We conduct research on the intersection between digital entrepeneurship, digital ecosystems, and organizing data and knowldedge. We will provide multiple courses that help to explain changes on firm- and ecosystem levels using multiple theories and methodologies. Our teaching is usually highly interactive and builds upon concepts of blended learning, oftentimes 'flipping the classroom'. It is important to us to not only reflect latest findings of information systems research with our students but also to work together on applying that knowledge. 

Our teaching extends to Bachelor, Master, PhD and Postdocs. Offers for PhD and PostDocs will be more clearly defined in the following months.

Winter 23/24

Entrepreneurship with Purpose

Lecture with integrated practice

Entrepreneurship with Purpose (Eship-purpose)

  • Annemarie Bloch, M.A.
  • Prof. Dr. Hannes Rothe
Winter Semester 2023/2024
Winter semester
Each Tuesday, 12:00 - 16:00
V15R-V15 R02 G84, Campus Essen

Important Notes:

For a successful completion of the course, active and regular participation is needed. Active participation contains homework that is prepared in advance for single sessions, continuous work on the ideas developed throughout the course in the teams and regular participation in activities during presence time in the sessions. This concerns specifically tools and methods used for ideation processes as well as concerning applications of Theory U. Regular pitches of the current state of work are part of the course, too.

While this may all sound a lot - the most important thing is that you have time in this course to pursue your own ideas, discover yourself and what is important to you and how you can create purposeful ventures through this. And throughout all this, we won't forget to have fun :) 

How to register

Please write an email to Annemarie: annemarie.bloch (at) icb.uni-due.de with the following infos:

Betreff/Subject: Registration Entrepreneurship with Purpose

In Email: Your full name, matriculation number, your subject, your semester

If you already have an idea, please indicate that as well.  


In this class, students learn about the characteristics of entrepreneurial ventures that are driven by a dual mission: a strong social, societal and/or ecological purpose alongside an economic mission. They learn about, discuss, and reflect upon social and economic purpose during ideation, team building and business modelling. They get acquainted with ideas, tools, processes and methods from various "practices" in business and organisations, like Theory U, New Work and Design Thinking.

The class invites students to reflect upon and critically explore if and how social/ecological and economic purpose can be potentially aligned in entrepreneurial ventures. Individually and in teamwork, they learn to reflect upon how personal values can drive the various blocks of a venture creation process. They experiment in teams to deal with potentially conflicting values and interests to jointly find out how to align them in a collectively created idea.

Both 'Theory U', a process and method developed and applied by the Presencing Institute (Otto Scharmer, Katrin Käufer & team) and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations (UN) give structure to the course as they are used as method to explore individual values and mindsets and frame teamwork and, respectively, as a framework of reference for sustainability.

Learning Targets:

The students will be able to

  • know of different forms and meanings of entrepreneurship, e. g. social entrepreneurship, innopreneurship and others.
  • investigate their own values and personal purpose and get to know how this relates to entrepreneurial endeavors.
  • know the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGS) of the United Nations (UN) and can categorize business ideas from enterprises and their own ideas into the SDGs.
  • know different methods and tools for ideation processes and apply these in a team to create own ideas that are addressing social and/or ecological challenges on a local or global level.
  • allocate their ideas within the SDGs as a framework of reference for purposeful entrepreneurship.
  • know and apply business model framework(s) to design their own business ideas that are addressing social and/or ecological challenges on a local and/or global level with the SDGs as a framework of reference.
  • know and apply (digital) tools and methods for effective team organisation and management.
  • know elements of Theory U as a process and method for change management, transformation and leadership development (Otto Scharmer, Presencing Institute).
  • apply chosen methods and tools from Theory U individually, in teamwork and in relation to their business ideas.
  • start to develop an understanding of systemic connections regarding our natural ecosystems and their relevance for entrepreneurial endeavours.

This course allows you to collect credits for the Sustainable Education Certificate (BNE)


  • 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations
  • Earth’s systems and planetary boundaries
  • Theory U as process and method
  • Purpose for the individual and the enterprise, deep purpose
  • Values in the individual, a team and for a business
  • Organization, roles and functions in a team
  • (Digital) tools for organization, idea development and project execution
  • Business Model Canvas for understanding and building business ideas
  • Business Model Canvas and Sustainability
  • Idea development, design thinking tools and thinking 

Sessions with input and teamwork will alternate with sessions of self-studying individually and in teams.


Literature will be given in class next to video and audio material.

It is beneficial for students to get acquainted with concepts in and ideas behind the Business Model Canvas (BMC)

Osterwalder, A., Pigneur, Y., Bernarda, G., & Smith, A. (2015). Value proposition design: How to create products and services customers want. John Wiley & Sons.

Osterwalder, Alexander, Pigneur, Yves. (2011): Business Model Generation, Frankfurt am Main 2011.

Scan through the book, get an idea and zoom into the nine sections of the BMC, so you have an idea prior to the course, what the sections entail.

Methods of Assessment:

Portfolio: final exam part is oral presentation accompanied by a poster