New Economic Thinking & Social Entrepreneurship

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
FEB53115/FEB53115M
Duration
10 weeks
Belongs to study programme
Economie en Bedrijfseconomie

Content 

The aim of this course is to explore new economic futures by critically engaging with innovative entrepreneurs and following academic debates of socio- economic transitions. Even though more and more companies acknowledge their responsibility to contribute to global issues like climate change, poverty and resource scarcity, they often struggle to develop alternative business models and value propositions that help to guide and accelerate transitions to a sustainable economy and society. Hence, in this minor, we focus on understanding transitions and the role traditional and transformative businesses can play in these long term change processes of economies, sectors and societies.

As part of the Minor we will address these points:

  • We will provide students with an overview of research on sustainability transition theory, social entrepreneurship, new business models and new value propositions from an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary perspective, combining insights from economics, management and transition studies.
  • We will support students to become familiar with alternative business models, and ways how businesses change and innovate in response to societal transitions.
  • We will support students to better understand how societal change occurs and to map sustainability transition dynamics.
  • Business challenges and opportunities of diffusing such innovative business models will be discussed from an academic and practitioners’ perspective including financing, management and governance lenses.
  • Attention will be paid to the value proposition of impact thinking and impact measurement.
  • Students will work in groups on an empirical study in which they will apply their new academic knowledge and insights on a practical case (i.e. carrying out a consultancy project to develop a business advice in collaboration with a social enterprise). At the end of the course, each group of students will pitch their ideas and suggestions to entrepreneurs and representatives from business during a “Dragon’s Den” event.

Examples are new business models based on circular/sharing economy, social entrepreneurship or impact investment.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the complex nature of social, economic and environmental challenges of our society and explore the role of societal transitions;
  • Characterize theoretical concepts, frameworks and methods on sustainability transitions, new economic thinking and business models;
  • Explain the (potential) role of business as a transformative force using theories of new economic models, value propositions and societal transitions;
  • Assess debates around new economic thinking using transition and impact thinking;
  • Identify the ways a social entrepreneur can contribute to a new economy based on theories about new business models, value propositions and societal transitions.

Special aspects

 

If you want to participate in this minor, we expect you to be open minded, curious and – at times – provocative and interested in solving the grand challenges society is facing. You will engage in critical debates and be able to reflect critically upon offered theories. Multidisciplinary perspectives, applied research and problem oriented learning approaches have your interest. As this minor is delivered in English, you need to have a sufficient command of the English language in speech and writing to actively participate in class. We strongly encourage students from diverse disciplines to apply.

Several research centers contribute to this minor as well as the economic students association:
Impact Centre Erasmus
DRIFT
EFR

Overview modules

1. Perspectives on new economic thinking and socio-economic transitions
2. From business innovation to societal transformation
3. Novel forms of value creation
4. Optional development of an individual research paper

Module 1: Perspective on new economies, transitions and governance challenges

  • Code:
  • EC: 4
  • Content:
    In this module, the students will familiarize themselves with recent theories and insights from economics, impact and transitions research. Lectures will offer basic concepts and ideas to introduce the debate around the economic system, societal challenges and sustainability transitions.
    This module will put emphasis on the academic debate and students will need to engage in critical reviews of existing literature as well as to collectively reflect, with lecturers, upon recent events such as Climate Change, the Paris Climate agreement, the SDGs, international political disruptions, etc. In this Module students will be introduced to the social entrepreneurs and innovative start-ups they will cooperate with. Students will be asked to watch a series of videos in which each social entrepreneur will pitch their social enterprise and the question to be addressed with the students. Students will then have some days to choose their preferred social enterprises to work with and we will form the groups.  
  • Teaching method: Lectures/Seminars, interactive group sessions and exercises (e.g. application of tools), individual and group assignments, debates, group mentoring
  • Teaching materials: Reader: the scholarly articles + videos can be downloaded through the university library, internet or will be handed out in class.
  • Contact hours: 5 – 8 hours per week.
  • Self study: 20 – 26 hours per week.

