Social enterprise · Entrepreneurship

How to apply "Silicon Valley" Business skills to Social Enterprise/Social Entrepreneurship?

David A. Hall AR/VR ✦ Education 4.0 ✦ Taiwan ✦ Industry 4.0 ✦ Human 2.0 ✦ Social Enterprise ✦ Speaker ✦

October 21st, 2016

Looking for best ideas to apply entrepreneurial skills to social enterprise for a Yunus Social Center boot-camp that I am organizing for Jan. 2017 at NCU in Taoyuan (Taipei area) Taiwan.  Here are some of the ideas that we have brainstormed thus far below.  Also we want to make this hands on, action based, so looking for activities and not just talks.

Systems Thinking - How to determine if you are part of the problem you are trying to solve, the stakeholders and impact.
Social Sensitivity Role Play Activity
Presencing, Purpose, Developing Serving Philosophy, Inspiring
Marketing, Branding, Interactive Storytelling
Pitch, Presentation Skills
Empathy Walk
Design Thinking for Social Services
Business Model Canvas for Social Services
Panel Discussion with leading Global Activists
Case Studies of Successful Social Enterprises
Team building activity, building foundations
Gaming Simulation on Social Startup/Entrepreneur Game
Private FB and LINE Groups for discussion and keep in touch afterwards
Operations, Fundraising
Change Management

Please share any other ideas, especially how to make it an exercise, activity, action based.


Kishore Swaminathan Serial entrepreneur looking for a cofounder

October 21st, 2016

David - congratulations on a tough yet great job.

Let me respond to you from two different perspectives: (a) as an entrepreneur myself and (b) as somebody who has been involved in developing workshop content for Chinese students and managers (my experience was in the mainland, so some of all of it may be irrelevant to Taiwan). 

First, there is a big difference between an entrepreneur and a CEO. Your agenda seems like a CEO agenda. An entrepreneur is primarily a doer and makes quick judgments about what's worth their while (including being in your bootcamp). A good entrepreneur tends to be very tactical in early stages of a venture and does not have much luxury of time to think about long term abstractions. 

And - at the expense of gross generalisation - Chinese tend to like formulas and methodologies than open-ended questions and discussions and western modernisms like storytelling, empathy walks and so forth. 

So, if I were designing your bootcamp, I'll start with the Business Model Canvas for Social Services - and position it as the baseline for how they currently think about their venture/services. 

I'll eliminate all "system thinking", "design thinking" kind of abstractions as lectures. [Not to mention empathy walk and interactive story telling!]. I'll avoid change management, team building etc - these are issues for a CEO, not for an entrepreneur. 

Instead, I'll come to pitching/presentation and have them present to their own peers or an audience as to how to present their idea in terms of their new canvas - customers, value propositions, partners, stakeholders etc. 

Then I'll cover fundraising. Here I'll include both case studies as well as objective info - such as who have funds for what and how to apply. 

Now you've given the entrepreneur something concrete - how to think about their venture, how to talk about it and how to get it started. You've spared them boring lectures from professors about systems thinking and amusing entertainers about story telling (to an entrepreneur, these are not actionable).

At this point, the entrepreneur's demons are gone - they think they have the tools to do what they want to do. 

Now inspire them to do it - with case studies (focused more on the entrepreneurial struggles rather than operations). 

Of the other topics you mention, only legalities are important - now that you can do it, here are some basics to get started and what to watch out for. 

Just keep one thing in mind and you'll have a great bootcamp: Academics and scientists tend to think top down (from theory to implementation) whereas an entrepreneur thinks bottom-up. Having been both a scientist and an entrepreneur, I feel this is an often misunderstood/overlooked fact by folks who try to train "entrepreneurs". 

