Social Entrepreneurship, Social Justice’ seminar set for June 8-11

A seminar titled "Exploring the Twin Cities: Social Entrepreneurship and Social Justice" will be held for UST faculty and staff again this summer. It is offered to encourage intercultural learning, the discovery of connections between global issues and local communities, and the incorporation of the Twin Cities into St. Thomas’ curricular and co-curricular offerings.

Facilitated by HECUA (the Higher Education Consortium of Urban Affairs), the seminar will be held Monday through Thursday, June 8-11.

A special focus of this year’s seminar is social entrepreneurship, to coincide with two fall 2009 events on campus: the Nov. 3 presentation of the $1,000,000 Opus Prize, given annually to "unsung heroes who, guided by faith and an entrepreneurial spirit, are conquering the world’s most persistent social problems," and the Oct. 25-27 visit of this year’s Havel Symposium speaker, journalist David Bornstein, author of How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas.

Bornstein defines social entrepreneurs as those who work in the citizen sector offering systemic approaches to problems rather than stop-gap measures. He sees them as "transformative forces: people with new ideas to address major problems who are relentless in the pursuit of their visions, people who simply will not take ‘no’ for an answer, who will not give up until they have spread their ideas as far as they possibly can." During the seminar, participants will work with local social entrepreneurs such as the African Development Center (founded by a UST graduate), The Green Institute and Peace Coffee.

Participants will engage in pre-workshop reading; post-workshop reflection; sessions on pedagogy for intercultural learning; site tours to various neighborhoods and organizations; conversations with local social entrepreneurs; and discussions of ways to integrate off-campus experiences into coherent curricular and co-curricular offerings.

The objectives of the seminar are:

  • Gain firsthand knowledge of Twin Cities communities and the issues they are facing
  • Meet local social entrepreneurs and potential community partners
  • Gain ideas for case studies and community-based projects
  • Observe global issues at work locally
  • Become more knowledgeable of pedagogical principles and practices in experiential education
  • Increase understanding of the ethical and practical considerations in getting students involved with communities outside the St. Thomas campus
  • Help participants plan for changes they could make to their own courses and programs

Space is limited due to the experiential nature of the seminar, so please register early. Interested faculty and staff will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. The registration deadline is Friday, May 22.

To register, e-mail Katie Ngumba. Include a few sentences outlining your experience with community engagement, community-based learning or service-learning (if any), along with reasons for wanting to participate in the seminar (e.g., how you might incorporate local experiential opportunities into your teaching, course development or program).

This summer seminar is sponsored by the Center for Intercultural Learning and Community Engagement (CILCE), Service-Learning, the International Education Center, Faculty Development, and the UST MBA Programs.

For more information contact Meghan Allen Eliason, CILCE, (651) 962-6805; Amy Muse, Service-Learning, (651) 962-5643; or Barb Baker, Service-Learning, (651) 962-5380.