Decision-making in social enterprises is a scientific endeavor in the 21st century. Thus, the knowledge of scientific toolkits is necessary to make optimal decisions. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the two most important decision-making tools in social entrepreneurship, namely game theory and quantitative methods. These skills are useful for decision-makers working in social enterprises, private firms, and governments, and are applicable to a wide range of situations. One of the major purposes of this course is to enrich students』 analytic skills in face of an increasingly complex society.
The first part of this course offers brief coverage of game theory. Game theory can offer guidance to individuals on how to make decisions rationally, strategically, and optimally. Social entrepreneurs interact with other players in society all the time while game theory is especially relevant to situations where players are interacting with each other intensively. Hence, mastering the basic concept of game theory is conducive to creating more optimal outcomes for social enterprises.
The second part of this course focuses on quantitative methods that have become increasingly indispensable in social science research and practices. While game theory provides theoretical insights for decision-making, quantitative methods can validate the correctness of these insights in an evidence-based way. In this course, we will offer introductions to both conventional statistical methods as well as more advanced techniques that will dominate the field in the foreseeable future, such as machine learning. The purpose of this part is to prepare students who are interested in a career of social entrepreneurship for upcoming changes in the era of big data.