Making Our Way Forward

Making Our Way Forward

About Global Entrepreneurship Week

Global Entrepreneurship Week is a collection of tens of thousands of activities, competitions and events in 180 countries each November aimed at making it easier for anyone, anywhere to start and scale a company.

Founded in 2008, GEW inspires millions each year to explore their potential while fostering connections and increasing collaboration within their ecosystems to empower entrepreneurs and strengthen communities.

In the United States alone, there are 2,500 partner organizations that conduct about 5,000 activities across all 50 states.

Diversity is a driver of innovation and economies suffer if a group of people are underrepresented or face structural barriers. Global Entrepreneurship Week reaches beyond traditional startup hubs like Silicon Valley, New York and Boston - envisioning one entrepreneurial ecosystem open to all, including smaller cities and towns and previously marginalized communities.

There are four themes for GEW 2020: Ecosystems, Education, Inclusion and Policy.



About Making Our Way Forward

The world needs entrepreneurs – especially social and civic entrepreneurs – to come together and find ways to heal the many wounds experienced by many nations. Many entrepreneurs who have heeded this call are drawing inspiration from the maker movement as they seek ways to address the disruptions and challenges emerging as societies become increasingly polarized, exposing widening gaps of economic inequity and increased racial and ethnic tension. The maker movement honors passion, creativity, and the ability of human beings to solve problems. Our communities are calling for makers to re-make our world. The spirit of making, in conjunction with entrepreneurial mindset, can transform the communities we live in regardless of locale.

We understand that there are positive correlations between community health, economic vitality, and racial and ethnic healing. Making Our Way Forward navigates the creation of healing zones. Healing zones are communities, organizations, and networks committed to building infrastructure (processes, policies, practices, programs, and pedagogies) that promote and supports racial and ethnic healing, economic inclusion and reconciliation, and educational equity.


How To Organize

The Making Our Way Forward activity is designed to bring people together to engage with the following question:

How do we build upon human creativity, diversity, and technology to create healing zones that will help promote and support economic vitality, community health, and racial and ethnic healing?

Healing zones have to function differently based on the communities, networks, and organizations that they exist in. Using NACCE’s Healing Zones Framework, we ask participants to engage in a design thinking and making activity (created by the presenters) to create a healing zone prototype for their community, network, or organizations.

  • The activity is designed for 3 to 10 people to work together in a group. If there are more than 10 people, participants should be divided into groups so that there are at least 3 people in each group.
  • Participants should engage in the design thinking process and determine how healing zones will operate in their communities, organizations, and networks. The design thinking process allows participants to bring together the spirit of making and the entrepreneurial mindset to find solutions.
  • Participants should focus on building healing zones for groups who have been historically excluded from economic activity and those who are currently experiencing social exclusion.
  • Participants should be sure to consider what the infrastructure will consist of. Infrastructure should include processes, policies, programs, practices, and/or pedagogies.
  • Participants will journey through each phase of the design thinking process which includes the following: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test Solution.



Design Thinking / Making Activity

Stage one: Empathy

Participants should begin to empathize with those who have been socially and economically excluded in their communities, organizations and institutions. In the spirit of making, participants can participate in “perspective taking” and practice empathy and share what they have learned by writing poetry, drawing images or creating song lyrics. The goal is to get the best understanding of excluded communities, their needs and their lived experience. Participants can also find ways to visually represent social scientific data in other creative forms to “humanize” the information. There are many ways that participants can engage in empathy. They can choose any that may emerge from the group.

Stage Two: Define

Participants should synthesize the information gathered in the 'Empathy' stage. During this stage, participants should create an actionable problem state. Participants should use a large piece of paper to create a list of problem statements. They should write 'How Might We 'or 'In What Ways Might We' questions. These questions help begin brainstorm sessions. They should be broad enough for a wide range of solutions, but narrow enough that specific solutions can be created for them. 'How Might We' questions should be based on the observations, insights and information gathered in the 'Empathize' stage of the process.

Stage Three: Ideate

Participants should come up with as many ideas as possible to solve the problem that they framed in the Define stage. No idea is off limits. This should be a free flow of ideas. After the end of this flow of ideas, participants should prioritize ideas and decide on the idea they want to prototype.

Stage Four: Prototype

Participants should use one of the ideas from the previous stage to create a prototype of a healing zone in their community, organization, or institution.

During the prototype stage, in the spirit of making, participants should create representations of their healing zones using materials such as popsicle sticks, glue, fabric, assorted shapes, scissors, tape, construction paper, yarn, markers, index cards and poster board. Participants should make sure they capture the processes, practices, policies, programs and pedagogies on index cards as well.

Stage Five: Test

Participants should take pictures and test ideas by sharing the prototype and starting conversations with others in their network that might be interested in creating healing zones.



Why Host This Event?

