New School News

Parsons Faculty Member Raz Godelnik Teaches Business Model Innovation to Refugees in Berlin

As the population in refugee camps continue to grow throughout the Middle East, the need not only to protect, but also to develop sustainable sources of income for the people who live there, continues to grow as well.

Raz Godelnik, Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Management, along with refugees based in Berlin, are creating solutions that address that need.

Supported by Parsons’ Research, Scholarship, and Creative Practice, Godelnik is teaching an intensive summer course on business model innovation to refugees at the ReDI School of Digital Integration in Berlin. Godelnik and his students are focused on the challenge creating income for refugees in Jordan’s Za’atari Camp through digital means.

“The two-week intensive course aims to develop students’ technical and practical abilities, capabilities, and competencies to innovate in order to effectively create, deliver and capture value,” says Godelnik, a Parsons faculty member. “In this course students learn the ins and outs of designing a business model, using the business model canvas as well as the lean canvas and the value proposition canvas, with the goal of developing a solution —product, service, business model, etcetera — around the challenge of creating income for refugees in Jordan through digital means.”

Godelnik came to teach the class after meeting Anne Kjær Riechert, CEO and co-founder of ReDi School, at the Platform Cooperativism conference at the New School in November 2016. After Riechert presented at the conference, she and Godelnik discussed ways they could collaborate.

“The summer course came up out of these conversations as a first step in what we hope will be developed into a longer-term partnership between our students and faculty,” Godelnik says.

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