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Symposium 2013

Proposal - Peace through Entrepreneurship - An idea to foster peace through entrepreneurship?

The Challenge

Innovation as the foundation of economic dynamism and prosperity is a complex process involving contributions from various players. In particular it deals with the transformation of basic science into ...

Innovation as the foundation of economic dynamism and prosperity is a complex process involving contributions from various players. In particular it deals with the transformation of basic science into rival proposals that improve the well-being of mankind. For more than 200 years technological innovation has driven economic development. All growth is based on innovation. The process of innovation involves complementary contributions from science, from entrepreneurs, from the financial markets, from the investment community and from government.

Use Innovation, Dynamism and Entrepreneurship to foster peace and economic growth at the same time.

“Almost always great new ideas don't emerge from within a single person or function, but at the intersection of functions or people that have never met before. And most universities are organized so you don't have those intersections. They are siloed. Universities think people come up with great ideas by closing the door”. (Clayton Christensen - HBS)

Politicians think in the same way and are just as siloed; so are entrepreneurs and social leaders. All of them are siloed: academics, politicians, economists and social leaders. And obviously countries are siloed at best or at war at worst.
Imagine the possibilities if countries, academics, economic and social leaders, entrepreneurs and Politicians get together and collaborate: it would fuel Innovation, Dynamism and Entrepreneurship, while at the same time advancing Peace. It is by meeting and networking with people who would not meet otherwise that ideas and projects emerge: apply “The Strength in Weak Ties” theory.

Teach new disciplines in an entirely new way and in a totally new and different environment by creating a University for Entrepreneurship in Palestine, where faculty and students would come from all over the world, from the Middle East, obviously, from the western world, and from emerging countries, etc.
Innovation does not come only from young people living in western countries. It comes from everywhere, at every age, and sometimes from non-favorable environments, such as was the case with Sumit Dagar, a summer intern from a remote Gujarat rural Indian village, who created a Braille smartphone that allows blind people to benefit from advances in communications technologies.
In other words, use Innovation, Dynamism and Entrepreneurship to foster peace and economic growth at the same time.

The university would not only acknowledge the fact that today, science governs and technology is everything, but the university would also use science and technology as a new way to teach and learn. It would use technology not to “teach the old stuff in new ways but teach new stuff in new ways” as the MIT does with its “Education Arcade” involving new technologies, new teaching … new learning. Online learning, for example, can transform the education system into a “student-centric one that can affordably customize for different student needs by allowing all students to learn at their appropriate pace and path, thereby allowing each student to realize his or her fullest potential." - Clay Christensen
The university would accept people from any country and students from all ages. One third of new entrepreneurs are 35 to 44 years of age, one third are younger, and one third older.
Being able to interact with different generations and different cultures enhances tremendously innovative capabilities – and, obviously, the understanding of other people and differing cultures.

The curriculum would combine key elements, developing entrepreneurship in a very unique way by eliminating conventional disciplines and combining and creating constant interaction of the five following factors:

  • Disruption: An innovation that creates a new market by allowing customers to solve a problem in a radically new way - What are the areas ready for disruption? (Education is one, as stated above.)
  • New leadership: Traditional leaders do a good job, but they do it in a world which no longer exist. New leadership is about self-expression in order to avoid falling into the “global” blackhole of the global world not about free expression.
  • Collaboration: catalyze the creation of innovative technology and economic sectors by linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success. Academics, economic and social leaders, entrepreneurs, and politicians get together regularly and use the university as a catalyst. Not only should the university teach collaboration (who does it today?) but it should also become a catalyst for collaboration on a global scale: the university should itself create an independent alliance linking inventors and entrepreneurs with the resources they need for success, a unique culture of collaboration between industry, capital sources, professional service providers and research organizations (as for example Connect does in San Diego).
  • Technological Trends: Since technologies are rapidly advancing or experiencing breakthroughs, what then are the technologies that matter?
  • Happiness: Be happy! Teach wellness and happiness (nobody does this). There is a positive correlation between how entrepreneurial a society is and its national level of happiness (This is the conclusion of a recent workshop on Happiness and Entrepreneurship organized by UNU-MERIT in partnership with the Maastricht School of Management). It clearly showsthat countries that score well in terms of Global Entrepreneurship Development Index (GEDI) also score well in terms of happiness. If Happiness is key, why not make it part of the curriculum?

 

Utopic … May be !
Achievable… With technology, collaboration and leadership, certainly!
Hop !

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