June 27, 2024

Promoting sustainability and social enterprises: Tor Vergata University of Rome’s role in the OBCD Project

In line with the YERUN commitment towards sustainability, Tor Vergata University of Rome is participating in the Open Business for Community Development Project (OBCD), an Erasmus+ project led by the University of Patras (Greece) in collaboration with 12 other organisations across Europe. OBCD targets universities, vocational training programmes, and the wider community and economy, with a focus on promoting sustainable communities (SDG 11) and responsible consumption and production (SDG 12). The goal is to inspire innovative solutions to social challenges and create an enabling environment for these enterprises to thrive. Known as social enterprises (SEs), these businesses require individuals equipped with both traditional business acumen and a deep understanding of social issues. The project investigates how education and training can be adapted to support the growth of SEs and their workforce.

What I particularly enjoyed about the OBCD pilot project is the strict focus on a topic that pretty much is not covered by any university programme. Furthermore, I liked the interactivity that characterised the pilot, as it made the project more easy to understand, due to its complexity. – Gianmarco Masucci, student at University of Rome Tor Vergata

Within the OBCD project, Tor Vergata University of Rome has designed a curriculum to match these topics with emerging skills and occupations. Two groups of students are piloting the curriculum for managers and developers of SEs. They are currently working on three modules on an online platform offered by the OBCD project. The modules cover topics such as Innovation Management and Open Business, Leadership and Diversity in SEs, and Ecosystems and Networks of an SE. Additionally, the pilot includes face-to-face and group work activities, as well as collaboration with Base3, an Italian social enterprise that helps bridge the gap between theory and practice. Therefore, the project also acts to promote quality education (SDG 4) and bring innovative topics to students.

Through the OBCD project, I had the opportunity to deepen my knowledge of innovation management, leadership, and the ecosystem and network of social enterprises-key elements for navigating the modern world confidently. I particularly enjoyed the learning platform’s structure, which provided concise yet comprehensive knowledge “pills” that allowed for further exploration of each topic id desired. Additionally, the platform offered constant feedback in the theory covered in each unit, enhancing my learning experience.- Marianna Seck, student at University of Rome Tor Vergata

The next upcoming activity for the project is a Bootcamp scheduled to take place at Tor Vergata University of Rome on July 1-4. This event will gather participants from Finland, Greece, Spain, and Italy with the aim of introducing the OBCD project and fostering knowledge on open businesses through group work and study visits to various enterprises. Following months of virtual meetings, participants and partners eagerly anticipate this opportunity for in-person collaboration. The objective is to further develop partnerships and promote tools and innovative ideas for sustainable development. Below, you can find some pictures showcasing the activities that have taken place at Tor Vergata so far, including the pilot initiatives and feedback from students.

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