On September 9th and 10th, the EMBRACE project consortium met online which resulted in two very productive working sessions to assess the work carried out so far and launch a prospective of the next steps to be taken. Although the plans to meet in Vilnius were altered by the crisis of COVID-19, the meeting host – Vilnius Gediminas Technical University (VilniusTech) together with the coordinator Prof. Bill O’Gorman organized and moderated online, each part of the meeting in an efficient, pleasant and dynamic way.
On Wednesday morning, the partners discussed the progress made of the first two work packages: “Review of Corporate Social Entrepreneurship (CSE) programmes in HEIs” and “Benchmarking Good Practices of Corporate Social Entrepreneurship”. While on Thursday morning, CSE Curriculum and the main legacy of the project – EMBRACEedulab were addressed.
The curriculum will offer an excellent opportunity to explore competences and skills and develop a pedagogical framework for CSE which is currently lacking in the HEIs and, according to previous research undertaken in the project, is urgently needed. One of the elements to be highlighted regarding the forthcoming curriculum is that it will be flexible, so that future learners may choose according to their previous career paths and professional objectives, and that it will be based on four hypothetical profiles (person, professional, entrepreneur, company).
In addition, on Thursday afternoon, two online webinars were held, organized by Technology Ireland ICT Skillnet and VilniusTech including speakers from Ireland, the UK, Lithuanian and the Netherlands. The first one was attended by John McGrath, from IBM and Neil Giles, from The Traffik Analysis Hub, who are collaborating to create technology and processes to disrupt Human Trafficking globally.
The second webinar focused on the vision of three Corporate Social Entrepreneurship projects. These three experiences were presented by Juste Rakstyte-Hoiman, Project Manager of the Lithuania Innovation Centre who spoke about «Social innovations and Lithuanian smart specialization»; Arjan Slagter («Regional Cooperative Westerkwartier») who presented the experience in enabling entrepreneurs in the region (North Netherlands) to become more socially engaged and sustainable; and finally, Kristina Šermukšnytė-Alešiūnienė, (Product development and innovation manager, ART21 Ltd.) who spoke about innovations in agri-food for sustainable development and social responsibility. The webinars were very insightful, and the project partners and guests were able to learn from the real, tangible experiences of the presenters.
The previous months have certainly been full of activity for the project partners, but there is still a lot of exciting and challenging work ahead. As the EMBRACE Project Leader, Prof. Bill O’Gorman said, “we are on the cusp are creating a new business paradigm, Corporate Social Entrepreneurship (CSE). In this regard, the two-day intense workshop attended by all partners was insightful, fruitful and excellent. The webinars were critical in grounding our thinking and helping us to shape the CSE curriculum and the EMBRACEedulab.”
To keep track of all the latest developments of the project, please visit the news section of the EMBRACE website:http://csembrace.eu/news/