Yesterday GBSN hosted a webinar, "Bringing Social Business
Into Your School” featuring speaker Leonhard Nima, Head of Academia at the
Grameen Creative Lab.
Mr. Nima talked about spreading the idea of social business,
which is what he Grameen Lab was created to do. He explains this topic in
depth, but specifically highlights GCL’s ideas for incorporating social
business in universities.
Some highlights from the webinar:
Founded by Professor Muhammad Yunus, the Grameen Creative
Lab is a small company based in Germany whose purpose is to spread the idea of
social business. GCL’s vision is "to bring social business into universities
and create a culture within academia, with the goal to serve society’s most
pressing needs through social business.”
The Grameen Creative Lab believes that social business
education is key to setting a new mindset. It associates with universities
within three pillars:
GCL facilitates speeches on social business at universities and international
conferences. They also hold social business labs, which are two-day workshops
that are adapted to university needs. GCL supports student initiatives, giving
students the opportunity to volunteer, student field trips or participate in
idea competitions. They lay the groundwork down by highlighting social business
best practices in case studies, literature, or student guides filled with
information that should inform students with opportunities and answer any
questions they might have.
– GCL has created an environment for universities to exchange ideas. The big
networking opportunity offered for universities is the Academia Meeting on Social
Business, a yearly event where faculty from all over come to establish
relationships, exchange ideas and establish possible projects for collaborations.
They are also in the process of publishing an academia newsletter, which will
highlight activities and initiatives of universities that are involved with
Joint Initiatives – By providing consulting services, GCL helps universities
discover social businesses and apply courses and activities within the
university. Specifically, they provide strategic and project consulting,
helping universities implement institutional projects and also plan on
developing centers or incubators within the university.
GCL@University is a joint initiative established to
promote the concept within the institution. Together, the two will decide about
the approach of incorporating activities within the pillars of research (PhD
courses, publications, case studies), teaching (courses, labs, tours,
conferences, e-learning) and practice (social business ideas contest, field
trips, case studies, internships, local activities). GCL developed this modular
approach to allow flexibility.
GCL believes that universities should start small; begin
with incorporating one or two courses on social business or facilitating small
social business labs, and then eventually work to create a program around it. By
starting simple and laying down the groundwork, GCL hopes to spread this
concept to many leading universities around the world.
Mr. Nima provided a very compelling presentation on their
approach. To view the whole presentation click here.