China Social Impact Accelerator 2017

Design and build Impact APPs that connect rural farmers to urban market places. 
29 July - 26 August 2017
Shanghai & Hunan

Mandala Group is proud to host a 4-week intensive Social Impact Accelerator program delivered via a project based framework in Shanghai and Hunan China.

You can expect to:

  • Learn about social impact developments in China and how mobile technology plays a role
  • Develop a deep understanding of the social problems in Western China
  • Practice human centered design thinking to develop and test Impact APPs that address these problems
  • Create new solutions for an existing Chinese social enterprise and have your solutions implemented
  • Collaborate with social entrepreneurs both Chinese and International to bring your solution to life
  • Get feedback from an expert panel of judges who already operate social enterprises in China
  • Build an awesome network and have fun

This follows on the heels of our Mumbai Summer Program 2016 where we held our inaugural 3-month Summer program. Mandala Group members from across the globe rotated to India’s capital city, to share their expertise and insights on using mobile technology to fight poverty. This year, we are excited to develop Impact APPs to solve pressing social problems in Shanghai and Hunan!

Program Overview

The program takes place in Shanghai, China—A fast paced and vibrant city, teeming with Chinese sophistication and a buzz seldom rivaled anywhere else in the world.

Operating out of a co-working space, Mandala Group will run a series of workshops that will facilitate idea development around a particular social issue currently prevalent in China. From left behind children, to urban migration and food safety. The scope is broad.

Fellows will receive a case study that is centered around a particular Chinese social problem. We will use this case study to build a solution that is socially impactful and financially profitable

The program is limited to a total of 9 fellows. As a fellow of the program, you will be put into small teams. Teams will undertake the workshop framework together and apply workshop takeaways to research expeditions into rural China.

As a cohort, we will embark on two trips into rural China. The first is to help deepen understanding of the problem. The objective is to provide a level of understanding that can only be gained from complete immersion in the problem, talking to the people living it and studying the landscape on which it occurs.

Following this initial research trip, we will return to Shanghai with our insights at the ready and move into the idea development stage of the program. This is when the we really start to push. 

During the second week of the program we will begin to shape and develop our solutions, molding them into a working prototype that we can physically pilot test toward the end of the program. This is called our Minimum Viable Product development stage (MVP development). 

Following MVP development, we will return to rural China to pilot test. During this stage we're looking to gather feedback that will enable us to reiterate our MVP and ensure we’re adhering to human centered design principles.

The final week focuses on pitching. Fellows will have the opportunity to pitch their program work to a panel of judges and program supporters. More on this later!

Program Flow

Below is a high level view of what each week of the program will include. The theme of the week is stated on the left, and the components that make up that theme to the right.

Mandala Group Social Impact Accelerator Week By Week


To best prepare fellows we will provide an on-boarding that aims to fully equip fellows with program and China specific knowledge, enabling you to hit the ground running when you arrive in Shanghai. The on-boarding will include:

  1. Mandala Group’s mission, vision and community.
  2. Workshop overviews, aims and KPI’s
  3. Social problem case study

In addition, we'll brief you on the Chinese landscape, and give you a heightened understanding of the pilot program. The on-boarding will be done via Skype or a webinar platform.

You'll need to pay a registration fee of $150 to book your spot. Ideally, you should budget $750 for on the ground transport from Shanghai to Hunan, accommodation in Hunan, coworking space at Impact Hub and at least $25/ day for meals. Flight and Accommodation for Shanghai is not included in this budget. Don't worry, we'll walk you through what to expect when you arrive during our introduction call. 

Maybe committing 4-weeks on-the-ground is not possible for you right now, and maybe you're interested in getting involved in our online projects. If you are then check out the info below on joining our online community. 

Join our Online Community

 Our online platform enables Change Makers to self-select projects to complete in small teams that fit their interests and schedules. 

Typical projects range from producing a company video and running a crowd funding campaign, to developing an Impact App's distribution network and establishing their Social Media channels.

To become a Mandala Member we have two requirements—a good internet connection and a passion for social change. If this sounds like you, apply below, it may be the start of a whole new direction!