Daniel D'Alonzo

October 22nd, 2016

Here are my thoughts on your situation:
  1. You may want to readjust your thought process regarding how learning happens. This is how we ended up here with the problems we face today.
  2. Do we really want the hilarity of applying silicon valley tactics to our own reality
  3. What are "entrepreneurial skills"? Seems like are waiting for something magical to happen..I don't have anything to support the transformation!
  4. Sentence #1 seems like it contradicts itself. Or something. Something isn't reading right about it.
  5. Social Enterprise is already entrepreneurial by nature. This creates the perception in the reader's mind that you are unfamiliar with socent as you are potentially grouping it with nonprofits and charity. I may have misunderstood, though.
  6. I am confused why Systems Thinking is followed by "understanding when you are part of the problem..." You may be looking for the word, reflection. You can tap into reflection via journaling. Partner a mentor with the student for deeper self-reflection and potentially uncovering critically important stuff in the student's mind and external life which may present itself as an obstacle in the future
  7. Still thinking about your list, it might help to start prioritizing what we have so far. This list is meant to explode in growth and it's going to take a lot of workAnd I want to be apart of thing thing
  8. Create the Conditions: student success in this case will not be dictated by someone - the student must learn how to learn so they know how to survive outside the classroom. Let's face it, if we knew better than them then we wouldn't be handing them an exhausted planet.
  9. Project-based: I agree with your inclination of hands-on activities. I will go as far to say that each learning experience is essentially a project. If you have talks, panels, or other longform knowledgge to transfer to the student's brain then you may look into flipping the classroom - give them that boring stuff to do when they are home alone. The moment they walk into your classroom the next morning is when they teams can finally get back to work on their projects. Teams gets the same amount of time and they learn the same skill sets during the bootcamp.
  10. Ideal Project Topics: Especially for the first time you implement this, you'll want to bring 4-5 topics that you know have legs - aka, the students wont' run out of complexity to anlayze. Topics should be rooted in the community in which the students live. Topics like smart planning and urban development, gentrifcation, climate change, etc.
  11. Topic Assignments:You can offer the teams a quick opportunity to raise their hands or express interest in a certain one of the projects, but don't let it slow you down from accomplishing the goal of this step: each team gets assigned a topic
  12. Omnichannel Journey: The course will offer a blended learning experience comprised of various tracs set in motion on day one, and great to hear as a person. Our methods of communication should touch your student's lives at the micromoments of their busy days like today.
  13. Skill Sets: Provide students with inclusive tech training and new media composition training. Students are immersed in their local community to do in-depth interviews with the ecclectic member member fcp.fine
  14. Feedback: Similar to how you asked us for feedback here, one of the microlessons we teach your students about is this concept of what you and I have been chatting about last hour.
  15. Learning Community:Prospective players are scholars, mentors, practitioners, educators, family, business owners, government employees and all of these sectors must be involved because solving for the rising generation is a shared responsibility.

Dr. Rob Elkington Ph.D. Founder and CEO: Global Leadership Initiatives

October 22nd, 2016

Hi David,

I think I understand your design process. I would enjoy discussing your learning outcomes to ensure the design process matches desired outcomes. Here are my simple suggestions - hope they help:
  1. Systems Thinking - How to determine if you are part of the problem you are trying to solve, the stakeholders and impact. I use the Rats of Borneo Systems simulation to teach this point.
  2. Social Sensitivity Role Play Activity. I use the "tell me three things" practice throughout thetraining session and garner reflections on this throughout.
  3. Presencing, Purpose, Developing Serving Philosophy, Inspiring Here I use the "Who am I, Where am I, Where do I want to be" visioning and strategy process within a group context.
  4. Marketing, Branding, Interactive Storytelling Here I have Entrepreneurs tell me their story, and then I employ Socratic discussion to help them refine, refine, refine.
  5. Pitch, Presentation Skills Here we help Entrepreneurs practice theprocess, as well as have confidence in their own style and individuality.
  6. Empathy Walk I have participants develop a real life activistic project to strengthen the poor in the community
  7. Design Thinking for Social Services - Use the Audiobook - Design Thinking in Business and IT: Overview, Techniques and Example Workshop
  8. Business Model Canvas for Social Services - Here I would enlist Antony Upward and his Flourishing Business Model Canvas workshop.
  9. Panel Discussion with leading Global Activists - Use Zoom to have them linked in virtually.
  10. Case Studies of Successful Social Enterprises - Do those in-situ and have the participants in specific pre-determined groups give presentations on what they find and have the other groups critique.
  11. Team building activity, building foundations Start with a community development project in real time and have team work on it throughout the week ... I can give more detail offline.
  12. Gaming Simulation on Social Startup/Entrepreneur Game - Depending on your budget - try Fligby?
  13. Private FB and LINE Groups for discussion and keep in touch afterwards
  14. Operations, Fundraising -
  15. Change Management -
  16. Legalities -

