction of hierarchy, inequality, difference, identity, and power.  It embodies a democratic philosophy and practice, creating a learning community that encourages students to take responsibility for their own education and learn through theory, experience, dialogue, and a capstone course project titled: the Digital Changemaker Project.

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: SportsTech, Entrepreneurship & the Future of Sports - A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructor: Christyna Maria Serrano

Class # 30883

4 units

The University of California, Berkeley, is home to one of the best engineering programs in the world and a world-class athletic program. Cal is also #2 in the world for Venture-Backed Startups (and gaining) among elite universities. This course brings together and harnesses this excellence within an environment where diverse student teams will create technology-driven innovations to shape the future of sports.

Together, multidisciplinary teams of Berkeley Changemakers, future engineers, student-athletes, and students from a variety of majors will engage in active learning through the practice of entrepreneurship in identifying and addressing an issue in the field of sports--such as health and wellness, performance optimization, or Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI).

ENGIN 183C Challenge Lab: Designing Startups to Transform Society - A Berkeley Changemaker Course

Instructors: Anita Balaraman and Jill Kathryn Finlayson

Class # 30885

4 units

AI and automation have significantly changed the way business is done. We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and have the opportunity to harness converging technologies to create an inclusive human-centered future. This course asks students to envision solutions that leverage tech to intentionally promote equitable economic mobility and to transform systems to benefit society.

Students in the Designing Startups to Transform Society Challenge Lab will be immersed in an entrepreneurial journey to discover and develop disruptive business models for transforming society, addressing sustainability, and reimagining the future of work. From access to jobs, job skills, and upskilling, to innovative approaches to transforming education, climate, government, and businesses for the good of society, we need solutions that leverage technology to accelerate positive impact.

This course requires an application.

ENGIN 183/283: Deplastify the Planet - A Berkeley Changemaker® Course

Instructors: Mathieu Aguesse and Kelly Chou

Class #30888 and #30892

3 units

The world is drowning in plastic that we've created, most of which takes hundreds of years to decompose. To solve this problem, we must find ways to replace or at least reduce plastic in manufacturing, to reuse, recycle or re-purpose plastic currently in use, to rescue discarded plastic from oceans or landfills, and to dispose of plastic responsibly.

For this course, we find companies that want to achieve the same and will partner with SCET and Schoolab around this problem. Each company prepares a “deplastify challenge” based on their own business, and will be given student teams that work together to develop an entrepreneurial solution. Supported by representatives from their partner companies, students will work to understand the industry and challenge, then design prototypes and pitch their final solutions. Past company sponsors include Whole Foods, Faurecia Automotive, Microsoft, Allbirds, Nestle, Recology SF, Method, Bank of the West, Surfrider Foundation, Samsung and more!

This class requires an application to be considered for enrollment.

Application: https://forms.gle/oKfZTWDJJ4LkFMSp7

More Info: https://scet.berkeley.edu/students/courses/special-topics/deplastify-the...

PUBPOL C164A Berkeley Changemaker: Labor Research for Action and Policy (L-RAP)

Instructor: Anibel F Ferus-Comelo

Class # 33633

4 units

This course is an introduction to social science research methods that center principles of equity and justice connecting the Berkeley Changemaker L&S 12 to the discipline of public policy in the field of work and employment relations. It is based on the premise that the COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity to reshape the economy for a fair, inclusive, and democratic society with the participation of people typically excluded from policy development. Currently, young workers are at the helm of transforming the labor market by leading union organizing at workplaces like the university, Starbucks, REI, and Amazon. This course examines the position, attitudes, and interests of young workers through the lens of critical race theory, feminist and queer theory, and disability justice. Students will learn to apply data science and qualitative research methods in an experiential learning semester-long project. Students will produce knowledge that addresses dominant narratives about young workers.

ENGIN 183A or 283A: A. Richard Newton Lecture Series

Class # 30877 or 30878

Instructor: Victoria Howell

1 unit

This lecture series serves as an entry point for undergraduate and graduate curriculum sequences in entrepreneurship and innovation.  The series, established in 2005, is named in honor of A. Richard Newton, a visionary technology industry leader and late dean of the University of California Berkeley College of Engineering.   The course features a selection of high-level industry speakers who share their insights on industry developments, leadership, and innovation based on their careers. 

