OSUN’s Social Entrepreneurship Course Fuels Practical Solutions to Global Problems

Ahmad Hijawi (left) and his colleagues from CleanPalCo met with officials from the municipality of Ramallah in Palestine and then agreed to remove pollutants from the area for recycling and turning them into building materials.

When Al-Quds student Bard Ahmad Hijawi ’23 set out to find a way to solve the problems of industrial stone waste and discarded tires in his native Palestine, he had no idea he would end up also by creating useful household products and winning national entrepreneurship competitions. In the process. Hijawi credits much of his company’s success to the skills he developed while taking the OSUN Network Collaborative Course on Social Entrepreneurship in 2020, as well as the valuable feedback from his peers he received throughout. .

“The course helped me a lot in acquiring leadership and analytical skills, especially in finding solutions to the problems we wanted to solve,” says Hijawi, who co-founded CleanPalCo. Hijawi found that methodical research, experimentation, and consultation with classmates in different countries helped his team find a solution that was both viable and innovative. Ultimately, the course’s collaborative processes allowed the team to realize they could cut up discarded rubber tires and then combine them with waste stone and polluting water to produce household products. useful such as bricks, tiles and rubber flooring.

“We not only solved a pollution problem, but also produced something useful that could be used as safety padding in parks and playgrounds,” he says.

Eliza Edge, who earned a Bard MBA in Sustainability in 2020 and is one of several instructors at Bard College teaching social entrepreneurship, agrees that the global network structure and platform supporting the course has been invaluable. “Getting feedback and feedback from peers around the world can help others understand patterns that might already exist in other parts of the world,” she says. “Knowing that we don’t want to recreate, say, a food delivery app all over the world, our system allows us to share examples and insights from our own lives and worldviews that can be very helpful in getting off the beaten track. beaten.”

In its second year, the course connects over 100 students from countries around the world, including Bangladesh, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Taiwan and the United States, creating a brain of multicultural interactions that is not available in most classrooms.

Publication date : 11-09-2021

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