The Open Mind adventure started!
Open Mind is an Erasmus+ project, which aims at promoting Social Entrepreneurship to female learners and students from non-business studies through an innovative gamified open online course.
Despite the positive impact that social enterprises have on the economy and society in general, currently the majority of entrepreneurship courses are offered in business and economic studies, so in fact most students have no possibility of taking part in entrepreneurial courses and programs. Eurostat and GEM data show that two-thirds of young people and women in EU believe they do not have the knowledge or skills to start a business, which is one of the most significant barriers to business creation.
Investing in entrepreneurship education is one of the highest return investments Europe can make, the Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 stresses. This requires the transversal competences, required in social entrepreneurship to become mainstream – not only for students in business studies, but also for those in humanities, arts, sciences and technologies.
To address these challenges, 8 organizations from 5 European countries will jointly develop and pilot an innovative gamified open online course in social entrepreneurship for women and students from non-business studies. The initiative involves: VUZF University of Finance, Business and Entrepreneurship, Business Foundation for Education, D. A. Tsenov Academy of Economics and the technological company 11235 Ltd from Bulgaria; Institute of Entrepreneurship Development in Greece, University of Lodz, Poland, University Titu Maioerescu, Romania and the University of Sheffield, UK.
In the next 2 years the partnership will produce 3 main intellectual outputs:
1. Massive online open course (MOOC) "Introduction in Social Entrepreneurship" for students from diverse fields of study. It will introduce students to the fundamentals of social entrepreneurship: identify opportunity, create a business model, prepare business plan, attract investors, learn how to establish, effectively manage and communicate the activity of a social startup, etc. The course will also contain an E-book of 50 inspiring female social start-ups.
2. Innovative gamified online platform, that will use game design elements to create a highly participative and inspiring learning environment, in which students will explore business concepts and develop key entrepreneurship skills and mindset, while dealing with real cases and challenges. The platform will operate in 5 languages (EN, BG, GR, PL and RO) and will be maintained at least until 2020. 60 trainers will be trained to provide ongoing support to learners. At least 600 students will be enrolled in the course till the end of the project.
3. Impact assessment report will help outline the major outcomes of the project and attract strategic support for the initiative after the project lifetime. It will be presented during the final events in partners' countries.
Gamification is one of the latest trends in the e-learning community that uses game mechanics and characteristics like goals, missions, rules, playfulness, elements of fun, feedback, reward and promotions, applies them to solve the real-world business problem and rewards target user behaviors. Studies show the positive impact digital games and gamification have on learning: they improve self-confidence, motivation and positive engagement with learning; support the development of problem solving and social skills.
The gamification pioneer and guru Yu-kai Chou has listed the “Top 10 Social Gamification Examples that will Literally Save the World”. Among them are:
- The puzzle game “Foldit” made a breakthrough in AIDS Research that scientists couldn’t solve for 15 years. With over 240,000 “players” the solution was found in 10 days.
- The role playing game “Pain Squad” encourages children who combat cancer to log their pains, thus providing data to doctors on the efficiency of treatment.
- Khan Academy enhances learning through gamified online education. The huge collection of educational videos has attracted millions of learners.
- Zamzee makes Kids active by making running around epic. Activity rate for children decreased by 60%, leading to obesity, diabetes or even worse diseases.
- CrowdRise is a platform that Gamifies charity. It attracted over 33 Million players and have raised hundreds of millions of dollars for non-profits worldwide.
- OPower makes people responsible with their energy consumption.
- RecycleBank encourages people to recycle by awarding points, which are redeemable for real goods. The project, backed by Al Gore, has won numerous innovation and business awards. It now has 3 Million members and over 180 employees.
- FreeRice feeds the hungry by quizzing the intellect through the site UN World Food Programme and has donated rice, enough to feed 10 million people.
Stay updated to learn about the project accomplishments on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Open.Mind.Gamified.MOOC4Social.Entrepreneurship/
Project No: 2016-1-BG01-KA203-023754
This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.