On Thursday 29 August, Monique de Ritter (RUG/Campus Fryslân) will defend her PhD thesis 'Mission-driven Entrepreneurship in Ecosystems for Sustainable Systems Change'.
De Ritter is the first PhD student to defend her thesis at UG/Campus Fryslân in Leeuwarden
De Ritter's research shows that entrepreneurs can play an important role in finding creative solutions in the sustainability transition, provided that they cooperate effectively with a multitude of stakeholders within so-called business and social 'ecosystems'.
Diversity in partnerships and collaboration crossing traditional boundaries
For her research, Monique de Ritter interviewed mission-driven entrepreneurs and also studied networks and ecosystems, such as Powered by Meaning, Social Impact Factory and Holland Circular Hotspot. Her research shows that ecosystems can be the building blocks for a new entrepreneurial economy. Collaboration in ecosystems is based on other organizational principles. One of the most important of these principles is the shift from competition and hierarchy to deep collaboration crossing traditional boundaries. This means that collaboration should not only take place with individuals and organizations that are comparable or like-minded, but across sectors and industries, from large to small, from public to private. With regard to the organization of ecosystems, the research showed that it is important to have a clear ecosystem builder/designer who plays a pioneering role and involves other parties in the process. In addition, there must be a common and convincing vision that connects the stakeholders to take joint action. Finally, when working in networks, it is important that the 'structures' of collaboration are flexible and can change during the process, as opposed to the more fixed division of roles in traditional organizations.
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