ENGIN 183C Redefining Success: The Unspoken Rules of Building an Entrepreneurial Career

Class # 30882

Instructors: Shuo Chen and Gorick Ng

4 units

What do Barack Obama, John Legend, and Tory Burch have in common? First, they found a “main hustle,” whether as an attorney (Obama), management consultant (Legend), or marketer (Burch). Second, they pursued a “side hustle” on nights and weekends, whether as a community organizer (Obama), backup singer (Legend), or fashion designer (Burch). Third, they converted their side hustle into their main hustle, effectively catapulting themselves to successful and fulfilling careers. In doing so, they also did what few dare to do: (re)define what it means to be successful.

In this era of uncertainty - where the jobs of the future have yet to be created and the jobs of the past have become paths to nowhere - the unspoken career building strategies of Obama, Legend, and Burch aren't simply reserved for politicians, musicians, and designers: they're for everybody - especially if you are asking yourself the question, "What should I be when I grow up?"

In this course, award-winning Silicon Valley venture investor Shuo Chen and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author Gorick Ng will show you how to build your own side hustle, step by step. And through this side hustle, you will learn about the latest labor market and technology trends, identify your unique assets and strengths, build your network, and, in the end, come to greater clarity around what "success" means to you.

Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking, effective communication, and productive collaboration, this course is designed to help students think critically about their futures, communicate their personal narratives, and productively collaborate in a team setting to develop their side hustles.

This class requires an application to be considered for enrollment.

Application: https://forms.gle/1nfTAhsyr1KUHBwr8

Redefining Success Course Photo
I would absolutely recommend this class to another student. There were countless lessons and ideas that were introduced in this course that are not normally taught in classes. I believe that the material has a long-lasting impact that can be used far outside of this course and the school.
Berkeley Changemaker Student, Spring 2023

Previously Offered Courses

​HUM 12: ​(link is external)Berkeley Changemaker: Humanists at Work(link is external) 

Instructor: David Dodick

Class # 30120(link is external)

2 or 4 units

In this course, you will learn the value and application of the arts and humanities to a wide variety of careers. In addition to exploring transferrable skills, career readiness, and public projects, the course features weekly visits by high-profile Berkeley Arts and Humanities alumni. They are leaders and changemakers in their fields, who will reflect on the value of a humanities education in forging their success. HUM 12 is a connector course to L&S 12 “The Berkeley Changemaker,” and can be taken for 2 credits or for 4 credits in conjunction with an internship or public service project.  

Students can take this course for 2 units or 4 units. The 4 unit option requires students to complete an internship. Please contact the instructor before enrolling in the 4 unit option.

Political Science 198: Berkeley Changemaker: Topics In International Ethics(link is external)(link is external)

Class #23807

1 unit
Instructor: Amy Gurowitz

As Berkeley Changemakers, how do we apply ethics to critical policy questions? Designed for students who have had, or are currently taking, PS 124C Ethics and Justice in International Affairs, this 1 unit course allows a small group of students to select and engage deeply with a critical policy question that emerges from the course. Working in groups to develop a specific question, you'll craft solutions grounded in the ethical theories of the course while gaining a new perspective on how to lead change by engaging with the practical implications of implementation. This course also features practitioners in areas such as humanitarian intervention, international criminal justice, etc. who provide their perspectives on both the ethics and courses of action required for implementing change.

The Berkeley Changemakers' inclusive curriculum activates your passions and helps you to develop a sharper sense of who you want to be, while providing you the tools to take those next steps. Our curriculum focuses on critical thinking, communication, and collaboration complemented by an emphasis on creativity, community, and belonging. 

In conjunction with PS124C, the two courses meet the following requirements: 

  • Meets International Studies, L&S Breadth
  • Meets Philosophy & Values, L&S Breadth
  • Meets Social & Behavioral Sciences, L&S Breadth
  • Meets the Human Rights Course Thread

COLWRIT R4B 016: Berkeley Changemaker: Writing the Change We Seek(link is external)(link is external)

Class #25292

4 units
Instructor: Ryan Sloan

U.C. Berkeley has long been a place for innovative ideas and creative, out-of-the-box discovery. What role might you play on campus, in your communities and beyond as a passionate writer and thinker?

