Berlin, Germany

Social Entrepreneurship & Sustainability

when 17 August 2020 - 28 August 2020
language English
duration 2 weeks
credits 3 EC
fee EUR 950

Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, this program has been cancelled for 2020. Please check our website for the new TU Berlin Summer University Online program.

Is social entrepreneurship an adequate answer to today’s social and ecological challenges? How does a social entrepreneurship business model look like? Are there successful models to combine participation, social responsibility, welfare and profit orientation? Is sustainability a practicable guideline?

This course explores the manifold practices of social entreprneurship and sharing practices in their economic, cultural, social and political dimension. The panorama includes food rescue, medical care, car sharing and mobility solutions, community gardens, sufficiency startups and participative cultural festivals. Particularly the sharing economy is a fast-growing sector, contributing inspiring answers to today’s social challenges.

The seminar combines theory, debate, reflection, encounter and practice by exploring the idea of social entrepreneurship in contrast to traditional welfare models. It provides a concise overview on the most debated sustainability theories of these days, such as post growth, sufficiency, subsistence and common good models. To foster the transfer to practice, participants will elaborate groupwise an own social enterprise that develops solutions in response to the concerns of an identified marginalized social group (e.g. anorexics, juvenile prisoners, people suffering from multiple sclerosis etc.). To approach this goal, students will conduct a need assessment, describe the scope and the social situation of the target group by identifying their increased help requirement, consider the already existing auxiliary structures and their limitations and develop help and self-help services, preferably by focusing digital infrastructure.

Finally, the students will present their solutions in a 4 minutes pitch to an expert jury. Furthermore, the course includes a series of field trips to meet experts and representatives of promising start-ups and civil society initiatives in Berlin; it gives space for intensive debates and change of experiences with founders, initiators and support groups – benefitting from the unique density of Berlin’s creative capital and entrepreneurial spirit

Course leader

Dr. Thorsten Philipp

Target group

The target group includes current university students who have completed at least one year of their studies (Bachelor's, Master's or PhD level). Working professionals with equivalent work experience are also welcome to apply.

Course aim

Students will:

-Acquire an overview about core intentions, objectives and limits of social entrepreneurship
- Receive insights in the fundamentals of social ethics and relevant recent sustainability theories (e.g. Nico Paech, Christian Felber, Kate Raworth etc.)
- Learn about the essentials of business model creation and innovation
- Obtain methods and tools to understand the situation of people with increased need requirement and receive guidance to develop a need assessment
- Learn about current sufficiency and sharing activities in Berlin by getting in touch personally with founders, social entrepreneurs, civil society representatives
- Explore methods to describe, discern and evaluate societal impact of social entrepreneurship
- Learn to reflect the transferability and application ability of the models and initiatives debated during course.
- Receive initial guidance for setting up own entrepreneurial and social business.
-Explore Berlin as a space of unique creativity for innovative entrepreneurship, self-help policy and citizens’ empowerment

Credits info

3 EC
3 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) for the academic course.

Fee info

EUR 950: The fee covers public transportation for the duration of the course, excursions, course materials, and a cultural program.