Social Entrepreneurship

Bring social entrepreneurship and impact investing into clear focus through the Learning Lab’s breakthrough experiential learning platform, Looking GlassWhether studying business strategy, entrepreneurship, leadership or finance through the philanthropic lens, this uniquely engaging and highly interactive simulation allows students to immerse themselves in the operations of an international nonprofit.

Participants are placed on small teams, where they are tasked with guiding their organization – the Angel Impact Matrix (AIM) – through the transition process as a new CEO comes on board. In doing so, they’re drawn into a meaningful exploration of executive decision-making dynamics, strategic growth, and financial sustainability, while actively furthering AIM’s mission: connecting angel impact-investors with social entrepreneurs in the developing world.

A robust array of characters representing all levels of nonprofit leadership serve to guide, engage, inform and challenge players through the multi-day journey as it unfolds in real time. 

In turn, the Looking Glass interface provides everything students need to hold meetings, track tasks, meet deadlines, and communicate with colleagues (both real and virtual) as they earn a succession of achievements badges and receive direct feedback on various deliverables.

Coupled with a structured pedagogy embedded in the game’s storyline, our proprietary interactive learning platform deftly hones the soft skills crucial to success in any field, in the course of providing a exhilarating environment to apply and test social-entrepreneurial acumen

The time is certainly ripe for entrepreneurial approaches to social problems. Many governmental and philanthropic efforts have fallen far short of our expectations. Major social sector institutions are often viewed as inefficient, ineffective, and unresponsive. Social entrepreneurs are needed to develop new models for a new century….ultimately have a very positive impact on society at all levels. But it will take some inspired entrepreneurs to get us there.

For more information about The Looking Glass: Social Entrepreneurship, email us at learninglab@wharton.upenn.edu.

Social entrepreneurs are one special breed of leader, and they
should be recognized as such. This definition preserves their distinctive status and assures that social entrepreneurship is not treated lightly. We need social entrepreneurs to help us find new avenues toward social improvement as we enter the next century.

― J. Gregory Dees,  The Meaning of Social Entrepreneurship

Exec Development

PennStart – College Prep

Rules of Engagement

Idea Machine

Images of Leadership

Faculty Contributors: Anne M. Greenhalgh and Chris Maxwell

Students describe the essence of leadership in pictures and words that can be sorted and used by the instructor.

Originally conceived as a classroom exercise, the Images of Leadership application serves as an interface for students to upload digital images and text that embody their personal understandings of leadership. For instructors, Images of Leadership provides a reservoir of data that can be mined and used to guide classroom discussions, readings, exercises, and research.

After uploading a picture and submitting a brief essay about the essence of leadership, students attach metadata to the image by assigning tags and leadership classifications (e.g., leadership styles and behaviors). Instructors can then use the metadata to gain insight into the student perceptions of leadership. Students also have the capacity to view postings by their classmates as a way to expand and enrich their own self-understanding of leadership.

If you are a user of the application and want some instruction about how to use it, watch the following video:

Startup Game

The Startup Game provides a fun and interactive way for students to learn about the process of forming a company, focusing on valuation, determining appropriate employee mix, and questions about retention of equity. Students receive a role before class starts, with supporting information based on the type of role.

Raise

The Raise Allocation Interactive Salary Exercise (RAISE) application focuses students on allocating a salary raise pool among seven employees, providing hands-on experience in the role of corporate managers who must allocate limited resources. Within the simulation, students make decisions about which employees will receive a raise based on quantitative and qualitative performance measures as well as a host of demographic characteristics about each employee.

GIST

Wharton’s Geopolitical Influence and Strategy Tool (GIST) simulation allows students to map out an international scenario and populate it with actors, each of whom has a varying degree of decision-making influence and a defined set of beliefs. Using an interactive graphing interface, GIST participants can then explore the probable relationships between the scenario’s actors