Michael Caslin, Mary Kate Naatus and Joseph Szocik
Pracademic Social Entrepreneurship and a Sustainable World
Our paper describes the Global Center for Social Entrepreneurship Network (GCSEN) Foundation’s pracademic social entrepreneurship methodology and its contribution to developing a sustainable world. Michael Caslin, Professor Caz to his students, founder and CEO of GCSEN, developed the fundamentals of the “pracademic” methodology over four decades of teaching, at leading Universities around the world, and managing the growth of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) to reach 600,000 low income youth in 31 states and 14 countries. In 2016 GCSEN collaborated with faculty from Saint Peter’s University, Wheaton College, and Babson College on a paper describing a pracademic Four (4) Stage Social Entrepreneurship model. The model guides Social Entrepreneurs (SEs) to organize a social enterprise capable of “scaling up” positive impact to Transformative Scale. Each stage focuses on stage specific tasks, and challenges facing the SE with respect to both Impact Design e.g., social, environmental, economic problems, solutions, metrics, scaling strategy, and Impact Organization e.g., continuous improvement of operational excellence. The paper was presented to a global audience at the 13th Annual Social Entrepreneurship Conference hosted by USC’s Marshall Business School The pracademic methodology is a unique combination of practitioner focus, instruction in practical skills, internships on real world projects, and rigorous academic education. The methodology guides and prepares SEs to achieve positive impact and transformative scale to ameliorate or solve society’s most pressing problems. Positive impact can spread the growth of something good, or stop the spread of something bad. Transformative scale addresses the “root cause” of social problems to affect system/cultural change that closes the gap between real world conditions of a problem and the ideal conditions resulting in social benefits such as increased equality, social justice, quality of life, etc., forces shaping the on-going evolution of a sustainable world.