Putting Entrepreneurship to Work on Wicked Problems
Context for Use
This assignment was deployed in a 200-level general education entrepreneurship course at a regional midwestern university. We had eight weeks of course-specific material, followed by two weeks of the Wicked Problems common exercise module, after which students were given one week to complete this individual exercise. The assignment is very open-ended, essentially asking students to apply whatever course content they feel is appropriate to the Wicked Problem we discussed. As such, the structure of the assignment is adaptable to essentially any course.
Description and Teaching Materials
In this assignment students are asked to explore how the concepts and frameworks of entrepreneurship may be applied to the search for progress on Wicked Problems. Students are given free reign to decide which of the course material to apply, allowing them to bring their own perspectives and passions to bear. Their application is captured in a brief written paper.
Here is the text of the assignment given to students:
"Okay folks, for the next part of the Wicked Problems project here's what I want you to do. Use any of the material from any of the chapters we've talked about this semester to explore how entrepreneurial concepts and processes might be used to help contribute to a solution to the wicked problem of nitrogen in the water. I'm looking for our material to be applied explicitly, thoroughly, and thoughtfully. The paper can be no longer than two pages, single spaced, in 12 pt Times New Roman font."
Teaching Notes and Tips
The most important thing is to emphasize that you are looking for a thoughtful and thorough application of course material. Simply listing keywords from a textbook is not enough to earn a passing grade. Instead, students need to demonstrate that they not only understand the material, but are able to use it in the context of the Wicked Problem.