In this special R4B course, in collaboration with The Berkeley Changemaker® series, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and get into the thick of some of the most interesting and complex issues of our time. We’ll explore the extraordinary opportunities and ethical quandaries of CRISPR and bioengineering. We’ll look at big tech and social entrepreneurship in the Bay Area, balancing connectivity and access against privacy and the flood of misinformation online. We’ll learn about social justice in a time of polarization; environmental threats and opportunities for impact; public health and the rebuilding of trust in science; internet culture and personal identity; street art and social change; distance learning and the rethinking of what a liberal arts education can be.

Most importantly, this course is increasingly choose-your-own-adventure: what are the issues and ideas that most motivate you? We’ll engage with an array of inspiring and provocative talks by thought leaders across U.C. Berkeley. We’ll play with new tools and practice some vital skills: gaining confidence as a writer; learning to navigate digital resources; mapping ideas with visual thinking; learning to flexibly listen while interviewing others; persuading and engaging peers with public speaking; designing dynamic slides and an interactive writing website of your own. We’ll return to this core question: what does lasting change look like — and how might your own writing serve as a means to enact it?

This Reading, Research, and Composition Course satisfies Part B of the College of Letters & Science's Reading and Composition Requirement(link is external).

UGBA 96(link is external) Berkeley Changemaker: Big Ideas(PDF file)(link is external)

Class #32586

Instructor: Jorge Calderon
1 unit
We are a new exciting entrepreneurship course being launched as part of the Berkeley Changemaker series in collaboration with the Blum Center’s Big Ideas(link is external) program and the Center for Social Sector Leadership(link is external) (CSSL) at the Haas School of Business. This high-octane, fun, startup leadership course is well suited for undergraduate students who are interested in meeting other innovators and getting hands-on experience developing a new “impact” startup concept. A proven roadmap and methodology are used to help guide you through ideation, team formation, business model design and startup pitching. Startup teams are organically formed during the first few weeks. All “social and environmental” impact themes are welcome. Through activity reinforced lectures, classroom dialogue, guest speakers, readings and media content, students will learn to think strategically and act opportunistically with social and financial perspective. Class structure includes dedicated “lab” time for students to develop their ideas with teammates and exchange ideas with classmates. The final project for this course is a team presentation in the form of a validated concept “pitch” to a panel of impact venture experts and the finalized set of course assignments (including a draft application for the Big Ideas competition).

UGBA ​​​Berkeley Changemaker: Big Ideas “Special Topic” Innovations OnRamp

​​Instructor: Joe Dougherty

Class # 20308(link is external)

1 unit​

Click here for a course flyer(PDF file)(link is external).

The topic for this Spring’s course is Financial Inclusion – the challenge of ensuring that all people have access to affordable, helpful financial services such as savings, payments, insurance and credit in both the developing world and in more developed markets like the US.
The course will begin by defining the challenge/opportunity of financial inclusion and exploring how it differs across countries in terms of who has access to affordable, helpful financial services and who, typically, does not. It will explore some of the controversies and challenges involved with expanding financial inclusion: For example, what’s the difference between access and usage? What are the downsides or risks associated with financial inclusion and how does consumer protection fit in? How do policy and regulation help or hinder financial inclusion?
We will then explore leading-edge approaches to financial inclusion being pioneered in Africa, Latin America and other regions, and hear directly from leaders in the field (e.g. Kiva, FINCA).
Finally, the course will feature a practical, team-based project to allow students to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.

This class meets for 8 weeks starting on January 24, 2022 and ending on March 28, 2022. For questions, please contact the instructor.

IND ENG185 OpportunityTech and the Future of Work Lab(link is external)
Challenge Lab: A Berkeley Changemaker® Course(link is external)

Course # 21955

Instructors: Anita Balaraman and Jill Finlayson

4 units

AI and automation have significantly changed the way business is done. What will work look like in two years, or in five years, and how can employees and employers be ready?

#OpportunityTech looks beyond jobtech to innovate solutions that promote equitable access, participation, persistence, and advancement in the future of work. We are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and have the opportunity to harness converging technologies to create an inclusive human-centered future. This course asks students to envision solutions that leverage tech to intentionally promote equitable economic mobility, and to ensure we don’t unintentionally create an underclass of people who are no longer employable because of bias in the systems or their skills being rendered obsolete. 

