The course is based on two basic premises: First, that large-scale transformations in the world, such as climate change, international migration, shifts in the global distribution of wealth, and environmental and religious movements create opportunities for business to play a positive and profitable role in social change. And second, that the standard corporate model of business is often ill suited for these new opportunities. Enterprises that successfully meet the challenge innovate new forms of organization and out-of-the-box business models. They often mix lessons from community organizing and the informal economy with those from a traditional start-up. This class will challenge you to think big, move outside your comfort zone, and develop the skills to recognize and address non-standard problems in creative ways. We cover factual knowledge about selective social transformations, examples of alternative and emergent ways of organizing enterprises, and approaches for managing the social, cultural and legal aspects of creating market spaces for sustainable goods and services. The course draws on intensive project assignments, case studies and the experience of guest speakers. It is especially suited for students that look to make an impact in the space between the corporate sector, start-ups and civil society organizations, as well as for consultants, analysts and strategists who need to understand the impact of macro-societal trends on business.
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