Executive Education

“Even the most innovative social actors operate within silos and make plans for the short-term. The Southern California Symposium, an executive education program in social innovation, breaks through those limitations. We bring together unlikely combinations of committed individuals to contemplate long-term solutions to long-term challenges.” – Roberto Suro, Director of the Southern California Symposium

 About the Southern California Symposium

The Southern California Symposium, the Price Center for Social Innovation’s executive education program, is an exceptional opportunity for learning, collaboration and professional growth over a short time frame. A concentrated and intense experience that will not wreak havoc on your calendar, the Symposium starts the third week of March and is finished by the first week of May. The time in between will prove unforgettable.

READ: “What to Expect”


  • Weekend 1 | March 22-23
  • Weekend 2 | March 29-30
  • Weekend 3 | April 12-13
  • Weekend 4 | April 26-27
  • Final Presentations & Dinner | May 3

Each weekend features learning encounters in several formats, presenting different kinds of material. Dinner speakers, seminars, panel discussions, skill-building exercises and small group collaborations facilitated by faculty mentors are all be part of the mix. In addition, participants work in teams on a capstone project that evaluates one of several long-term challenges facing Southern California and offers affirmative, actionable solutions.

The application period for our 2019 Cohort is now closed, but we encourage you to explore our program in more detail below. If you are interested to learn more about applying for 2020, please email Price Center Managing Director, Caroline Bhalla at cbhalla@usc.edu.

2018 Session Schedule & Content

Learn more about our 2018 sessions and watch highlights.

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2018 Faculty

The So Cal Symposium faculty are nationally recognized leaders or advocates in their respective fields.

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2018 Cohort

The 2018 Symposium cohort was composed of 26 visionary leaders from a range of industries from public, private, and nonprofit organizations.

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2018 Final Projects

Working collaboratively, in five small teams, the Symposium’s 2018 Cohort identified deeply intractable social challenges facing the region — including housing, education, foster youth, and economic development — and applied a social innovation framework to develop long-term, sustainable, and novel solutions to each.

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The director of the Symposium is Prof. Roberto Suro who holds a joint appointment at the Price School and the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Immediately before joining the USC faculty in 2007, Suro served for seven years as the founding director of the Pew Hispanic Center. Prior to that he had spent nearly 30 years as a journalist with major publications, including The New York Times and The Washington Post.

The director of studies is David Morse, who until recently was Chief Communications Officer at the Atlantic Philanthropies. Now a senior visiting fellow at USC, Morse has been at the center of innovation in social policies for four decades, serving in leadership positions at major foundations, universities and on Capitol Hill.