We have all unknowingly adsorbed business startup mythologies in our culture as fact – like the viability of starting in a garage or basement, starting small, and with little capital, as well as whatever clickbait faux news (“Young Billionaires!”) we read in the newest online forum dedicated to start-up culture. These success stories are all wrong, or “upside /down”, for the 21st Century. There are, alternatively, new generative enterprise models that construct their viability in the context of contemporary global trade, commodity interdependencies, and capital scarcity, while embedding social equity and sustainable communities into their core function. That is where we will go.
Our dialogue in this course will have two parts. We will begin with a conversation about “business and place”: where we are now (in the early 21stCentury, global economy), where we have been (the second half of 20th Century), how we came to misperceive our current economic and socio-cultural conditions, how we got to “upside/down”, and how that evolution in enterprise affects the creation of viable enterprise today. Subsequently, in Part 2, we will focus on building tangible, substantive knowledge and skillsets germane to establishing viable, societally-responsive, enterprise, from building and managing budgets to determining capital needs to embedding socio-economic equity into enterprise function. We will do so by exploring and analyzing the operation of both a major arts and culture organization and a dynamic, for-profit start-up, investigating their challenges and circumstances and using what we learn about their budgetary, financial, and strategic actions to inform practices and strategies you will later apply to your own professional interests and work.