Original article for TEDxKEA, available here: http://tedxkea.com/speaker-announcement-lars-hulgard/
Social entrepreneurship is one of many new buzzwords in the global economic rhetoric. At the peak of the recent economic crisis, many were quick to point towards this field as one of integral measures that could potentially alter the nature of global economics and pave the way for a sustainable and efficient world.
But what’s changed since? Why does a narrative that focuses on revolutionising the business agenda find itself being mentioned in the same breath as standard economic practices (most of which are failing)?
Meet Lars Hulgård, one of the few people in Europe that just might have the answer. Lars literally wrote the book on the importance of social enterprise, and the potential it has in shaping the future of the global economy. He is the president and co-founder of the EMES network, which unites scholars across diverse disciplines and national borders around a singular purpose.
EMES is a global university research network, working within the dimension of social economy. Its mission lies in building an arsenal of empirical and theoretical knowledge on the emergence of social enterprises in Europe.
TEDxKEA is proud to present a broad-grinned globetrotter who has advised governments and shaped the foundations of knowledge, who in his own words “like so many others in Denmark, jogs a lot in his free time”.
Lars graduated with a master’s degree in sociology from Copenhagen University in 1989 before completing a Ph.D in public administration at Roskilde University in 1995. His alliance with Roskilde University continues to this day: Lars is a professor at the Social Entrepreneurship and Management master’s programme, which he initiated.
He serves as chairman for the Social Innovation and Organizational Learning research group, and RUC Innovation, which is a platform for innovative collaboration between the university and external enterprises.
Whilst it is all well and good to praise social entrepreneurship and its emergence, there are many, like Lars, who are all too aware that a critical stance has to be taken.
“Many of SE’s activities today have unfortunately been tangled up the standard bureaucratically endless discourses […] What happened to the intense critique of our current economic models?”, Lars asks. “We need companies that focus on adding social value to our society and have this philosophy ingrained in their visions, rather than those that focus purely on generating profit!”
Armed with a profound knowledge of the field of social entrepreneurship and a global legion of researchers, Lars is not only ready to fight to irrevocably shake up the global economic landscape, but also to help shape the mindsets of the upcoming generation of socially conscious entrepreneurs.
- 1990-1997: Ph.D.-student and assistant professor, Department of Social Science, Roskilde University
- 1998: Co-founded EMES European Research Network
- 2006-2008: Dean of Department, Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University
- 2007-present: Full professor, Department of Psychology and Educational Studies, Roskilde University
- 2008-present: Chairman of the research group Social Innovation and Organizational Learning, Roskilde University
- 2008-2011: Chair, RUC Innovation
- 2010-present: President, EMES European Research Network