June 8 – July 6, 2024
Dr. Alice Ammerman and Dane Emmerling, Departments of Nutrition and Health Behavior, Gillings School of Global Public Health
The innovative and sustainable nature of entrepreneurial pursuit can benefit public health and food system initiatives, especially when entrepreneurship identifies economically self-sustaining solutions to public health challenges.
This program will introduce students to basic concepts and case studies of commercial and social entrepreneurship as applied to addressing challenging public health problems through both for-profit and non-profit entities. Students will learn about the current food system-related public health issues such as food insecurity, malnutrition, and economic opportunities in the agricultural and food production/distribution sectors. Students will also hear from local experts and government leaders regarding the state of current solutions to these issues as well as the gaps. This course will feature guest speakers with successful experience in public health entrepreneurship as well as those who have experienced challenges or venture failures.
Field-based activities are an integral part of the program. Students will form teams and be connected with organizations currently involved in mentoring and incubating social enterprises. Students will work with these “coach” organizations and a grassroots enterprise to support this work through identifying new opportunities and approaches in addressing a food system-related or public health problem. First steps will be to deeply understand the problem and then work with community partners to research and potentially design entrepreneurial solutions.
Specific excursions will be confirmed closer to the start date of the program, but will include activities like:
- Guest lectures from faculty of Thai universities, business leaders, and entrepreneurs
- Cultural events and food-based excursions
- Site visits to organizations around Bangkok and one week in a rural location