Center for Social Entrepreneurship

at Middlebury

Brainstorming Core Values of the CSE

About a month ago, Jon Isham, Liz Robinson, MariAnn Osborne, Heather Neuwirth and Evan Deutsch convened for a CSE Staff Retreat at the Kirk Alumni Center. Expressions of optimism for the upcoming year filled the room, occasionally punctuated by a clap of thunder from the summer rainstorm. The CSE staff discussed the exceptional lineup for the 2013 Fall Speaker Series, creative Homecoming ideas, mentor-based skills workshops and details for the 2014 January Symposium.

Taking the Center’s axiom to heart (Reflect. Connect. Analyze. Engage.), the team then set their sights on the present. “Where is the CSE now? What are the core values of the CSE? What do we do well? Where can we improve?” In a field that places a premium on innovation and progression, we all appreciated the moment of reflection. And reflect we did!

Markers in hand, we each designated five core values that the CSE embodies (star), and five values that we want to improve upon (delta):

Core Values for Blog Post

Of course, the CSE runs on the input and enthusiasm of student changemakers. Our interns shared their insights as well back at 118 South Main Street. Finally, we compiled a master list the CSE’s strongpoints and areas for improvement. Here’s the consensus:

The CSE currently prides itself on:

  • Being welcoming to the families and friends of our students, staff and faculty
  • Valuing the student experience
  • Being nimble, action-oriented and energetic… we say yes first
  • Approachability and openness, paired with a necessary respect of the need for efficiency at times
  • Hospitality to visitors
  • Being driven by passion, empathy, and a genuine care for the individual; understanding “What matters to you?

The CSE is working to improve upon:

  • Valuing partnerships and supporting others across campus
  • Appreciating diverse leadership characteristics
  • Work/home life balance
  • Unplugging! Taking time to focus and reflect
  • Storytelling
  • Off-campus leadership and collaboration in the field of social entrepreneurship

As we approach the 2013-2014 school year, we invite you to come share your perspectives and ideas with us! 

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