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Change for good: Using values to generate ideas for social enterprise

A person sits on a laptop with notebooks scattered around them. They are on astroturf with a cork planter behind them
A person sits on a laptop with notebooks scattered around them. They are on astroturf with a cork planter behind them
Creative thinking behind Babett Kurschner's work © Alys Tomlinson
Written by
Juliana Robilard
Published date
29 November 2021

On Friday 12 November, Careers and Employability organised an online workshop facilitated by Enterprise and Events Manager Vicky Fabbri and the Deputy Head, Tessa Read. The session aimed to provide the opportunity for an introduction to the concept of social enterprise and innovation. Students and alumni were guided through the first direction to generate ideas to create ventures based on their values, strengths and skills.

Here are some takeaways from the workshop:

What are social enterprises?

A social enterprise aims to profit like a traditional business, but its primary mission is the social good. Social entrepreneurs, in a way, identify a gap in the market and want to do something different to solve that problem. For instance, as explained by host Tessa Read, when we look to understand the social entrepreneur's journey, their motivation and inspiration are often inspired by personal experience or exposure based on that person's values.

What are values?
  • a set of principles that we believe in and live by
  • derived over our lifetime from the information we have consumed
  • living by values = fulfilled and purposed life
  • internal GPS (a guide to people, projects, work, places)
  • values are the foundation of any social enterprise.
An exercise in understanding our values
  • Who is the person you admire the most, and what values that person might have?
  • When was the last time you took a stand for it, what was it about, and why did you take a stand for it
  • What would you do with it if you had a million pounds to spend on anything but you?

Most likely, your answers for each of the questions are the values you stand for.

The philosophy of finding purpose

The Japanese concept of Ikigai (ee-key-guy) is a state of wellbeing that also brings a sense of fulfilment. During the workshop, students and alumni were led to think the answer for the key Ikigai's question:

  • What do you love?
  • What are you good at?
  • What can you be paid for?
  • What does the world need?

This exercise aimed to generate ideas for social enterprise based on combining one answer for each question. The ideas proposed by students were all great, and we hope participants will start piloting and prototyping them to turn into projects or business ideas.

How can UAL help me?

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