Thoughts on ‘solutions’

From Michael Woolcock’s lecture and his accompanying paper, there’s a lot to learn about the development process – how it can go well and how it can wallow.  As you finish with the lecture tomorrow, please use the remaining time in class – till 12:30 – to share what you have learned from the article and the lecture, particularly as it relates to the three goals of the class.

And I would be thrilled if you’d record your observations and comments on this blog.  Indeed, you might even record them in real time as you talk tomorrow and hit ‘publish’ as class ends: then I can study what you have come up with as I come back east.

4 thoughts on “Thoughts on ‘solutions’

  1. Stuart Fram

    Here are the notes from Friday morning’s meeting. Sorry the formatting isn’t super clear; tried to translate from microsoft word’s outline template.

    -Would a center be feasible with Middlebury’s rural location?
    -Advantages with language schools and MIIS
    -Allocation of resources to get world leaders every year is questionable. Are the priorities in the right place?
    –>More important to bring a guy like Greg Mortensen every year than a world leader
    -Can we negotiate it so that we place the emphasis on a certain aspect?
    –>2 part grants: one to carry out the project and one to follow up
    –>Important to know what’s going on after the project is done
    –>If we’re funding college students, how do we ensure that the projects won’t just be 3 month ventures
    –>Most potential for graduating seniors
    -Office for Creativity and Innovation houses everything having to do with entrepreneurship on campus
    -Potential for student interest in administrative aspects of center
    –>Could be a good pitching point for the board of trustees – this would be an incredibly beneficial educational experience for students
    –>If we decide to take money away from grants and put it towards evaluative measures it could be potentially enticing
    –>One educational aspect could be the establishment of certain requirements in order to make the attainment of evaluative jobs more likely
    -How do we incorporate educational aspect for non-Midd people?
    -What if evaluators determine things aren’t going well? How are funds allocated?
    -Involvement of non-Midd people through the yearly meetings and grants
    -Incorporation of other departments
    -How far do we push Middlebury’s ownership of the center?
    -Alternative study abroad experience?
    –>How do we give college credit to non-Middlebury students?
    -Has there ever been an independent scholar on social entrepreneurship?
    -3 things we need to talk about
    • Language school
     We can provide evaluators with language education
    • Somewhat contingent upon our evaluator idea
     Might be more appealing for the college if demand for certain languages leads to an expansion of the language schools
     Issue is that our language program doesn’t necessarily have the resources of other universities
     We can stress language as one of the most important aspects of social entrepreneurship
    • MIIS
    • Potential for donors
    • If we fund programs like CAI and they become successful, Middlebury is going to get attention for that

    1. Jonathan Isham Post author

      Guys – these are superb questions. Really getting to the heart of the matter, and then some.

      Something that I have been thinking about a lot is ‘what will the mission of the center be?’ Put another way, what might it’s mission statement be? Second, I believe that, for Midd students in particular, the center should feature – indeed in many ways might even be built around – an approach which emphasizes agency. I’d love to see the center as a place where people can really reflect on, wrestle with, and nurture questions about the role that one may play in a complex world. The work of Scott Sherman, I am learning, takes this kind of approach –

      Heading back east tomorrow, snow and connecting flights permitting! JI

  2. Stuart Fram

    3 goals: individual agency, understanding 21st century challenges, analysis of solutions for challenges

    -Support for smaller organizations to solve problems; potential inflexibility of larger bodies
    -Without short-term solutions, there wouldn’t be a need for long-term solutions
    -Cohesion between small and large groups; playing off each other’s strengths

    In regards to the center
    -Relative to Rhiya’s point about the difference between funding positions in the corporate ladder and funding innovative ideas.
    -How do we reconcile dichotomous notions of long vs. short term projects? Would we be funding both?
    -Center should be educational
    -Center could direct you to other organizations on campus
    -Maybe not about the number of projects we fund, but about the nudge that we give students as they leave Middlebury
    -Davis Projects for Peace: what happens to the projects that don’t get the grant? Could this center help fund those?
    -Issue of making sure projects are legitimate
    -Education is key to these projects
    -Involvement of non-Middlebury people? i.e. Language school equivalent
    -Center could provide people to advise projects
    -Importance of having people of different walks of life in the same classroom
    -Incorporation of lectures/workshops/talks from people who have already gotten involved with social entrepreneurship (Davis people, etc.)
    -Provision of knowledge to people at more than just a senior seminar level (things like globalization)
    -Symposiums (similar to weekly ES colloquium)
    -3 elements: education, grants/funding for projects, multiple week program
    -2 core goals: providing funding for ideas, providing impetus for new ideas
    -Coupling of funding with education
    -Reverse! education before funding to give people framework to come up with ideas
    -Taking committed individuals and empowering them
    -Lack of direction–what’s our mission for the center? What do we want it to accomplish in the end?
    -Need of a general structure for the center
    -What does the family want?
    -We need a big idea in order for the proposal to stand out

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