One focus of the COP4HL Knowledge Alliance was on entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial behavior. These are two important ingredients for innovation.
The Entrepreneurship competition helps to get local initiatives started and gives participants the opportunity to not only test, but above all, develop their entrepreneurial skills. Entrepreneurial behaviour is very important for professionals who want to innovate within or outside their field of study. Dealing with a world that is changing faster and faster and is producing big hairy problems (wicked problems), asks for professionals who are able to deal with ambiguity and are capable of working in multidisciplinary teams. The competition is founded on two important models.
First effectuation, a model on entrepreneurial behavior and co-creation. It helps the participants to work with the means available, the stakeholders with commitment and a future that can be shaped by themselves.
(2) DESIGN THINKING
The second is design thinking, a model on how to design products, services and social innovation. Participants learn how to make use of empathy and how to gain customer insights. Also it helps them to make use of their own creativity and tot test their ideas through prototyping.
During the competition, the students run through the fives stage of design thinking: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, and implement. After each phase they can elaborate back. During this competition process, students receive support in the introduction phase, however, for the rest of the competition duration it is more working together on a complex problem and work on certain tasks in a team of students related to the respective stage of design thinking.
By working with these models and starting real local projects a network of willing stakeholders will grow. And this network is one of the main conditions of reaching a sustainable way of learning how to use entrepreneurial behavior in stimulating a healthy lifestyle.
At the end of the COP4HL student competition, the students from the six COP4HL local communities of practice had to present or hand in their prototype. Based on a selection procedure, the winners were invited to join an intensive training programme on entrepreneurship at the end of 2020 in Groningen, the Netherlands.