Jill Kickul, Lisa Gundry, Jacqueline Orr and Mark Griffiths
Social Entrepreneurship is an emerging and rapidly changing field that examines the practice of identifying, starting and growing successful mission-driven for-profit and nonprofit ventures, that is, organizations that strive to advance social change through innovative solutions. For educators teaching in this field, we advocate for a Design Thinking approach that can be integrated into social entrepreneurship education. Specifically, we believe that many of the Design Thinking principles are especially suitable and useful for educators to facilitate student learning as they create and incubate social ventures. We also advance a broader conceptual framework, which we describe as the four main “mega-themes” in social entrepreneurship education, namely innovation, impact, sustainability and scale. We offer ways in which the Design Thinking steps can be integrated and applied to each of these themes and accelerate the social venture creation process. We conclude by discussing and presenting how Design Thinking can complement an overall Systems Thinking perspective.