Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bright eyes, Boston version

Had the great pleasure of speaking to both an undergrad and graduate class at Boston University's School of Management yesterday. Thanks to Professors McCormack and Post for letting me borrow their students.

Both classes were fun; with the undergraduates I talked about the characteristics of a good nonprofit, which should fit well into their big project: figuring out how to give $15,000 away to nonprofit applicants, which is, I suspect, harder than they thought it would be. The class is using Mission-Based Management as its core text, so there was a fair amount of give and take on what makes a good nonprofit, and how my characteristics of good nonprofits would also work for a for-profit.

In the grad class, we spent most of our time discussing what social entrepreneurship (SE) is, how the definition has changed, expanded, morphed and been adopted by a wide range of different activities. For me a social entrepreneur has always been "someone who takes risk on behalf of the people their nonprofit serves". However, the class defined SE as a business that is socially responsible, and a philanthropist who figures out how to help a nonprofit succeed, and someone who sets up businesses that help the underprivileged. We even went round and round about what social good is---and does it have to apply to people who are oppressed, or poor, or, or, or....

As you might guess, all of this was great fun for me, and I hope helpful for the students. It made me miss my teaching at Kellogg even more.

1 comment:

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