Students in the OpportunityTech and Future of Work Challenge Lab will be immersed in an entrepreneurial journey to discover and develop disruptive business models for the future of work, workplace and workforce. From job discovery and hiring, to supporting retention and employee wellness, to future proofing skills and upskilling, we need solutions that improve work and meet the growing demand for talent. For example, sectors like cybersecurity and climate change are expected to grow, and new job types such as algorithm bias auditor, and data detective are anticipated to be the new jobs of the future(link is external). Specifically, students will develop an understanding of the value and velocity of AI and disruptive technologies in shaping the nature of employment; understand the frameworks of ‘specialized’ vs ‘generalized’ intelligence; and explore innovation with entrepreneurs and other expert guest speakers. Students will explore future work challenges and invent startup solutions that leverage tech (data, ML, AI); prototype solutions; and explore customer ‘value’ models; all while gaining equal fluency in the cultural values and ethical principles that should ground and govern how these tools are designed and used.

UGBA 96 Lower Division Special Topics in Business Administration Berkeley Changemaker + Big Ideas

Instructors: Mathieu Aguesse and Jan Veicht

Class #16635

1 unit

[Description from last Fall, contact instructor for updated description]

This exciting entrepreneurship course is part of the Berkeley Changemaker series in collaboration with the Blum Center’s Big Ideas program and the Center for Social Sector Leadership (CSSL) at the Haas School of Business. This high-octane, fun, startup leadership course is well suited for undergraduate students who are interested in meeting other innovators and getting hands-on experience developing a new “impact” startup concept.
A proven roadmap and methodology are used to help guide you through ideation, team formation, business model design and startup pitching. Startup teams are organically formed during the first few weeks. All “social and environmental” impact themes are welcome.
Through activity reinforced lectures, classroom dialogue, guest speakers, readings and media content, students will learn to think strategically and act opportunistically with social and financial perspective. Class structure includes dedicated “lab” time for students to develop their ideas with teammates and exchange ideas with classmates. The final project for this course is a team presentation in the form of a validated concept “pitch” to a panel of impact venture experts and the finalized set of course assignments (including a draft application for the Big Ideas competition).

Spring 2023

CHEM 171H Berkeley Changemaker: The Green Materials Innovation Challenge

Class # 33487

Instructor: Megan Arnett and Kim Hazard

3 units

At the same time as chemistry has dramatically improved our lives, it has also exposed people to hundreds of harmful synthetic chemicals and pollutants via air, water, food, consumer products, and workplaces. Green chemistry aims to develop chemicals and materials that are inherently safer for human health and the environment. 

This course is a project-based class that partners students with companies, non-profits, community groups, and government agencies that are interested in adopting safer, greener chemistry for their products and processes. The course is designed to give students a foundation in the principles of green chemistry by providing a real-world green chemistry challenge that students will work to solve throughout the semester. Students will have the opportunity to meet and work with multiple on and off campus partners, including industry, non-profit, and government collaborators, via guest lectures and a final student presentation given to a broad audience of BCGC partners.

UGBA 192T Berkeley Changemaker: Edible Education

Instructors: Alice Waters and Will Rosenzweig

Class # 19300

2 units

Edible Education offers a unique systems view of food innovation and entrepreneurship. It is a weekly lecture series that brings renowned food systems changemakers to campus to share their visions,research, and experiences about food and its critical role in our culture, wellbeing and survival. It is a cross disciplinary course that invites all undergraduate and graduate students to explore the future of food, its diverse systems, and the movements that are shaping the way we eat. Past guests make up a “who’s who” of food movements including Bryant Terry, Nikiko Masumoto, José Andrés, Samin Nosrat, Michael Pollan, Dan Barber, Marion Nestle, Al Gore, and Questlove.

This semester, in EE's 11th year, we reimagine eating in and eating out. The food system - a $12 trillion business - was amongst the most impacted areas during the pandemic. The ways we produce, prepare, and consume food have undergone dramatic changes. As we redefine what is “normal”, changes to the food system that directly address climate change and social justice are within our personal and collective reach and power. Edible Education and its guests will help you understand your role in the food system, provide you an orientation to systems thinking, and equip you with useful tools and practices to become a food systems changemaker.

INDENG 171 Berkeley Changemaker: Ethical and Effective Entrepreneurship in High Tech

Instructor: Lee Fleming

Course # 29355

4 units

This course explores key management and leadership concepts relevant to the high-technology world. Topics include the firm's key operations, strategic issues, and managerial leadership including personal leadership and talent management. This course prepares technical and business minded students for careers focused on professional and management track careers in high technology. Students undertake intensive study of actual business situations through rigorous case-study analysis.

