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3.06 Entrepreneurial Leadership in Berlin and Europe

Instructor: Conny Steenblock
Language of instruction:
Course type:
Subject course, A-Track
Contact hours:
48 (6 per day)
Course days
: Monday & Thursday
ECTS credits
: 5
Course fee:
€ 1,300
Can be combined with all B-Track courses
🌍 Critical global issues addressed in this course: Gender Equality (SDG 5); Reduced Inequalities (SDG 10)

Course Description

Leadership surrounds us always and everywhere. Be it as a supervisor, team captain, student activist, or parent – we all need certain leadership skills to thrive in our private and professional lives. However, what makes a good leader has long been the subject of controversial debate in research and practice. Leadership theories have constantly evolved, and modern concepts are manifold. At the same time, management scandals (e.g., Wirecard, Dieselgate, Twitter) repeatedly bring leadership failures to light. This course introduces a basic understanding of what leadership actually is and how that understanding depends on time and context.

On this basis, we will take a closer look at what enables individuals to lead in an entrepreneurial way and why an entrepreneurial mindset is more than ever important among today’s leaders. The economic, political, and ecological crises around the world have led us to question many of the assumptions on what entrepreneurship and ‘typical’ entrepreneurs are. Various initiatives have been established to promote diverse forms, purposes, and initiators of entrepreneurial activity. Behind such endeavours lies the hope that entrepreneurship will not only create new jobs, but also new ideas for the future and solutions to the world's most pressing problems.Accordingly, the European Commission developed a reference framework (“EntreComp”) to establish an understanding of entrepreneurship as a competence that results in social, cultural, or financial value for others. The basic idea of this framework is that the necessary skills and attitudes can be learned and applied by anyone.

However, the outcome in practice regarding entrepreneurial diversity looks different. Women and ethnic minorities, for instance, remain significantly underrepresented in startup ecosystems worldwide. Counting a global average of 15% female founders, we are still far from the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal #5 (gender equality) in the entrepreneurial context. We will touch upon the causes and discuss possible solutions in class. The course also emphasizes learning about the diversity of the Berlin startup ecosystem. To this end, we invite and/or visit guests from local startups and impact communities.

Through participation in the course, students will gain a basic understanding of entrepreneurial leadership in its diversity with a focus on Berlin and Europe. Integrated work with historical and modern role models will help students adopt a critical perspective on good leadership. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to reflect on and develop their own (entrepreneurial) leadership skills. For this purpose, the course is designed to be highly interactive and relies on innovative teaching methods.

A special session will be a full day leadership coaching with horses (physical contact is voluntary!). Such an approach is relatively new to university education but is gaining popularity in Human Resources (HR) and leadership development. The beauty of equine interaction is that horses are not biased. They do not judge a person by status, gender, or skin color, but respond only to personal radiance when deciding whether or not to follow a human being. This way, students experience the value of diversity in leadership and ultimately learn about the importance of trustworthiness and communication. By receiving very honest individual feedback, students will have the opportunity to further develop their personal leadership identity and skills.

Download Syllabus (printable PDF incl. day-to-day schedule)

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