Module 2: New business models and value propositions

  • Code:
  • EC: 4
  • Content:
    This module will deepen students’ understanding of sustainability transitions and critically reflect on the roles of (business) actors in sustainability transitions. Students will learn about how the perspective on the role of business is changing throughout time and how businesses are responding to these outside pressures. One response is the development of new business models and value propositions, which will be discussed and illustrated. Another response is through the design of new products, services, platforms and other innovations, which could contribute to a more sustainable future but at the same time have negative consequences on society. Anticipating and managing the impact of innovations will be a topic of discussion. Also, the challenges and tensions that result from operating a new business model in which various values (social, environmental and economic) are combined will be addressed.
    During module 2 and 3 groups of students will collaborate with a social enterprise and they will together address a question related to their business model, role in transitions or social impact. At the end of Module 3 we will organize a Dragon’s Den Event, a half-day event where the groups of students will pitch their ideas and suggestions to the entrepreneurs and other representatives from business and policy.
  • Teaching methods: Lectures/Seminars, interactive group sessions and exercises (e.g. application of tools), individual and group assignments, debates, group mentoring
  • Teaching materials: Reader: the scholarly articles + videos can be downloaded through the university library, internet or will be handed out in class.
  • Contact hours: 5 – 8hours per week.
  • Self study: 20 – 26 hours per week.

Module 3: Development of a theoretical or empirical business proposition

  • Code:
  • EC: 4
  • Content: Many of the new business models strive to reduce or even solve various social issues, yet surprisingly little is known about the actual success of such new business models in creating social impact and we have only a fragmented understanding of the processes through which entrepreneurs may help produce social change and at the same time create economic wealth. In this module students will be introduced to impact thinking and impact measurement. In addition, they will learn several new economic approaches, such as the circular economy, the solidarity economy and community currencies.
  • Teaching method: Lectures/Seminars, interactive group sessions and exercises (e.g. application of tools), individual and group assignments, debates, group mentoring
  • Teaching materials: Reader: the scholarly articles + videos can be downloaded through the university library, internet or will be handed out in class.
  • Contact hours: 5 – 8 hours per week.
  • Self study: 20 – 26 hours per week.

Module 4: Optional individual research paper

  • Code:
  • EC: 3
  • Content: 
    In this final module, students have the opportunity to work on an individual research paper. Students will identify an individual challenge in the new economy and apply their new academic knowledge and insights by writing a research paper (maximum 15 pages).
    *Module 4 is not required for students that opt for a 12 ECTS minor.
  • Teaching method: Individual mentoring on research paper preparation
  • Teaching materials: guidelines for assignment
  • Contact hours: 2 – 4 hours per week.
  • Self study: 20 – 28 hours per week.

Overview content per week

MINOR: New Economic Thinking and Social Entrepreneurship

Module 1: Perspectives on new economic and socio-economic transitions

Week 1

From ‘old’ to new economic thinking

Week 2

Sustainability and Transition Thinking Including first meeting with the enterprise that students will work with

 Module 2: From business innovation to societal transformation

Week 3

The role of business in society and in transition

Week 4

Sustainable innovation and organizational change

Week 5

Actors and agency in transformative innovation

Module 3: Novel forms of value creation

Week 6

Social value creation and impact measurement

Week 7

Sustainable innovation and organizational change

Week 8

Actors and agency in transformative innovation Pre-Pitches

 Module 4: Optional development of an individual research paper

Week 9

Open office hours on appointment

Week 10

Open office hours on appointment and Dragon’s Den final event

Examination

Method of examination

The grade for Module 1, 2 and 3 will be based on:

  • Individual or group written assignments;
  • Individual video assignments in which students respond to questions;
  • Active participation;
  • Group presentation about the project conducted during the course;
  • Group report about the project conducted during the course;
  • Module 4: (Optional): individual research paper about topic of choice

Composition final grade

The final grade of the minor is the weighted average of the three (or four) modules. Specific grading per assignment will be specified to students in the course manual.

An average grade of 5.5 is sufficient to pass the minor.

Feedback
Feedback on the individual and group work (assignments, preparation, participation and debates) will be provided in class and at the end of each module. Feedback on the individual assignments over the weeks will be graded within one week and individual feedback will be provided. Each group of students working in collaboration with the enterprises will be supported by one of the Minor’s coordinators as mentor of the group. Feedback on the paper (module 4) will be provided at the end of the minor. Students can always make an appointment with the lecturers to receive extra or specific feedback or support.

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact

Contact information

Prof. dr. Karen Maas ; Dr. Timo von Wirth; Giorgia Silvestri
maas@ese.eur.nl ; vonwirth@drift.eur.nl ; silvestri@drift.eur.nl
(010) 4081363
room: M05-31

Faculty website

https://www.erim.eur.nl/people/karen-maas/
https://drift.eur.nl/courses/minor-new-economic-thinking-and-social-entrepreneurship/

Category
Broadening minor
Minor code
FEB53115/FEB53115M
Duration
10 weeks
Belongs to study programme
Economie en Bedrijfseconomie
Organisation
Erasmus School of Economics
Study points (EC)
15
Instruction language
English
Location
Campus Woudestein

Registration

Please read the application procedure for more information. 

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