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Two entrepreneurs (Henry Ford and Thomas Edison) 'caused' part of Earth’s precarious climate today by accelerating our dependence on fossil fuels. Our hope is that it will be an en-trepreneur – perhaps one that develops the hydrogen-powered automobile – who will save it.
Business educators have the opportunity to create a cohort of moral, ethical and sustainable entrepreneurs who can solve the world’s major problems. Gifford Pinchot once rightly pointed out, 'Business is the dominant institution of our time. It’s also the biggest leverage point.'
Another way of saying this is that without business, we cannot save the planet, and without saving the planet there can be no business.
It is time to create a cohort of gaiapreneurs (after the Greek goddess of Earth, Gaia), whom I define as 'marked by imagination, initiative and readiness to undertake projects to save the planet'.
Ours is an Asia-Pacific approach to teaching sustainability entrepreneurship based on the inter-disciplinarity of entrepreneurship. There are many 'entrepreneurships' (with an emphasis on the plural). Business entrepreneurship is well known. Science and engineering entre-preneurship probably rank second in student popularity behind business entrepreneurship. But we can also mention arts, music, biomedical, sports, nursing and humanities entrepre-neurship. The big difference is that the fate of an entire planet is at stake, and they have contributions to make. That’s what leads us to sustainability entrepreneurship.
The process of transforming creative ideas into commercially viable businesses in support of healing the earth is a major challenge for entrepreneurs. Education is key for many entre-preneurs to commercialise their ideas. Drawing upon the theory of experiential, entre-preneurs, in their unique teachable moments, require active and concrete pedagogical interventions that can be enhanced through a blended learning environment of online and face-to-face modalities leading them step-by-step through deepening learning in the theory, process and practice of entrepreneurship on behalf of people, profits and planet. That about sums it up.