Social entrepreneurship: one approach to higher ed bubble bust

Higher ed leaders gather at ASU Feb. 10-11 to address issue

Economists are not alone in their worry of an impending higher education bubble bust. Given the drastic increase in cost and decrease in relevance of a college degree over the past decades, Ashoka U Exchange participants – faculty and students across disciplines, administrators and social entrepreneurs – are united in their conviction that cosmetic changes to their institutions are not enough.

Co-hosted by Ashoka, the world’s largest association of social entrepreneurs, and Arizona State University, Ashoka will bring together more than 100 colleges and universities from 15 countries to discuss the "so what?" of higher education for an event at ASU, Feb. 10-11.

In debates on the higher education crisis, there has been much talk of the need to cut costs. However, in a world of accelerated change, we can’t afford not to educate the next generation of leaders to effectively address the world’s daunting social and environmental challenges. Social entrepreneurship education is one approach, gaining rapidly in popularity.

Interest in social entrepreneurship has experienced a mostly quiet, but dramatic growth in higher education over the past few years. Ashoka U Exchange participants see disruptive innovation as an opportunity for colleges and universities to become more entrepreneurial, identifying ways to leverage the entire spectrum of institutional resources for social impact, and creating a world-changing educational experience that makes a difference. Participants come to share new educational methodologies and strategies to catalyze universities as drivers of global social change.

The February event will highlight:

• the importance and impact of developing ecosystems for social entrepreneurship. Keynote speakers: Len Schlesinger (Babson College), ASU President Michael Crow and Scott Cowen (Tulane University).

• TEDx talks from Barbara Bush, president of Global Health Corps; Peter Diamandis, CEO of X-Prize and chairman of Singularity University; Liz Dwyer, education editor from GOOD Magazine; and Dale Stephens, founder and chief educational deviant of UnCollege.

• emerging trends workshop that showcases the relationship between technology and education with the founders and senior leaders from Google +, Knewton and KNO, moderated by Richard Culatta, deputy director, Office of Educational Technology, US Department of Education.

• innovation awards that recognize programs and practices at the forefront of social entrepreneurship education.

• pitch competition (ASU Innovation Challenge) that will show how students are creating their own jobs and addressing social problems at the same time.

For information about attending, contact Renata Chilvarquer.