​LS 22: Sense and Sensibility and Science

Instructors: Saul Perlmutter, John Joseph Campbell, Amy E. Lerman

Class # 24701

4 units

Every day we make decisions that can and should be informed by science. We make decisions as individuals, as voters, and as members of our various communities. The problem is, we don’t do it so well—a fact sadly apparent in political debates. This course aims to equip students with basic tools to be better thinkers. We will explore key aspects of scientific thinking that everyone should know, especially the many ways that we humans tend to fool ourselves, and how to avoid them—including how to differentiate signal from noise, evaluate causal claims, and avoid reasoning biases. We’ll then look at the best models for using science to guide decisions, combining both evidence and values, with the ultimate goal of bettering the world.

COLWRIT 11 Berkeley Changemaker: Public Speaking

Instructors: Carmen Butcher and John Levine

Class # 30706

1 or 2 units

Emphasizing the Berkeley Changemaker pillars of critical thinking and communication, this one-unit practicum is designed to help students refine their academic speaking skills. Students will learn the techniques of effective public speaking, practice their skills, and develop confidence in oral communication. Online, asynchronous class sessions will be complemented by “live” opportunities that enable students to practice course content in front of an instructor and audience and receive feedback.
I feel that I improved my critical thinking skills the most, which allowed me to synthesize content and place it in conversation with my surroundings.
Berkeley Changemaker Student

Staff Offerings

Berkeley Changemaker: The Conversation

December 8, 2021 | 1:00-2:00 p.m. | Zoom

Our fourth Berkeley Changemaker staff workshop will focus on excerpts from the book, The Conversation – How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, by Dr. Robert Livingston. We will be joined by Dr. Livingston.

Berkeley Changemaker "The Sum of Us: Building a Culture of Belonging"

June 3, 2021 | 11:30-12:45 p.m. | NOW Conference 

Berkeley Changemakers lead inclusively, understanding that by working together we build a better society. Participants will acquire tools and apply practices that create inclusive spaces by providing opportunities to connect through narrative and lived experience and engage people as they are. We will dive into the concept of belonging, why it matters, and how to build a culture of belonging in the workplace. Belonging is that sense you get that you are a valued member of a community. Feeling valued in a community puts a sense of purpose and meaning to our lives.

In this third offering in the Berkeley Changemaker staff series, we will offer a hybrid workshop: providing information about the Berkeley Changemaker and sharing tools around belonging that will empower our colleagues and ourselves to lead from where we are.

Over 100 staff members from across the UC campuses attended our breakout session.

Managing Turbulence: A Berkeley Changemaker® Workshop

February 24, 2021 | 1-2:30 p.m. |  Zoom

How might you lead by setting culture? Whether you are a team member or leader, this dynamic workshop will introduce you to the levers you can use to shape culture at UC Berkeley. Together, we'll spend the first hour exploring strategy and tactics that set and shape culture. The optional additional half hour will enable you to explore these concepts in greater detail in small breakout sessions while you meet and engage with your colleagues across campus. 

200 UC Berkeley staff members enrolled in this workshop.

You are a Berkeley Changemaker®!

October 28, 2020 | 1-2 p.m. |  Zoom

Regardless of role or title, we can all lead from where we are. When we recognize opportunities for impact and agency, we have greater power to be intentional, to affect our culture and the world around us. This is the concept of the Berkeley Changemaker. Values like impact beyond oneself and questioning the status quo have drawn people to Berkeley for generations — this narrative doubles down on those values and is part of a suite of new courses being taught to UC Berkeley students. Our faculty are expanding these offerings through a customized workshop for staff. In this 60-minute workshop you will discover what it means to be a Berkeley Changemaker, learn how to build the changemaking skill of resilience, and leave inspired by stories from UC Berkeley faculty and staff.

Over 120 staff members from across the UC Berkeley campus registered for this workshop.

Thank you for visiting our Berkeley Changemaker courses page.

We'd love to hear what you think and what future courses you might like to see: changemaker@berkeley.edu.

BERKELEY CHANGEMAKER is a registered trademark of The Regents of the University of California through its Berkeley campus.  It is not affiliated with any third parties using “changemaker” or similar terms.