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Social Entrepreneurship at CMC is a Going Concern

Posted August 11, 2012 in Leadership, News

Over the past several years KLI has become widely regarded for its leadership development attention to the important work of social entrepreneurship.

The journey began nearly three-and-a-half years ago in February 2009, when KLI’s annual Kravis-de Roulet conference focused on the subject. The Los Angeles-based conference was attended by more than 100 CMC students and spawned a number of student-created and driven initiatives that continue today and are making an impact worldwide. It also launched the platform for additional program activities through KLI.

This past year, for the first time, the presentation of the Henry R. Kravis Prize in Leadership was held on the CMC campus. In partnership with the Kravis Prize, KLI presented workshops and a luncheon program featuring recipients of the prize — a day of activities entitled Transforming the World Through Leadership and Social Innovation. Twenty-five students worked under the leadership of KLI Executive Director Sarah Smith Orr, along with KLI and the Kravis Prize staffs, to create an inspiring and educational program.

“Since 2009, CMC has experienced a significant increase in the number of students who wish to initiate actions as changemakers,” said Orr, a key architect of KLI’s focus on the subject. “I am delighted by the outpouring of interest that our students have in learning about and potentially becoming social entrepreneurs.”

As an example, “The Leading Social Entrepreneurial Ventures” class offered by Orr for the first time during the Spring semester this past year had three times the average class size who wished to be included.

With the support of the Dean of Faculty, KLI has launched a review scanning process to determine if CMC can be designated an Ashoka U Changemaker campus. Since 2008, Ashoka and Ashoka U have worked to identify what works with regard to building a supportive campus environment for social entrepreneurship, social innovation, and changemaking.

“Ashoka envisions an Everyone a ChangemakerTM world, which is a world that responds quickly and effectively to social challenges and where each individual has the freedom, confidence and societal support to address any social problem and drive change,” Orr explained. “Its mission is to shape a global, entrepreneurial, competitive citizen sector, one that allows social entrepreneurs to thrive and enables the world’s citizens to think and act as changemakers.”

The Ashoka U process includes framing the institutional ecosystem conducive to a campus designation as an Ashoka U. The scanning process was initiated in mid-August and involved interviewing leaders from various perspectives across the CMC campus. The process will continue through the Spring semester.

A few of our students and their social entrepreneurial organizations are featured in this issue of Illlumine.