Assistant Professor of Business Administration Karen Mattison’s Winter Term class, “Planning to Make a Difference,” planned and hosted an interactive learning experience focused on social entrepreneurship Jan. 19.
The event in Watkins Student Center attracted more than 100 students and faculty members, providing education about what is for some an unfamiliar topic through a variety of games.
One of the eight games offered, “Dig for Food,” symbolized the struggles experienced by people in cities such as El Cono Norte, Peru, where poor citizens sift through trash to find food and useful items. The game was played by two people digging through sand to find pennies, with the one finding the most pennies in 15 seconds declared the winner.
In the “Dart Game,” participants threw darts at illustrations depicting social problems and were challenged to guess the country in which the problem occurred. This game increased students’ awareness of the many countries suffering from such problems, and the correct answers were often surprising.
In the “Bucket Racing Game” players holding two weighted buckets were pitted against each other. This game was designed to help players understand the difficulties faced by people in areas where safe water is hard to obtain. They also learned about efforts being made to assist such people.
“I never realized how much work and time was put into finding and carrying fresh water,” freshman Rachel Berkey of Myrtle Beach said. “I didn’t realize how many people are trying their hardest to help these people have access to clean water without having to do so much work.”
In the “Corn Hole Game,” players found it was hard to toss the bag into the hole for three points but a bit easier simply to hit the board for one point. Mattison pointed out that social entrepreneurship uses business skills to solve a social problem in a small part of the world (like hitting the board for one point). “You know world hunger can’t be fixed,” she said. “Hunger in a small community can.”
“The class was responsible for allocating the class fee funds for the various expenses of the project,” Mattison said. “The event came in under budget and the class voted to send the excess funds to support Connie Maxwell Home for Children.”
For Macarena Basagoiti, a junior from Madrid, Spain, the Winter Term class was worthwhile. “During this month I have developed new planning skills, learned about the meaning of social entrepreneurship, and helped to raise awareness about this topic by hosting an event.”