This is a design-centric course for entrepreneurial students interested in investigating and understanding how our world is adapting to solve the greatest social and environmental challenges of this century. We will begin by studying the scope and the intricacies of such global issues as poverty, lack of access to healthcare, environmental degradation, and malnutrition. Although understanding these issues will be paramount to the success of this course, the class is ultimately intended to be solutions-oriented and we will quickly turn our attention to how the merger of design thinking and for-profit business models can effectively address the needs of the over two billion individuals who live at the “base of the pyramid.” You will be introduced to innovative non-profit models with earned revenue streams, for-profit models, benefit corporations, social businesses, hybrid models, and impact investing, as well as the role public policy plays in creating a social entrepreneurial ecosystem and scaling up great ideas. As we set sail around the world, we will have a rare opportunity to investigate the business models of entrepreneurs who we will visit in port as they work to expand their solutions into new international markets.
Field WorkCountry: Ghana
Day: 1 - Tema (Accra) - 10 April
The field lab for this class is set for April 10th, 2014 from approximately 10:00-18:00. It will be a Design Thinking workshop at Hub Accra (www.hubaccra.com/ - An incubator and accelerator space that is the center of an exciting and growing startup ecosystem in rising Ghana). Teams of students will team up with entrepreneurs from the Hub to work through a design challenge that the entrepreneur is currently struggling with. The lab will be co-facilitated with Jeff Steitz, Chief Operating Officer and Founder of Serengetee – a successful entrepreneur and mentor that will be sailing from South Africa to Ghana. Academic Objectives:
- To apply the Design Thinking process to a real world problem in the field.
- To talk with Entrepreneurs one-on-one and better understand the challenges they face when starting a business in a developing country.
- To develop networking skills and build connections for future collaborations.