Shel Horowitz I help organizations thrive by building social transformation into your products, your services, and your marketing

October 22nd, 2016

As someone who speaks and writes on how to bring social entrepreneurship into more traditional business (as well as how new social entrepreneurs can be profitable), I respectfully disagree with Kishore. The earlier a company can build in holistic thinking, the better. I see way too many would-be social entrepreneurs go off half-baked on a poorly-conceived project that can actually make the situation worse on the ground. For example, many people jump into the famous Buy One Give One model without thinking through the effect on the pre-existing local economy in the target developing area. It has to be done in ways that don't undermine the struggling local entrepreneurs. Others create something very dependent on continued input from the developed-nation partner but don't create the structures to make sure that input IS in fact continued.

I see it as a strength that you want to include marketing, and that your vision of marketing includes storytelling. Soc ent is uniquely positioned to benefit by telling the right story to the right people. I do think some of the pieces you've identified may want to wait until the organizations are more established, and that the format should be interactive and not pure lecture.

Kishore has correctly pointed out the cultural issue. You may want to consult with a Taiwanese expert on tuning the content and presentation in ways that Taiwanese people can easily relate to.

You may find it helpful to view the ways I bring this material to an audience, by viewing my TEDx talk, (click "event videos") or my 4-minute demo reel, which is footage from this year and somewhat more evolved: You would definitely benefit from my 10th book, Guerrilla Marketing to Heal the World--and you can download a sampler at no cost at

Mei Fung Co-Founder, Secretariat at People Centered Internet

October 22nd, 2016

Recommend hands on activities on network leadership skills - happy to discuss activities on this - can transfer knowledge to you so you can train the trainer (no fee involved) ​ Network Leadership Competencies.pdf ​ ​ Hudak_et_al-2015-Journal_of_Leadership_Studies.pdf ​ Mei Lin Fung (cell) 650 279 7892 (email & FaceBook) (twitter) meilinfung

Pradeep Reddy Senior Technology Evangelist

October 22nd, 2016

David,Very impressive & thoughtful content . p ​k at huntertech dot in ​

Pradeep Reddy Senior Technology Evangelist

October 22nd, 2016

any website where we can find more info about taipei Insiders Exec Club, Taipei Startup Center, Taipei Startup Talks?

Fion Liao HR Partner ✦ Training ✦ Learning & Development ✦ Executive Coaching ✦ Taiwan ✦ AVR ✦ Asia ✦ Startups ✦ Social Enterprise

October 24th, 2016

Valerlia Great idea.  Social entrepreneurs should be more familiar with applications for social issues.  We had one startup speak on a mental health application in China called Kajin

David A. Hall AR/VR ✦ Education 4.0 ✦ Taiwan ✦ Industry 4.0 ✦ Human 2.0 ✦ Social Enterprise ✦ Speaker ✦

October 24th, 2016

Thank you for these wonderful comments, suggestions and constructive criticism! They will all help me improve this boot camp for participants.  We've already got an excellent line up of award winning, well known social entrepreneurs/activists.  Here's the startup center requested, our site, and Yunus Center NCU can be found on Google

David A. Hall AR/VR ✦ Education 4.0 ✦ Taiwan ✦ Industry 4.0 ✦ Human 2.0 ✦ Social Enterprise ✦ Speaker ✦

October 24th, 2016

Thanks Rob. Looked up all the resources.  Sent for Flourishing license to use innovation kit and social business model!