How student entrepreneurs can be a force for change in America
By David LoughmanPublished Oct 02, 2018 12:14:04Students can take to the streets and be a powerful force for positive change, according to a new report.
The report, published by the Brookings Institution, notes that students have been organizing, organizing, and participating in community and political movements for decades.
In a recent report, for instance, more than two dozen U.S. colleges and universities have pledged to implement a Student Engagement Strategy, or SES, that will lead to more students participating in political activism.
The students’ power and the opportunities they create are now being harnessed by some of the world’s most influential businesses.
The University of Chicago launched a “Student Engagement Initiative” to “recharge and inspire students across the country.”
The university recently announced a new initiative to “help transform the lives of our students” through a series of events that will involve students engaging with the media, engaging with government and other leaders, and even creating their own student media outlets.
The university also announced plans to offer a summer program on the “performances of students in the field of entrepreneurship,” which will include a series exploring the “why and how of entrepreneurship.”
The initiative aims to “make learning about entrepreneurship as accessible as possible for students.”
And in June, the University of Southern California announced a “Finance & Finance, Entrepreneurship & Entrepreneurships” event that will “address the importance of entrepreneurship for the U.s. economy.”
The new initiative will include workshops, networking events, and other “activities that are a step towards creating an entrepreneurial community in our campus,” said David A. Smith, chair of the USCF’s School of Business.
Smith said he believes the efforts to bring entrepreneurship to the classroom will “re-empower students, broaden the pool of students who can take leadership roles in their communities, and expand opportunities for student entrepreneurs to take their own entrepreneurial ideas to the world.”
He also said he is “confident that the current lack of diversity in student leadership is one of the greatest barriers to the growth of entrepreneurship on campus.”
For students who have already participated in a number of such initiatives, they are now “engaged in a process of self-organization,” he said.
Students who have chosen to take a lead role in a SES have the opportunity to engage in “creative, disruptive, and effective ways to engage with their peers in an ongoing, constructive and meaningful way,” he added.
In its report, the Brookings said the “sustainability of student entrepreneurship is at the forefront of our efforts to advance these strategies.”
The report also highlighted the efforts of universities to improve diversity and inclusion, including by hiring more women and minorities and expanding “inclusive” academic offerings, and to increase the number of students from underrepresented groups.
“The university must continue to engage students in meaningful ways that reflect their unique experiences and skillsets, and it must be proactive in creating and strengthening these opportunities for these students,” the report said.
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit research and education organization based in Washington, D.C. The authors are John R. Bolton, director of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace’s Center for Global Development; James R. Leshner, dean of the University at Buffalo’s Kellogg School of Management; and David L. Katz, a professor of political science at Harvard University.