Week 1 - Introduction
This course is designed to act as a primer to social entrepreneurship as an
academic field as well as a career. The structure of the class is to provide
a generous amount of information on the background of the field as well as
to provide a set of tools and training to jumpstart your own social venture.
The first half will generally be dedicated to the background, and the second
half to the tools and information you need for practical applications of
The goal of the first class is to act as a way for the class to become
introduced to each other and to start becoming comfortable working together
through a couple of ice breakers that are designed to force teams to work
together. In our experience, each class is 2 hours long, and the course has
been designed around this experience. Please feel free to modify, change,
and/or adapt all of these instructions and activities to fit your own needs.
Introductions - Go
around the class introducing each other. An introduction should include
who you are, where you're from, an interesting fact about you, and why
you are taking this course. (10 min.)
Logistics - Spend
some time discussing the course syllabus, which should include an
overview of the course, class expectations, and any other important or
relevant information to the course. (10 min.)
Ice Breakers - There
are several ice breakers to play with the intention of getting people to
interact with one another right away. While uncomfortable, it breaks
down barriers quickly. The ice breaker we played next to jumpstart the
creative process was Make
a Dog. Each group must determine how they are going to make a dog given
major time constraints and a lack of resources. The goal is for each
individual to learn from each other or individuals in different groups.
Also, the goal is to help foster group communication and to have fun.
The X-Y Negotiation Game -
Negotiating is one of the most misunderstood but arguably the most
important tools to have in life. Every exchange involves some level of
negotiation, from determining what clothes to wear in the morning to
convincing a friend to see your point of view or do something with you.
The purpose of this activity is to draw out the lessons discussed in our
Negotiations article after playing the The X-Y
Negotiation Game. (45 min.)
Questions and Answers -
The goal of this activity is to figure out what people already know
about social entrepreneurship. Ask questions regarding all the different
sectors (for profit, non profit, foundations, entrepreneurship, social
entrepreneurship) to gauge how much your class already knows and how the
class information should be tailored. This should be more exploratory
than anything else, asking questions such as, "When you think of a non
profit, what comes to mind?" Responses such as, 'slow, outdated, mission
oriented, humanitarian, etc' are expected. (15 min).
I Love My Neighbor Who... -
This ice breaker acts as a way to move around and have some fun after
spending quite a bit of time sitting down and thinking. The goal of this
ice breaker is to have fun learning about the different things you have
in common with other people in the class. If all of the previous
activities ended up being shorter than or longer than expected, you can
use this activity to fill in the necessary time or cut it out entirely
if there is not enough time. See attached. (20 min).
Wrap Up - The last
ten minutes of class should be used to wrap up and discuss assignments
to be completed for next week. The assignments are listed below under
'Exercises'. (10 min).
Sign up for note-taking days. Each
student must take notes and post them to the course website/wiki.
Write up your individual bio. This
will help everyone in the class get to know one another.
In pairs, research 6 socially entrepreneurial organizations. This
activity encourages people to explore social entrepreneurship before we
discuss it. The research should result in a 2 paragraph write up that
includes what they do and why you find them interesting. Also, make sure
to link to the original source where you found the information.
Prepare a 2 minute presentation of an organization. Following
up with the previous assignment, each student must prepare a quick
presentation to share with the class. No two students should cover the
There are no readings for next week.
Next week will be a discussion based overview of all the most important
concepts in social entrepreneurship to date. Topics ranging from 'social
philanthropy' and 'social enterprises' to 'greenwashing' and 'triple
bottom line economics'. This crash course should act as the foundation
for future conversations and act as a reference point in all future