Global social and environmental trends represent pressing concerns for the future health of the Earth and its diversity of species. The structure and incentives in the current global political-economic system have yet to mitigate global problems such as inequity, poverty, and disease. Environmentally, we have yet to resolve local and trans-boundary problems of air pollution, water pollution, toxic waste, soil loss and climate change. This course is based on the premise that entrepreneurs are powerful agents of social, environmental and economic change. These entrepreneurs – referred to as ‘social entrepreneurs’ – use for-profit, non-profit and hybrid organizational models and leverage markets to address specific social and/or environmental challenges. This course will use lectures, case studies and group exercises and presentations to gain in-depth understanding of the major issues addressed by social entrepreneurs and the different models used to and challenges confronted when initiating and scaling social enterprises.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Date: March 31, 2017
This field class is organized in collaboration with Tony’s Chocolonely, a company committed to “100% Slave Free Chocolate”. As this tagline suggests, there are serious social issues in the sourcing of cocoa, the main ingredient in chocolate. Our field class will include a visit and tour of a cocoa growing region, visits with at least one local NGO working with cocoa farmers and a government agency involved with monitoring the sourcing and exporting of cocoa. Based on your own research prior to and during the Field Class, you will write a paper the fully explores the context for cocoa/chocolate in Ghana.
1. Gain a deeper understanding of the characteristics of cocoa growing and sourcing in Ghana and its role in the global chocolate industry.
2. Understand the role of private enterprise, NGOs, government agencies, multi-nationals companies and other stakeholders in advancing (or limiting) social and environmental issues in the Ghanian cocoa growing regions.
3. Enhance your knowledge of the challenges faced by social entrepreneurs, such as Tony’s Chocolonely®, when starting and attempting scale social enterprises focused on commodity-based products like cocoa/chocolate