Costa Rica: Social Innovation & Entrepreneurial Leadership In Latin America
Today’s global economy has made it essential for students to expand their learning to include global perspectives and engagements. The topic of Social Innovation and Entrepreneurial Leadership will provide students with a unique interdisciplinary and cross-cultural experience in a global context. UB’s Spring break, represents an opportunity for faculty to embed short-term global learning experiences into campus-based coursework. Such international experiences for students will enrich SOM curricula by challenging students to apply their learning through the direct engagement of complex and intercultural business topics. Furthermore, such global engagement connects School of Management students with diverse frameworks and practical experiences through which to analyze course content and envision diverse career options / paths.
This eight -day experiential learning would provide School of Management undergraduate and selective MBA students exposure to the history, culture and business in Latin America with emphasis on social innovation and entrepreneurial leadership . Students will engage course material in weekly classroom sessions and corresponding assignments at UB for the 4-6 weeks before participating in a CAPSTONE trip to Costa Rica during Spring break. Students and faculty will travel to Costa Rica to explore case studies of entrepreneurial leadership in Latin America that advance solutions to global problems in partnership with ICADS (https://icads.org/).
This course with its pre-trip activities and travel abroad program component is designed to increase students' knowledge of the international business environment in Latin America and specifically Costa Rica. Besides being ranked by US News as #4 for best places to visit in Central and South America, Costa Rica is uniquely positioned for these kinds of learning encapsulating the history, culture, policies and consequential results. This course embedded program is designed to expand students' knowledge in the following areas:
1) Develop / horn cultural sensitivity and appreciation of global and diversity mindset
2) Discover the differences / similarities in political, geographical, historical issues and its impact in the development (or otherwise) of certain economies of the world
3) Compare and contrast different cultures and societies and its influence in how business is conducted in different parts of the world/ countries
4) Explore diverse ways of expanding their network opportunities in the states and abroad
5) Appreciate the relevance of theoretical discussions and analysis of global issues in today’s global village – MBAs will have the opportunity to discuss with their undergraduate teams, topics such as: how globalized is our world, the role of tourism in Costa Rica economy, export destination of Costa Rica products among others
6) Utilize campus resources available in the Spellman Library for final documentary and presentation to faculty and staff
7) Practice strengths based leadership and following in different cultural settings. The following is the brief description of the 3 phase course embedded program:
Course Components: The course is a 3-phase model on the topic of Social Innovation & Entrepreneurial leadership with 2-3 possible themes illustrated below:
PHASE I (ON UB CAMPUS)
• Students will participate in 5-6 sessions of weekly workshops
• Experts/ colleagues will be invited to share their work/ research on eco-tourism, sustainability, innovation & entrepreneurship in Latin American with students
• Students will complete sessions on strengths based leadership, cultural competency communication, and discussion of assigned readings that will address site visits and corresponding topics.
• Faculty will facilitate regular reflection sessions prior to the trip (Undergraduates) to challenge students as they integrate course material and hands-on learning from site visits (both groups).
PHASE II (COSTA RICA)
• Site Visit to INCAE’s Latin American Center for Entrepreneurs (a top-ranked business school in Latin America). Topic: Distinguishing Characteristics and Challenges of Entrepreneurial Leadership in Costa Rica (Latin America)
• Site Visit to EARTH University. Topic: Entrepreneurial Leadership Training to Advance Sustainable Business in the Humid Tropic Regions of the World
• Site Visits to ASOPROAA (coffee cooperative) and Café Britt (privately held coffee exporter). Topics: Diverse Leadership and Business Models that Advance the Costa Rican Economy and Achieve Social Impact
• Site Visit to Habitat for Humanity and other NGOs (microfinance) that Leverage Business Skills to Combat Poverty. Topic: Role of NGOs in Promoting Economic Stability in Costa Rica (Latin America)
PHASE III (BACK IN UB)
• Each student will be expected to capture their individual experiences in a six page reflective report to be submitted via UBLearns 2 weeks after their return from Costa Rica
• Undergraduate students will also be expected to work in assigned small teams led by MBA Mentors to capture highlights of their experiences for poster presentations to their peers , faculty and staff as part
COSTA RICA: SIEL IN LATIN- AMERICA 3
of a Global Perspective / Experiential learning showcase/ Deal Expo in the UB School of Management
• E-copy portfolio (undergraduate students) will be required to encapsulate the entire experience from Phase I to III
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Contact Dr. Dorothy Siaw- Asamoah, PhD