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Class Planning, Arts Entrepreneurship

I’m working on the final revision of the syllabus for my fall course in arts entrepreneurship at Purchase College (SUNY). Of interest are 2 aspects of this course planning. First, I will only teach in person (warm body in room) 5 times during the semester. I will teach the remaining classes either asynchronously or synchronously, the latter here using video technology (check out Zoom). I will also meet twice with each student one-on-one using Google +. Second, when at the University of Maryland this June for my National Orchestral Institute gig, I became fascinated with their campus-wide campaign that promotes innovation and entrepreneurship. My fascination centered on their separation of innovation from entrepreneurship, or was it their combination of the two. After all, Drucker’s iconic work, Innovation and Entrepreneurship (2006) combines the two in its title.

In my conversation with those at Maryland who are leading this campus-wide effort I came to understand that they separate innovation from entrepreneurship because innovation can exist without entrepreneurship, and should be fostered in all students. Entrepreneurship is to be encouraged as a result of innovative thinking and construction, but not required. As I contemplated this, I thought: teach entrepreneurial skills to all students, strongly encourage innovative thinking, keep them innately separate, and the result will be a flood of new entities.

In my class planning, I had revisited Drucker, and once again realized what a total genius he was. I am using his book, the one listed above, as a text in my class. He rightfully incorporates innovation as a key ingredient into entrepreneurship, and beautifully lays out processes for transformation and entity formation (and management). I will also use Brinckerhoff’s Social Entrepreneurship (2000), as I continue to be convinced that his approach to this ill-defined topic to be reasonable and clear. And, I will have the students read and study “How to Write a Great Business Plan” by William A. Sahlman. We will also take a serious dive into ‘lean startups,’ as the processes suggested in them have become increasingly vital to entity creation and sustainability.

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