What is Kinetic?

Kinetic is a social entrepreneurship think tank. Our mission is to empower students to design and implement sustainable solutions to national problems in their local communities. Kinetic was founded at Williams five years ago and has now spread to over fifteen schools including Columbia University, Amherst College, and the University of Pennsylvania. For more information on Kinetic Global, click here.

How does Kinetic work?

Each Kinetic team goes through a research, design, and implementation phase. In the first phase, teams research a topic with an eye for any gaps in existing programs and policy. Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to develop creative new ways to tackle prominent issues. Throughout the research process, students reach out to professors and other experts to gain further insight into the intricacies of their chosen problem.

Once teams understand their issue and have decided what angle they want to take, they enter the design phase. In this phase, they partner with an organization and begin to develop a program to address their issue.

The implementation phase is a culmination of research and design. Students implement their designed program with the help of a partner organization. They devise metrics with which to measure the success of their solution over a chosen period of time, in order to effectively evaluate whether their idea has achieved the desired change. The ultimate goal is sustainability, so the implemented program must be viable after students graduate.

What have past teams done?

One Kinetic program is Suspended Groceries, which allows shoppers to “suspend” one or more of the purchases they make at Wild Oats Market for another shopper who may be in need of a little help. Through Suspended Groceries, the co-op makes fresh foods more accessible to people who are food insecure. For more information on the program, click here.

Another past program is the Roots Rising initiative, which is a paid internship program that provides professional development experience in the field of sustainable agriculture to socioeconomically disadvantaged youth in Pittsfield. The program was a joint venture between Kinetic and Alchemy Initiatives, and provides roughly 10 students per year with a paid internship, a comprehensive educational experience on issues related to sustainable agriculture, and a support network consisting of their peers, mentors, and program leaders.

Finally, Kinetic has also tackled juvenile justice with its Kinetic in the Courts program. The program is an “alternative sentencing partnership which pairs Williams College students with juveniles on probation” in the form of a summer program. For more information about Kinetic in the Courts, click here.

On what issues is Kinetic currently working?

Right now Kinetic has over fifty members in seven active teams working on:

  • Consent
  • Foster Care
  • Mental Health
  • Drug Epidemic
  • Education (focusing on career development)
  • Education (focusing on sports recruiting)
  • Homelessness/Transportation

How can I apply?

Kinetic accepts applications in the beginning of the fall and the spring semester. If you are interested in applying, feel free to email either Lizzy Hibbard ([email protected]) or Jack Brady ([email protected]).