The objective of OEL332 is to provide students with the conceptual tools and learning experiences to develop a deeper understanding of social innovation in Hanoi. This is achieved through a combination of experiential learning, e-learning, classroom activities, and participation in an overseas trip to Hanoi, Vietnam. Vietnam’s reforms over the past 30 years has transformed it from one of the world’s poorest nations into a lower middle-income country today. Despite reducing the poverty rate from 70% to 7%, Vietnam continues to work on socio-economic development towards achieving UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) through its ‘whole-of-society’ approach which emphasises the engagement of the private sector and civil society. Hanoi is at the forefront of such developments, having more social enterprises than other provinces. This is due to the strong ecosystem of support available in capacity building, financing, networking, training, and incubation of social businesses. Hanoi is thus ideal for exploring the role of the state in encouraging social innovation in Vietnam, and the role that social enterprises and start-ups play in Vietnam’s socio-economic development. This course will expose students to different aspects of Vietnam, from its economic, socio-cultural landscape, social entrepreneurship and start-up culture, to ethnic minority communities in Vietnam. It will focus on examining the role and participation of the state, private sector, and civil society in contributing to Vietnam’s sustainable development goals. Through visits to universities, social innovation centres, start-ups and businesses, hands-on activities with social enterprises, and field learning with ethnic minority communities in Sapa, students will extend their personal networks with individuals and organisations across different fields, and develop a deeper appreciation of Vietnam’s dynamism as a landscape of opportunities. At the end of the course, students would be able to better appreciate how the relationships between social innovation and the sustainable development play out in Vietnam, and extend their understandings to other countries.
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: Every July