CALL FOR PARTICIPANTS: Humanistic Perspectives in Entrepreneurship Learning and Education, USC Marshall



Humanistic Perspectives in Entrepreneurship Learning and Education

October 15-16, Hybrid Format (Virtual + Live at USC Marshall)

The aim of this symposium is to collectively reimagine entrepreneurship education through the development and application of humanistic perspectives.  It rests on the premise that entrepreneurship fundamentally involves the exercise of human freedom in ways that change an existing status quo and builds on the longer history of how higher educational systems have tried to foster and justify these forms of entrepreneurial freedom in the past . Humanistic perspectives enable us to better understand both “productive” and “unproductive” forms of entrepreneurship, and the dynamic interaction between entrepreneurship and context. 

We therefore invite participants to draw from one or more of a wide range of humanistic perspectives— including history, anthropology, philosophy, literature, art, music and design, to name a few— in order to lay out a landscape of new possibilities for how we conceive entrepreneurship and how it might be taught and learned. The topics we are especially eager to explore include:

·       How do humanistic perspectives enable us to better understand the social, political, and moral conditions of entrepreneurial freedom?

·       How can humanistic perspectives contribute to a deeper understanding of how entrepreneurial actors imagine new possibilities?

·       In what ways can humanistic perspectives help us rethink uncertainty and the future, and its relationship to the past and to the “known”?

·       How can we more robustly incorporate culture and community into our understandings of entrepreneurial agency?

·       How can humanistic perspectives allow us to reconceive how resources are allocated to entrepreneurial futures or reimagine the range of ways of organizing entrepreneurial endeavors?

·       How can humanistic perspective help incorporate longer time scales and complex social systems in accounting for the consequences of entrepreneurial action?

·       How can such perspectives help us think about the relationship between entrepreneurial agency and change in complex social systems?

·       In what ways can humanistic perspectives allow us to better conceive how entrepreneurship may address “grand challenges” (environmental sustainability, social inequality, public health, political dysfunction)?


Presenters will be asked to pre-circulate a long abstract (1,000 words or less) of their ideas in early October. The symposium will be organized around a set of short presentations within a panel format, but with emphasis on discussion on the most effective ways to have an impact on the future of entrepreneurship as a field and on entrepreneurship education.  


Dates and Location

The symposium will be held in a hybrid format on October 15-16. The sessions will include both in-person and online participants. For those able to attend in person the symposium will be physically hosted at the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, USC Marshall School of Business in Los Angeles. All the sessions will be simultaneously on Zoom if you choose to attend virtually.


Submission and Review Process

We invite participants to submit a brief abstract (less than 250 words) via Google Form by September 15th. . Presenters selected for the conference will then be asked to circulate a long abstract (~1,000 words) before the symposium. If you have questions please don’t hesitate to email Shuang Frost ( or Dan Wadhwani ( 


About HERS 

The Historical Entrepreneurship Research Symposium (HERS) part of the Founder Central Initiative at USC Marshall’s Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies. The first HERS conference focused on historical approaches to entrepreneurship research and led to two journal special issues (one published in Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal  and the other to be published in Business History). This symposium seeks to re-engage with the contextualized nature of entrepreneurship and grapple with its relationship to time and change. The event draws together historians, entrepreneurship and management scholars to consider this missed opportunity and to catalyze cross-disciplinary dialogue and research for the future.


About Founder Central

Founder Central’s mission is to create and disseminate knowledge about the most important early decisions faced by founders and other people involved in entrepreneurship. Founder Central is part of the Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at University of Southern California. 


About the USC Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, USC’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies was established in 1971 as one of the first centers of its kind in the world. Today, the Center remains a pioneer in entrepreneurship education, embracing a broad and multidisciplinary perspective that includes but also extends beyond founders and founding to apply the lessons of entrepreneurial thinking and doing to all aspects of life.