Michael Brom – week 44 – New challenge?

Michael Brom – week 44 – New challenge?

Dear Readers,

over the last two weeks there have been some considerable developments. As I wrote a few posts earlier, the expected deadline for the case challenge from DWI did not seem to match with the deadline proposed by the VU. Thence, the three actors in the field -the VU team, DWI team manager Frans Heessels and me- had to seek for an alternative solution in order to streamline the process. Frans Heessels proposed a new plan in which the original challenge was adapted. The exact, renewed challenge wasn’t clear yet, but the main subjects on which the challenge should be based included social entrepreneurship, civic economy, social firms and corporate social responsibility. These concepts all have a particular connection with marginal entrepreneurship. Accordingly, it was my task to derive the actual case challenge.

Last friday, october 24, I had a meeting with Frans at DWI. This meeting was intended to dispel indistinctnesses and determine the final case challenge. I found it rather complicated to derive a concise case challenge from the four subjects. Besides, it was not clear how and to what extent I had to link marginal entrepreneurship to the challenge. Frans exemplified that he thought the same about this so we decided to again adapt the challenge. While we were talking about social entrepreneurship, Frans told me the amount of small, new social firms is considerably rising in Amsterdam. However, this is a new trend for the municipality of Amsterdam and they do not have a clear-cut plan how to deal with these firms. Frans added that the municipality of Amsterdam thinks in terms of systems and tends to pigeonhole situations. Subsequently, the new challenge had emerged: “how can the municipality of Amsterdam get rid of its systems thinking so that it can deal with the growing number of small social firms?” This seemed to be an interesting challenge for me but as I had multiple brainstorm sessions last week, I discovered this is quite a complicated individual case challenge and it was hard to find a starting point. Moreover, this challenge has little connection with the original challenge. Hence, I had a call with student assistant Joost Spronkers to discuss everything. He would submit the issue to the minor team. For now, I’m waiting for a new solution and hopefully next week the challenge will be finally clear.

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