In this course, students learn to use different theories of leadership and entrepreneurship to analyze the effectiveness of individuals as diverse as Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs, Teddy Roosevelt, Ralph Nader, Jane Goodall, Elon Musk, Warren Buffett, and Wendy Kopp. The course explores the meaning of social entrepreneurship, policy entrepreneurship, and servant leadership, and discusses their relevance to Davidson’s stated purpose of preparing students for “lives of leadership and service.” While other domains are explored as well, the course has a particular emphasis on the role of leaders and entrepreneurs in confronting the diverse environmental challenges facing human society.
We read an interdisciplinary range of theoretical, biographical, and empirical texts relevant to the study of leadership and entrepreneurship. The readings are divided into five parallel tracks that continue throughout the semester: 1) theories of leadership; 2) theories of entrepreneurship; 3) empirical and theoretical research on different forms of social, economic, and political leadership and entrepreneurship; 4) biographies of notable social, economic, and political leaders and entrepreneurs; and 5) narratives about success stories of environmental entrepreneurship and leadership. Reading these texts in parallel enable students to immediately apply theories and concepts they learn to real-world contexts and examples.
Students complete a major research paper that use a case study approach to analyze the role of leaders and entrepreneurs in the context of a specific issue domain (healthcare, climate change, immigration, pollution, etc.). Students taking the course for environmental studies credit write their research paper on an environmental issue of their choice. Students also complete three short response papers, lead class discussion at least once during the semester, and write a short reflection paper at the end of the course.