Changes this Semester to my University Class (Entrepreneurial Value Creation in Society)

For the past few years, I have been teaching a university honors seminar entitled Entrepreneurial Value Creation in Society. I am teaching the course again this semester (for the 7th time). Every semester I make a few tweaks. Last semester, I created a new tribe (gradnium.com) and token (GRAD) (with the gracious and generous assistance of @aggroed). I then gave students extra credit for posting some of their written assignments on Hive via the tribe. And I set up a couple contests to give additional extra credit to the students who earned the most HIVE and GRAD tokens throughout the semester. Eight students (out of 26) took advantage of that opportunity.

This semester, I have set it up so that all students in the class will be submitting their weekly assignments this way. Each week, each student will be submitting three assignments as follows (due midnight central time Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, respectively):

  • A single post with three (3) questions related to the week’s discussion topic (next week, the topic is “The Purpose of Law and Government”).
  • A single post giving a thoughtful response to one of the questions posed by one of their fellow students.
  • A single post giving thoughtful reflection on the week’s reading assignment (next week’s reading assignment is The Law by Frederic Bastiat)

However, students are still working on getting their Hive accounts set up, so they probably won’t actually start posting content until Week 03 (on “The Role of Government Regulation in Society”)

Feel free to check out their discussion responses and reflection papers every Wednesday and Thursday and feel free to upvote those giving the most thoughtful responses and reflections. I have not established any extra-credit contests yet, but I probably will (just to make things a bit more interesting) and that will probably be related to cumulative # of votes received (or some similar metric).

The course explores how societal well-being is influenced by the following four principles:

  • Competition (a society and its individuals prosper when government policies encourage and promote full and open competition in the marketplace rather than hinder it)
  • Balance of Power (a society and its individuals prosper when political and economic power and decision-making in society is decentralized rather than centralized)
  • Free Exchange (a society and its individuals prosper when people are able to freely exchange goods & services; this follows from the fact that whenever two people conduct an exchange of goods or services BOTH are better off, as long as there is no fraud or coercion involved)
  • Alignment of Incentives (government policies that degrade or fail to improve overall societal well-being typically fail because they create adverse or misaligned incentives, at the individual and/or corporate level)


Our weekly topics this semester will be:

  1. Sometimes Operating a Ministry ‘For Profit’ is a Better Way to Help Hurting People
  2. The Purpose of Law and Government
  3. The Role of Government Regulation in Society
  4. Understanding the 2008 Financial Crisis
  5. Central Planning and Totalitarianism
  6. The Case Against Intellectual Property Laws
  7. The Current Realities of Socialism around the World
  8. Reclaiming Federalism to Sustain a Divided Nation
  9. Addressing Extreme Poverty
  10. Will Smart Machines Take our Jobs?
  11. Universal Healthcare and Healthcare Reform
  12. TBD
  13. Understanding the Differences between Political- and Market-Entrepreneurs
  14. TBD
  15. Why We Should Value Expertise, but Fear Expert Power


You can check out all the posts for a given week’s topic via this link: https://www.gradnium.com/created/week-03 (and just change the week # to match the above enumerated topic).

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