Creative Entrepreneurship is co-lectured by Tal Simons & Joshua G. Eckblad

We developed a comprehensive set of course activities to support the learning goals we have in mind, from lectures to experiential engagement with entrepreneurs and designers, through the team assignment and invited guests.

 

Our Mission

We believe that it is important for our students to gain experience in temporary teams and to engage with multidisciplinary external stakeholders, including entrepreneurs and designers. Throughout the semester, we offer opportunities for students to interact with invited guests across various cultural and creative industries. For instance, the team assignment last Fall matched students with food truck entrepreneurs. Students gained firsthand immersive experiences by following food truck entrepreneurs to different festivals, and gained insights into the hundreds of micro-decisions that are involved in entrepreneurship.

Besides these wide-ranging and immersive activities, the course offers weekly lectures. Each lecture is composed of two halves. The first half is designed to introduce students to a set of concepts, theories, and frameworks with which to analyze real-world phenomenon in a particular cultural and creative industry. The second half offers students an experiential exercise to put theories to work within small teams. Each student team is asked to develop a solution to a stated challenge within 15 minutes. The objective is to replace arbitrary decision-making processes with reasoned, evidence-based, and collaborative teamwork.

We encourage students to use evidence-based analytical approaches to establish effective team dynamics. Analytical tools provide teams with structured “food for thought”, by stimulating discussions based on complementary and competing theoretical/conceptual lenses. In this course, students have repeated opportunities to apply various analytical frameworks to real-world economic contexts and to devise courses of action in concert with others.
 
Before the end of each lecture, we ask student teams to pitch their respective solutions to real-world business challenges in less-than-2-minutes. Teams receive immediate feedback and constructive critique of their proposed solutions from their peers. In this way, presentations are considered one form of essential stakeholder communication ⎯⎯ not simply as one-time and one-way transfers of information, but as part of dynamic processes that lead to co-creation.


What drew me to entrepreneurship in the first place is the role of teamwork and a bias towards action. In my mind, the effective management of entrepreneurial activities largely determines outcomes. Management practices serve to orchestrate individuals to play well together as they endeavor to achieve challenging goals. Without effective management, individuals become demoralized and teams invariably resort to a primal initial state of power imbalance and conflict. Rousseau, the French philosopher, refers to this as the corruption of the natural (wo)man, who all else being equal possesses a noble nature that is undermined by social institutions and unjust social outcomes.
— Joshua G. Eckblad, Co-lecturer

KEY LEARNING GOALS

  • Gain confidence in creative problem-solving;
     
  • Manage & perform effectively in temporary teams composed of diverse members;
     
  • Investigate business challenges by engaging entrepreneurial & creative practitioners;
     
  • Apply analytical instruments to real-world business challenges;
     
  • Learn to communicate with external audiences effectively.

KEY THEORETICAL LENSES

  • Agency Theory
  • Artist (Art) vs. Entrepreneur (Commerce)
  • Commercial Risk & Failure
  • Signalling Theory (reputation)
  • Human & Social Capital
  • Tacit & Codified Knowledge
  • Learning (adaptation)
  • Open vs. Closed Search
  • Ambidextrous Structures
  • Exploration vs. Exploitation
  • Strategic Resources
  • Competitive Advantage
  • Economic vs. Cultural Development
  • Embeddedness (Social Network)
  • Institutional Logics
  • Geographic Propinquity
  • Postmodern Differentiation
  • Population Ecology
  • Social Movements
  • Identity
  • Diffusion