European Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Engaged entrepreneurship research in Europe

Professional Development Workshops (PDWs)

ONLINE in 2020-2021

Professional Development Workshops (PDWs) are workshops to share knowledge and expertise and foster practical, professional and intellectual skills of participants. PDWs were included in the RENT pre-conference day programme for the first time in RENT XXIX in Zagreb 2015. The concept proved to be successful and PDWs have been part of the pre-conference day since then. Due to COVID-19, ECSB will offer to its members virtual PDWs in 2020-2021. Please read the detailed descriptions of the confirmed PDWs below.

Participation in PDWs is free for ECSB members. To become a member or to renew your expired membership, please go to For more information about the benefits of your membership, please go to

Participation in the Virtual RENT Conference is highly advised, but not compulsory. For further information on the Virtual RENT Conference 18-20 November 2020, please see


Developing Responsible and Sustainable Innovations in Entrepreneurship Education

– Introducing the Sandbox Approach

Virtual PDW on 11 November 2020 at 3:00-5:00 pm (CET)


Verena Meyer, PhD Student and Research Associate, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Institute of Management and Organization –

Flavio Pinheiro Martins, Student at University of Sao Paulo, School of Economics, Business Administration and Accounting at Ribeirão Preto –

Prof. Dr. Markus Reihlen, Vice President (Graduate School, Young Academics & Entrepreneurship) and Professor of Strategic Management at Leuphana University of Lüneburg as well as International Research Fellow at the Said Business School, University of Oxford –

Fabian Pleß, PhD Student and Research Associate, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Institute of Management and Organization –

Yasmin Azim Zadeh, Research Associate, Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Cooperation and Transfer Service –


As entrepreneurship educators, we typically bring together students as entrepreneurial teams and let them work on their own ideas. But how could we get these students to tackle global challenges and develop sustainable ideas? One key mechanism is open innovation. To make use of this, entrepreneurship education concepts need to bridge the perspectives of multiple stakeholders. Developing innovation communities within a framework of an open innovation process presents a suitable approach with a possible long-term impact in this regard. The ‘Sandbox Approach’ combines a structured open innovation process while fostering an innovation community which is enabled to solve regional challenges. In this professional development workshop, participants will experience the ‘Sandbox Approach’ at first hand and develop comprehensive concepts for their common challenges.

Workshop Objectives

  1. Introduce the Sandbox Approach
  2. Experience the efficiency of structured open innovation processes as well as how innovation communities function by accounting for a multitude of perspectives
  3. Reflect on challenges that hinder innovativeness in everyday work and develop first ideas and more comprehensive solutions for these challenges
  4. Discuss ideas to combine open innovation processes with innovation communities and reflecting on one’s own role within these processes/communities
  5. Reflect on own roles as researchers and educators to foster responsible and sustainable innovation
  6. Discuss the transfer of this learning experience to other contexts in which sustainable innovations within certain constraints are crucial

Main audience

The workshop offers insights from the field of innovation to offer a broadening of perspectives. The main content of this workshop best aligns with conference tracks #2 (How to develop entrepreneurial skills? The role of education) and #7 (Entrepreneurship education, learning, and knowledge dissemination), but also strives towards an integration of concepts from tracks #16 and #17, as social and sustainable entrepreneurship are also relevant perspectives in the workshop context. As such, the workshop can be of interest to the broad RENT community.


Participation in the PDW is free for ECSB members. Please register via the link below. If you are a member, choose the ECSB member category. If you are not a member, please register via the non-member category and become a member on

Important! As this is an interactive workshop, an online whiteboard will be used in addition to Zoom. Please make sure to participate with a suitable device, preferably a laptop.