Integral Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy

This module aims to equip you with skills, tools and understanding that will enable you to imagine and innovate enticing entrepreneurial visions for the digital age and design ventures that can deliver these visions successfully and sustainably.

The module is interdisciplinary and builds on the latest concepts and frameworks of entrepreneurship research, systems thinking, integral theory, and design thinking. Together we will explore an integral, sustainable vision for the digital economy, which will take digital innovation beyond copycat tendencies and endless reinventions of photo-sharing apps and instead consider how entrepreneurs can leverage digital innovation to solve the pressing issues of our time and create new ways of being, working and living together.

We will also explore entrepreneurship and the entrepreneurial process through an integral lens and learn frameworks and approaches that facilitate business creation and development while ensuring that your venture is creating value and achieving its purpose with environmental, social, cultural, and economic sustainability.

During the course of the module, you will have a chance to directly apply what you learn in an entrepreneurial project of your conception, which will be exhibited at the end of the module.

Module Structure

The module consists of lectures, discussions and workshops. The 1-hour lecture will be delivered to you by one or both of your lecturers. During this hour, we will introduce theories, concepts, and examples relevant to the week’s subject. Each lecture is followed by a structured discussion (ca. 30 min) where the previously presented material is explored from different angles in class exercises and guided group discussion. After a short break, there will be a 75-minute workshop which is of paramount importance. Your weekly coursework assignment will be issued at the beginning of these sessions.

 

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand the fundamentals of Integral Entrepreneurship
  • Recognise opportunities for innovations that leverage ‘the digital’ (perspective and technologies) in ecological, social, and cultural challenges
  • Design and develop sustainable ventures
  • Evaluate ventures integrally

 

Sessions

Week Topic
1 Introduction to Integral Entrepreneurship in the Digital Economy
2 Entrepreneurship and the Entrepreneurial Process
3 Critical Thinking and Introspection for Entrepreneurs
4 Entrepreneurial Opportunity
5 Integral Value Framework – Pt. 1: Value
6 Integral Value Framework – Pt. 2: Sustainability
7 Integral System Design
8 Venturing: Best Practices
9 Presentation Workshop
10 Showcase and Revision

Project Work

1) Innovative concept within the digital economy
As part of a project team you will be asked to develop an innovative concept for a venture in the digital economy. We will provide you with a number of topic areas (in which you will explore the problem situations and opportunities) and within which you will be asked to develop an integrally value-adding and sustainable concept for a venture. We are looking for concepts that go beyond an ‘app-business’ and are at best radical and transformative innovations. The final concept’s format is a presentation.

2) Digital Artefact
In order to experiment with your concept you will work on a digital artefact that shows (and potentially proves) your idea. You are free to choose a digital format that suits your concept (e.g. a wireframe, mock-up, website, application, video, etc.).

3) Personal Journal
You are expected to keep a handwritten journal over the duration of the module. The purpose of this journal is to provide you with a canvas for your reflective practice outside the classroom as well as provide us with evidence that you’ve engaged independently with the material and issues discussed in class. The journal can include your notes taken during lectures, discussions, and summaries of key readings, but should not be a mere reproduction of lecture notes and readings. We are primarily looking for evidence of genuine reflective practice in the journal. What exactly that looks like is entirely up to you – your creativity, authenticity, and originality will be most welcome.

Recommended Reading

  • A Theory of Everything – An Integral Vision for Business: Ken Wilber, Shambhala Publications, ISBN 1-570-62855-6.
  • Conscious Business – How to build Value through Values: Fred Kofman, Sounds True, ISBN 978-1-59179-517-9
  • The New Entrepreneurial Leader – Developing Leaders Who Shape Social & Economic Opportunity: Greenberg et al., Berret-Koehler Publishers Inc., ISBN 978-1-60509-344-4
  • Cradle to Cradle – Remaking the Way We Make Things: Michael Braungart – William McDonough, Vintage Books, ISBN 0-099-053547-5
  • Deep Simplicity – Chaos, Complexity and the Emergence of Life: John Gribbin, Penguin, ISBN 0-141-00722-2
  • The Lean Entrepreneur: Brant Cooper et al., John Wiley & Sons, ISBN 978-1118295342

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Benedikt Foit

Benedikt Foit

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