Ideas from Global Entrepreneurship Week at KU School of Business

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As mentioned before on the blog, KU School of Business’s Global Entrepreneurship Week asked student teams to propose ideas for the MoCoLab. At the Lied Center Event, 4 teams presented ideas. As reported by the Lawrence Journal World: “Four groups … Continue reading

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‘Vagon del Saber’ Boxcar 1513

A project in Ecuador, via the designboom website:

“carrying neither freight nor tourists, the ‘vagon del saber’ boxcar 1513 renovation by ecuadorian studio al borde sees it transformed into a cultural public space. selected as part of the railway system recovery program by the ecuadorian ministry of culture and heritage, the community orientated project reactivates settlements along its route. after twelve years of absence these areas not only recover a means of communication but are enhanced economically, as the cultural promoters use the train car as an activator of public space and a meeting point for locals. the multifunctional nature of the carriage – it is without a strictly defined architectural program and therefore required a flexible design, to allow for musical performances, theater, community training, celebrations.”

(Tip o’ the hat to Roberto Castillo for alerting us to this. Feel free to send us good ideas if you see them.)


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The A47 Mobile Library

A cool project in Mexico City. From the ArchDaily website:

“The A47 Mobile Library is a project developed by the Fundación Alumnos47, a civil society organisation that brings learning communities together around contemporary artistic practices and visual culture. Given that the foundation’s major project is to build a public contemporary art museum by around 2014, it seemed reasonable to use a mobile unit to activate the museum’s existing collection until the building to house it is completed. Designing this unit turned into a veritable challenge. How do you take something so opposite to a piece of architecture as a lorry and turn it into not just a library, but a structure capable of hosting an entire spectrum of cultural activities? Looked at in this way, the archaic idea of building libraries started to regain a sense of modernity. Working on this premise, Mexican architecture studio PRODUCTORA came up with the design for a cultural centre within a 20 square metres space on board a Freightliner M2 20K lorry — a travelling building.”

(Tip o’ the hat to Roberto Castillo for alerting us to this. Feel free to send us good ideas if you see them.)

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Inaugural MoCoLab Event

Last Thursday we had our inaugural MoCoLab event at KU’s East Hills Construction Innovation Lab. The good people at KU’s Center for Civic and Social Responsibility arranged for delicious food and beverages, and invited a diverse group of KU faculty and staff to see the Airstream in its “before” state, and to help us imagine how it will be used in the future. Many thanks for their initiative in putting it together! Special thanks to all of the event sponsors:  KU Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, KU Office of Undergraduate Studies, KU Spencer Museum of Art, KU School of Architecture, Design and Planning.




The event was well-attended and we gathered a lot of great ideas that will be instrumental in deciding exactly how the MoCoLab will be outfitted in the future.


We will have an event each week for the next two weeks. On Friday morning, November 22, the MoColab will be parked out at KU’s Lied Center for the Global Entrepreneurship Week event. Drop by and share your thoughts. On Saturday, Nov. 30, we’ll be parked down at the Lawrence Arts Center, during its annual Bizarre Bazaar event to collect ideas from potential community participants.

If you can’t make it to any of our events and you still wish to contribute ideas, please have a look at this PDF to see what kind of information we are soliciting, or share your thoughts in the comments below. (If you use Adobe Reader, your best bet for the PDF is to type or paste text into the form, print it, and send it to CCSR by campus or US Mail. [CCSR, 150 Strong Hall, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Lawrence, KS  66045]

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UVA Learning Barge


The Learning Barge is a project of Professor Phoebe Crisman and the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Architecture. It was built with a similar process as the MoCoLab, utilizing architecture students to design and construct the barge for community/university engagement and children’s education about the environment and ecosystems of the Chesapake Bay and the Elizabeth River.

From the website:  “Most contemporary environmental education is web based or communicated through classroom teaching. When students do venture out of the classroom, environmental education centers are typically located in relatively pristine “natural environments.” The extreme impact and complex relationship between human settlement and the natural world is frequently not investigated. Also, the architectural design of the center itself is rarely conceived of as a crucial part of the curriculum. In an environment like the Hampton Roads region, including the cities of Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach, the heavily industrialized Elizabeth River is an important generator of livelihoods and learning. Most K-12 school children have little opportunity to experience the river firsthand, especially to go out on the water and investigate. In collaboration with the Elizabeth River Project and other partners, a team of University of Virginia students and faculty have designed a floating environmental education field station to engage urban kids in hands-on exploration and learning about the Elizabeth.”

