Minor New Economic Thinking & Social Entrepreneurship

Categorie
Broadening minor
Code
FEB53115/FEB53115X
Tijdsduur
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding

Content 

The aim of this minor 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. The minor will provide students with relevant knowledge about alternative business models, social entrepreneurship as well as transition thinking in theory and practice. Next to getting an introduction to academic debates about transitions towards new economies, students will gain hands on experiences by working in a case study project with a social entrepreneur. During the course, students will work with an existing social enterprise in groups, providing answers to real questions posed by the entrepreneurs regarding their business models, social impact, or contribution to transitioning towards a new economy.
Examples are new business models based on circular/sharing economy, social entrepreneurship or impact investment.

Learning objectives

  • Develop an understanding of the complex nature of our social, economic and environmental challenges of our society; and the urgent demand for transformative change.
  • Explore the role of societal and sustainability transitions;
  • Understand theoretical concepts, frameworks and methods related to sustainability transitions;
  • Develop knowledge and new perspectives on the (potential) role of business in society;
  • Communicate and reflect on theories and empirical research on new business models;
  • Understand methods to measure and manage the value proposition of impact;
  • Conduct an empirical study on the role of business in society by working with a social entrepreneur on a question related to their business model, role in transitions or social impact.
  • Think and act in an academic way on the interface of economics, management and social science.

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

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 sustainability and economic development. The challenge of socio-economic transitions and sustainability will be linked to discussions around alternative value models and propositions as well as to challenges of governance and government. 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 the economic crisis, the Paris Climate agreement and political disruptions. The specific characteristics, challenges and opportunities of impact investing will be outlined and the students will be introduced to the Social Entrepreneurs they will cooperate with throughout the course.
  • Teaching method: Lectures/Seminars, individual and group assignments, debates.
  • 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 focus on the characteristics of and theories on new business models by presenting theories as well as concrete examples. Lectures are included on how to understand and analyze new business models, what drives the entrepreneurs and what can be done to stimulate their growth. Many of those new business models strive to reduce or even solve various social dilemmas, 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 value. You will be introduced to the world of new value propositions, true value accounting and social impact thinking and get familiar with different ways to account for the effects, value and impact of new business models. During module 2 and 3 you will work with an entrepreneur and help them 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 you will pitch your ideas and suggestions to the entrepreneurs and other representatives from business and policy.
  • 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: During this module, sustainability transitions, transition theory and new economic thinking concepts will be discussed further. Several guest lecturers will come to class to discuss their research on current socio-economic transitions in theory and practice. You will be introduced to transition processes in the food and energy sector as well as in the Global South. Through interactive exercises you can familiarize yourself with several models, methods and tools that are used to study and analyze transition processes in these sectors. By applying them to the Social Enterprise you are working with during module 2 and 3 you will gain valuable insights into the role business can play in transitions towards sustainability. During module 2 and 3 you will work with social entrepreneurs and help them 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 , a half-day event where you will pitch your ideas and suggestions to the entrepreneurs and other representatives from business, academia and policy.
  • Teaching method: Lectures/Seminars, individual and group assignments, group coaching and debates
  • 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, you will individually identify a challenge in the new economy. The topic is free to choose as long as it is linked to the topics discussed in this minor: the role of business in society, transitions to sustainability, new economic thinking; try to understand why and how transformative business models emerge and can contribute by enlarging their impact or even by developing transformative impact themselves.
  • Teaching method: Individual mentoring on your paper assignment
  • Teaching materials: guidelines for assignment
  • Contact hours: 2 – 4 hours per week.
  • Self study: 20 – 28 hours per week.

Overview content per week

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

Week 1

Introduction Minor

Transition thinking

Week 2

The role of Business in Society

First meeting with the enterprise you will work with

Week 3

New perspectives on transitions

From Macro to micro level

 Module 2: New Role of Business

Week 3

Sustainable Development Goals

What is a Social Enterprise

Week 4

From Purpose to Impact

True Value Accounting

Week 5

Transformative Potential of a Plural Enterprise

Peer learning session

Module 3: Transition and transformative innovation

Week 6

Business models in the food system

Global injustice, new economic thinking

Week 7

Road to the next economy

Local currencies

Week 8

Social Enterprises & the diffusion of transformative innovation

Pre-Pitches

 Module 4: Optional individual research paper

Week 9

Individual sessions

Open Office Hours

Week 10

Open Office Hours

Dragons Den + Drinks

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. 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.

Contact information

Prof.dr. Karen Maas
maas@ese.eur.nl
(010) 4081363
room: M05-31

Faculty website
https://www.erim.eur.nl/people/karen-maas/
Impact Centre Erasmus 
DRIFT
EFR

Categorie
Broadening minor
Code
FEB53115/FEB53115X
Tijdsduur
10 weken
Minor hoort bij de opleiding
Organisatie
Erasmus School of Economics
Studiepunten (EC)
15
Voertaal
Engels
Locatie
Campus Woudestein, Rotterdam

Registration

Please read the application procedure for more information.