Local Innovation Lab

The Local Innovation Lab (LIL) is an internship program designed to enable local commercial and social organizations to create new jobs.Emerging student leaders are given opportunities to develop professional skills while serving their communities.


LIL is a partnership between the Humane Leadership Institute and Southern Oregon University that is managed by Local Innovation Works.

LIL started in 2020 as a response to the Covid-19 disruption to local employers and their employees. The goal was to meet local needs in ways that could evolve into new local jobs.

What makes the LIL unique is an explicit focus on empowering the next generation of leaders as they provide on-the-ground research, analysis, and solutions design work to local organizations.

LIL intern stipends are paid by the organizations they serve when possible, but pro bono intern work and support costs require generous investments by local donors.

Our interns work with local leaders to explore affordable housing development opportunities.


Previous Cohorts:

Autumn 2020:



How can I support LIL? 

  • Interns - If you are a student interested in joining the internship program, please fill out our application. Preference will be given to students who enroll in Humane Leadership - SSCI 399 - CRN: 4582, but that is not required. If you need credit for the internship course or the internship hours, reach out to professor Bret Anderson in the Economics Department at andersob6@sou.edu.
  • Organizations looking for help - apply to offer an internship here
  • Donors - help support the program via donations directly or through the SOU Foundation. Request information on current opportunities and uses of funds by contacting us.  Or donate here
  • Investors - consider donating to support the early phases of LIL as we develop solutions and prototypes for scaling.  The Community Investment Fund will make micro grants and small loans to solutions the CIF board of advisors deems promising.
  • Partner organizations - we are seeking to make LIL a prototype for successful small university/community collaboration going forward.  If you share our vision of local innovation creating meaningful solutions and jobs that meet local challenges, please contact us to begin a dialogue.


Current Partners




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