More info about the barge itself can be found here.

More info about the Elizabeth River Project can be found here.





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MoCoLab Fall Cleaning

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Bookmobiles of Yore

From the Smithsonian blog:

“This is a bookmobile—a library on wheels. These mobile libraries used to travel around bringing books to the people. The blog Messy Nessy Chic has a great roundup of images of these vehicles of bibliographic wonder. A traveling library often used to provide books to villages and city suburbs that had no library buildings, the bookmobile went from a simple horse-drawn cart in the 19th century to large customised vehicles that became part of American culture and reached their height of popularity in the mid-twentieth century.”

There’s also a Flickr site for bookmobile pictures from around the world.

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1972 31′ Sovereign Twin Land Yacht

Our Airstream is a 1972 31′ Sovereign Twin Land Yacht. Airstream has some historical material on their website. This image shows how ours was originally marketed. Click here to see the whole line-up for 1972.


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This gallery contains 31 photos.

At the Imagining America conference last weekend we had an opportunity to see the Mobile Literacy Arts Bus (MLAB), in Syracuse, NY. On their website, they describe it as “an artist-run, renovated recreational vehicle that exists as a flexible space … Continue reading

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Global Entrepreneurship week in the KU School of Business will support the development of MoCoLab

Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) takes place one week each November to celebrate, encourage and inspire entrepreneurship around the globe.  GEW was launched in 2008, and today consists of tens of thousands of events and activities in over 130 countries.

For the past 4 years, KU has held events on campus as part of this global celebration to further develop the entrepreneurial mindset among the University community.  In November 2013, the KU School of Business will again be an active participant in GEW.

This year, the proposal is to focus KU’s GEW efforts on driving entrepreneurial activity within the state’s most underserved populations, specifically rural areas and depressed urban communities.  These locations often lack the resources (both human and technological), and would benefit from some dedicated student thinking on how to address these challenges in order to drive economic growth.  The 2013 GEW event will consist of a competition where student teams develop plans for how to drive entrepreneurship in underserved Kansas communities, utilizing the MoCoLab.  In addition to the competition where final presentations would be given by student teams, a short panel of social entrepreneurs and a casual networking reception/lunch.

Event Objectives:

  • Unlock and engage the entrepreneurial mindset among all KU students
  • Encourage cross campus collaboration and interdisciplinary approaches to idea development and problem solving
  • Provide a forum for connecting entrepreneurial thinking to civic engagement
  • Support idea of “entrepreneurship for all” by focusing on underserved communities and populations

Event Background & Details:
Recently, a KU Strategic Initiatives Level II Grant was proposed and approved to create a “Mobile Collaboratory (MoCoLab) for Civic Engagement”.   This mobile laboratory (a refurbished 1972 Airstream trailer, fully outfitted with the latest technology, WIFI, etc) aims to foster collaboration between communities and KU experts/resources in a variety of fields (health, education, arts, design, etc).  A number of KU schools and departments have expressed interest in using this resource to connect KU and Kansas communities through projects and research, and Global Entrepreneurship Week is an opportunity to engage the Business School, as well as others.

Student teams will be given the following challenge – how could you improve entrepreneurial activity and drive economic growth in rural areas and depressed urban communities of Kansas, using the MoCoLab as an asset?  The team would come up with an idea, and then fully develop plans for how to implement it.

Each student team will give a final presentation on November 22, and the winning team will receive an experiential prize (i.e. all expenses paid trip to Washington DC to visit Senator Moran), with a matching amount to fund the development of the idea through the Mobile Collaboratory.

For example, one idea a student team might come up with would be to turn the Airstream into a lab for developing crowd funding campaigns such as Kickstarter, so that aspiring entrepreneurs have a chance to raise funds.  The final presentation would include details on the technology needed (i.e. video editing, web development), human resources needed (business students/faculty to review ideas, graphic design students to develop web pages, film students to shoot the video clips), where the trailer would go, and the business model design.  Importantly, students would actually talk to potential customers, partners, etc. utilizing the Lean LaunchPad approach.

Each team will be comprised of students across campus.  Student teams will be required to register, be given detailed instructions in advance, and paired with a faculty mentor.

GEW 2013 takes place the week of November 18-24.  The proposed date for the final student presentations, panel and lunch is Friday November 22.  A Friday is preferred to encourage maximum student participation and attendance in the audience.  Students will register and be given instructions in advance (i.e. 3-4 weeks prior).

For more information, contact Charlotte Tritch in the KU School of Business.

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