What does it provide to entrepreneurs in your community?

  • It brings entrepreneurs together to support one another and to build ecosystem for fellow entrepreneurs, this contributing to the common good.

How should participants prepare / How will they get the most out of the activity?

  • Participants should come with an open heart and mind.

Why should you organize it?

  • It brings entrepreneurs and those who practice the entrepreneurial mindset together to find solutions for how we might Make Our Way Forward and transform our communities to achieve racial and ethnic healing, economic inclusion and reconciliation and educational equity.




Discussion (15 min) | What national and local issues at the intersection of community health, economic vitality, and racial and ethnic healing affect your community?

Teaching (15 min) | Design thinking overview.

Activity (1 hour) | Design thinking / making activity.

Discussion (20 min) | How will participants share their ideas with others?

Closing (10 min) | Closing comments, question/answer session, promotion of local resources.



Healing Zones Framework

Radical Healing:

Radical healing is a communal process. It focuses on healing trauma and removing structural barriers that have been experienced by those who are a part of a certain group with a collective identity, like race, gender, or regional narrative. The process addresses the cultural, social and spiritual consequences of trauma and injustice that inflicts collective harm on groups of people and seeks to restore the individual for the benefit of the entire community. The process focuses simultaneously on restoring the individual’s well-being and community health based on the premise that when individuals are restored, they are empowered to transform their communities. This process is inclusive and considers that all groups in a society have been affected by exclusionary narratives and can pursue healing.

  • (Emphasis and focus) - Racial Healing and Community Building: Create a new narrative that challenges racism and other exclusionary narratives that have hindered economic vitality and community health. This includes examining narratives of exclusion and engaging in healing practices that allow for authentic dialogue and the creation of new narratives. Healing practices will accelerate human capacity for embracing one another and building each other capacity to build thriving communities.

Community Based (Culturally-Responsive) Entrepreneurial Education:

Community based entrepreneurship education allows communities to capitalize on cultural values, shared resources, mutual trust and personal relationships to determine ways to mobilize economic activity. It allows for a focus on the creation of sustainable economic activity. Community-based entrepreneurial education can function to help communities explore innovative solutions that more broadly address their community’s needs. While not solely focused on business creation, community-based entrepreneurial education can help communities engage in the entrepreneurial thinking that leads to innovation that address concerns related to educational inequity, workforce development and economic inclusion.

  • (Emphasis and focus) - Challenging Systems of Separation: Examine and explore the primary systems that has perpetuated and sustained systems of separation that has hindered economic inclusion and community vitality. The systems of separation which include residential segregation, redlining, and other practices and policies in schools, banks, and workplaces that discourage community vitality and health.
  • (Emphasis and focus) - Removing Structural Barriers: Examine and explore the structural barriers to economic inclusion and community vitality. Work to remove structural barriers by challenging and disrupting practices and policies in the criminal justice system, educational system, and other social and cultural structures.
  • (Emphasis and focus) - Entrepreneurial Thinking: Employ entrepreneurial thinking to discover inclusive innovations that support and promote economic vitality and community health. Entrepreneurship is often minimalized in the academy as it is seen only as a discipline in the business department concerned with business creation. This reflects a limited understanding of entrepreneurship. Many educators have come to understand that they must prepare all people to engage the challenges and disruptions in our day and therefore everyone can benefit from entrepreneurial education. While everyone might not engage in business creation, everyone needs to engage in entrepreneurial thinking and action to help us grow and thrive in our communities, cities, states, nations, and world.

Entrepreneurial Action:

Entrepreneurial action should be used to create inclusive innovations to achieve educational equity, Workforce equity, and economic inclusion. These innovations should emerge out of an ongoing engagement with the communities that they seek to benefit.

  • (Emphasis and focus) - Build Inclusive Innovations: Consider that interventions can have negative or positive effects on marginalized communities. To ensure that historically marginalized groups and other socially excluded groups positively benefit from interventions, they must have an active role in creating them. Inclusive innovations must also intentionally address the needs, wants or problems of the group. The group must have access to the innovation and have the motivation to adopt it. The intervention can include innovations that have psychological, social, cultural and economic impact. Inclusive innovation should also include the diverse organizations, institutions and relationships that impact the groups lives.



About The National Association For Community College Entrepreneurship

NACCE unites community college presidents, educators, administrators and center directors focused on igniting entrepreneurship on their campuses and in their communities. We provide a variety of strategic resources, professional development opportunities and access to funding, accelerating the growth of entrepreneurship across the nation.

NACCE provides leadership and sustainable, scalable resources to foster entrepreneurial thinking and action in one of the largest entrepreneurial ecosystems in North America.

Entrepreneurial leadership and teaching across disciplines is essential for colleges, students and communities to thrive.

The vision is to make community colleges North America’s pre-eminent source for entrepreneurship education, support and inspiration.