News & Events

GSEN brings you the latest news, updates and developments in global social entrepreneurship support.

Social Entrepreneurship Akademie have created a new MOOC on social entrepreneurship

May 11, 2016


This month we caught up with Social Entrepreneurship Akademie’s Head of Network Kristina Notz, to learn more about their brand new massive open online course (MOOC). Read on to hear all about their motivations and aspirations for this course and how they took things from idea to action.

Concept & motivations

Q: How did the idea come about to create a MOOC for aspiring social entrepreneurs?

The topic of entrepreneurship is a fascinating opportunity for a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Our Global Entrepreneurship Summer School MOOC presents a fast-paced, comprehensive overview of entrepreneurship aimed at shaping a better world. It is interactive, practice-oriented, and free. The most innovative ideas come from highly-motivated teams with members across international and disciplinary borders – so it’s obvious that a virtual learning experience like our MOOC “Enabling Entrepreneurs To Shape a Better World” could be a really impactful approach to enable thousands of future changemakers.

Over an eight-week period, the course will provide thousands of students and professionals from all over the world with the practical and scientific expertise needed to enable them to start their own social enterprises. Students from across disciplinary backgrounds can learn in virtual teams and generate their own social startup models to resolve global social issues through real, problem-based cases from China, Mexico, and Germany. Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a business model competition, with a special prize going to the concept presenting the most potential for sustainable impact and the best financial sustainability.

Q: What are your ambitions in creating this MOOC?

We believe that we already have the technology and knowledge to solve many of the world’s biggest problems, but that alone is not enough. It needs entrepreneurial people to take those resources to make change happen. Together with an entrepreneurial approach, mind-set, and tools, entrepreneurs lead to create something new.

Our MOOC combines the best of both worlds. We invited expert speakers to give talks within their areas of expertise and specialisation. This makes it unique as well because everybody will learn directly from the expertise and experiences of world-renowned entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, experts, and scholars from across the globe. At the same time, the MOOC features consistent voices who tie the lessons together, provide points for your own personal reflection, and set expectations for our learners’ weeks of exploration throughout the entire MOOC experience.

Process & Technology

Q: How long did it take from concept to delivery?

We were thinking about offering an online course for a long time already, but it became real only 12 months ago in spring 2015 when we found the right partners to make it a reality. For the last year we’ve worked hard with SAP Foundation and openSAP and we are very happy that the course will go live on May 30th.

You can enroll for the MOOC here.

Q: What were the unexpected challenges along the way?

We asked more than 20 high level experts from all over the world to become part of the course. Each week, the MOOC will feature internationally renowned scientists, thought leaders, and entrepreneurs to present their experiences and expertise in social entrepreneurship. These lectures will aim to serve as the foundation from which the creation of thousands of our students’ social start-up models will develop. Coordination of all our experts to get the video material was quite challenging with regard to briefings, scheduling the dates for video shooting, following-up on assessment questions. Another challenge were our travels to Mexico and China, since we wanted to offer real problem cases on the topic migration, but had limited resources and no home-base over there, so we had to prepare everything from Germany. But it worked out very well…

Get a first impression with our intro film.

Q: What tools or expertise came in handy?

The Social Entrepreneurship Akademie is a network organisation of the four university-based entrepreneurship centres in Munich. We can rely on a huge network of people and partners who bring in a lot of expertise with regard to entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship. In addition, GSEN was very helpful as well since we had the opportunity to include extraordinary speakers from this network in our course such as Cliff Prior and Pat Pillai.

Goals & success measures

Q: What are your goals with this new initiative?
We’d like to inspire many people who are eager to learn how to get involved and active to tackle societal issues. We aim at creating a cohort of well-trained social innovators, therefore we focus on educating on an individual level.

Q: How will you be measuring the success of this project?

We will measure the success by looking at the participants and what happens afterwards, e.g. how many students complete the MOOC and apply for related masters degrees, how many people start their own social business or implement their learnings as a social intrapreneur and foster social innovation among their organisation, or begin civil engagement activities etc.

The GESS MOOC will commence on 30 May 2016, 09:00 UTC and runs for 6 weeks. It is entirely free and open to people from all academic and professional backgrounds and all regions. Enroll today and discover how you can contribute to tackling the world’s biggest issues.

Mailing List

Monthly Newsletter


Social Media

Follow @GlobalSEN