Online Seminar: Community Innovation - From Idea to Implementation

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An international online seminar offered by a European partnership of universities and NGOs

>>> now including Community Innovation Labs

Our first course starts on Tuesday, October 8, 2019

>>>Register now

For whom is this course?

  • Are you a business or economics student who cares about social and environmental problems?
  • Are you an agronomy student who wants to make agriculture more beneficial for society and the environment?
  • Are you a planner, designer or artist who wants to learn how to start a business that helps solve social problems in your everyday environment?
  • Or are you already a professional?
  • Are you curious about other people and their knowledge and want to learn from other Europeans?
  • Do you believe in your capability to create something new?
  • In short, would you like to become a social entrepreneur? Then join us this semester, because everyone can become an entrepreneur!

Who is offering this course?

Community Learning for Local Change is a programme offered by a 4-University Consortium in cooperation with relevant NGOs. The goal is to empower future social entrepreneurs through an interdisciplinary, problem-based learning environment that enhances the innovative competencies needed for addressing social, cultural and environmental challenges in Europe. The programme is funded by the ERASMUS* Programme in the period 2018 - 2021.

Course Objectives

The goal of this course is to grow ideas in the field of social innovation. Ideally, you join this programme with your own innovation idea in mind. You may also participate as a team.

The course is designed as a follow-up of the online programme 'Social Entrepreneurship for Local Change' which has been running during the summer term.

However, participation in this previous course is not a prerequisite. Anyone with a concrete social innovation idea in mind can participate.

Social or community innovation ideas typically address one or several of the following sustainability challenges:

  • Unfulfilled needs of vulnerable social groups
  • Local environmental challenges such as unsustainable traffic, energy consumption, biodiversity decline, water pollution or other threats to public health
  • Local social challenges such as lacking governance at community level, social disintegration and lack of services of general interest (culture, education, transport etc.)
  • Local economic challenges such as disappearing food supply, retail and services at neighborhood level, lack of alternatives for sustainable consumption

Content Overview

Community Innovation - From Idea to Implementation covers the following topics:

  • Designing an organisational form
  • Product and Service Design
  • Financing Plan
  • Promotion and Selling Strategies
  • The Management Dimenion

We will introduce these topics during the weekly sessions with a mix of theory inputs, exercises, peer discussions and presentation of additional readings for self-study. The weekly sessions have a duration of 90 minutes and are delivered online via our virtual classroom.

Course Schedule

Our online lectures will take place from 08.10.2019 – 14.01.2020, with one weekly session on Tuesdays from 16 00 – 17 30 pm CET.

Preliminary Course Schedule and Topics

Phase A: Designing and Organisational Form

  • A.1, 07.10.2019: Introduction to the seminar: From Idea to Implementation - What does it imply?
  • A.2, 15.10.2019: Understanding the start-up phase: Methodologies for supporting start-ups.
  • A.3, 22.10.2019: Ownership models and their legal environment
  • A.4. 29.10.2019: Cooperation models

Phase B: Product and Service Design

  • B.1, 05.11.2019: Introduction to product and service design
  • B.2, 12.11.2019: How to conduct a market research

Phase C: Developing the Financial Plan

  • C.1, 19.11.2019: Financing resources
  • B.2, 26.11.2019: Cash flow and financial modeling

Phase D: Promotion and Selling Strategies

  • D.1, 19.11.2019: Creative use of advertising and promotion
  • D.2, 26.11.2019: Distribution Channels

Phase E: Management

  • E.1, 17.12.2019: Staffing and Leadning
  • E.2, 07.01.2020: Quality Management and Impact Evaluation
  • E.3, 14.01.2020: Risk Management

Assignment and Course Work

  • During the seminar you are invited to work on your own social business or social innovation idea. The goal of this programme is to help you growing your ideas.
  • The outcome will be an advanced business plan (or implementation plan), you can set your own emphasis with respect to your needs.
  • Successful candidates will receive a seminar certificate (5 ECTS). However, students need to seek individually for academic recognition at their respective universities (if needed). There is usually at least one recognition opportunity at each university of our ERASMUS partnership
  • The seminar requires approximately 2-3 additional hours of work per week (in addition to the seminar session of 90 minutes duration).

Conditions for participation and credits

Participation in this course is open to all study programs and free of charge.

Academic recognition for successful completion will be as follows with a maximum of 7 ECTS:

  • up to 5 ECTS for the online seminar (active participation)
  • up to 7 ECTS for those who attend both the online course and the intensive programme
  • Students need to seek individually for academic recognition at their respective universities
  • there is usually at least one recognition opportunity at each university of the SELC partnership

Registration conditions and deadlines

Registration Online Seminar

Participation in the online seminar is free and open to students at any institution as well as the general public.

Participation is possible in active or passive mode.

Active participation includes:

  • registration before 10th of March 2019
  • regular attendance of the online class (or working with the seminar recordings in due time)
  • participation in the community innovation labs
  • completion of the seminar coursework and group assignments
  • academic recognition of up to 5 ECTS (+ 1 ECTS for personal reflection)

Passive participation includes:

  • registration can be done any time, but preferably before the first session. Send an email to info(at)
  • visitation of online seminar sessions either in real time or through video recordings;
  • no academic recognition granted

Registration Romania Workshops

Participation in the Romania Workshops requires personal application. Academic recognition is up to 2 ECTS. Only students enrolled at the partner universities are eligible.

Applications must include:

  • A letter of intent explaining your motivation for participation in the workshop
  • CV and current transcript of records
  • English language certificate (if available)

Registration Link

>>>Seminar Online Registration

Further information

ERASMUS+ Programme and the German National Agency

The Community Learning for Local Change Project has been (partially) funded by the ERASMUS+ grant program of the European Union under grant no.2018-1-DE01-KA203-004227. Neither the European Commission nor the project's national funding agency are responsible for the content or liable for any losses or damage resulting of the use of these resources.
The EU grant from the ERASMUS+ programme has been issued by the National Agency for University Cooperation of the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).