Skip Course Information

Course Information

Instructor Info:Megan Briggs
Myrna Breitbart
Office Extension x5457
Term: 2014S
Meeting Info: Tuesday Thursday
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Lemelson Center for Design 113
02:00 PM - 03:20 PM Lemelson Center for Design 113

"Wicked Problems" are complex, ever changing, and resistant to simple solutions; they require transformative and purposeful innovation. Social entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of developing ideas that embrace and are shaped by this complexity, ideas that engage communities, cross disciplines and have the potential to disrupt and transform systems. What do social entrepreneurs need to understand about the people who are impacted by their entrepreneurial actions? Where are the spaces in which to experiment with improvisational and flexible forms of intervention that might open new economic and social opportunities? What is the role of the social entrepreneur in communities? And what do we mean by this term "entrepreneurship" anyway? In this course, we will explore these questions by examining examples of entrepreneurial action and methodology. Mid-semester we will partner with a sister course in urban planning and design to both combine our collective learning and work collaboratively on a shared project. This project(s) will bring students together to share, repurpose and utilize the methodologies they have learned about social enterprise development and participatory urban planning/design in order to creatively address an identified need or opportunity on campus.

Course Objectives:
  • Understand and describe the concept of a “wicked problem”, and analyze real-world examples
  • Gain literacy and critical perspective on social entrepreneurship through independent and collaborative group work, class discussion and activities, and assignments
  • Become familiar with methodologies leveraged by social entrepreneurs to gain perspective on wicked problems and attempt to address them
  • Critically consider wicked problems in the context of the Hampshire College community
  • Collaboratively identify, investigate, pilot, and propose potential strategies to address wicked problems at Hampshire
Evaluation Criteria:

Student evaluations will be based on your

  • Regular and active class participation, both in and out class
  • Timely completion of assignments
  • Ability to engage critically with the course material
  • Ability to make clear and well-supported arguments in writing
  • Ability to make connections to your own experiences and other work
  • Progress over the semester

In order to receive an evaluation, you must

  • Have no more than two unexcused absences, and come to class on time. If you will be absent, please let me know before class.
  • Be sufficiently involved in the class to give me a basis for writing an evaluation. This includes thoughtfully completing required assignments and readings, engaging in class discussions and contributing meaningfully to group work.
  • Complete and submit all written work by the assigned due date.
  • Post a self evaluation to the Hub by the deadline for final coursework (May 1)