Entrepreneurship Faculty Profile: Caroline Daniels
Caroline Daniels has been an integral community member at Babson since 2010. From advising students in the Butler Venture Accelerator, to teaching students of all ages in-person and online, she is always on the go! One of the newest initiatives that Dr. Daniels is working on is FEI (Fashion Entrepreneurial Initiative), a community that supports entrepreneurs interested in creating a positive social, environmental, and economic impact in the fashion industry. Like the students she teaches, Dr. Daniels is all about taking action!
What is your role at Babson? How long have you been at Babson?
I started teaching at Babson in January of 2010 – seven years. I teach in the undergraduate, graduate, and executive education programs at Babson College and I am a Faculty Adviser in the John E. and Alice L. Butler Venture Accelerator in the “Pursue” stage that focuses on business model development.
Why did you come to Babson?
Vice Provost/Professor Candida Brush and I met at an Entrepreneurship event at Babson College and we had a fabulous conversation about entrepreneurship, technology, and society. After further discussion, we found that the objectives of Babson College are aligned with my own, i.e., to educate entrepreneurial leaders who create great economic and social value – everywhere. My background, both academic and as a practitioner, is focused on strategy, technology, and organizational change. She invited me to join the entrepreneurship faculty and it has been a whirlwind of fun ever since!
What classes do you teach?
Currently, I teach undergraduate, graduate (in class, online, and blended), and executive education courses in my area of research, Future Trends and Entrepreneurial Ventures. I am also teaching in the Leading Entrepreneurial Action Project (LEAP) and the Corporate Entrepreneurship Capstone course in the Blended Learning MBA in San Francisco. I have also taught in the Foundations of Management and Entrepreneurship course (FME), Entrepreneurial Marketing, Entrepreneurship & New Ventures, Opportunity & Entrepreneurship, and others.
What area of research do you focus on?
Future Trends and Entrepreneurial Ventures – I look at how entrepreneurs think about the future and how that thinking shapes their opportunities. My Future Trends Framework is used by entrepreneurs of all kinds (new ventures, corporate innovations, and family businesses) to understand the changing dynamics of the world in economic, technologic, and social terms to be able to shape agile strategies and actions to succeed in building ventures that create economic and social value. I am interested in applying these concepts to improving opportunities for entrepreneurs around the world to support economic progress.
What is your definition of entrepreneurship?
Entrepreneurship is the willingness to tenaciously shape ideas into opportunities that create ventures and corporate innovations for good purposes that address social, environmental, economic responsibility, and sustainability. Beyond that, I am concerned about building business models that work with natural systems, i.e., Biosystems, and contribute to regenerating the worlds resources. There can be synergy between business processes and nature and it is important to align the two systems, the natural world and the business world.
What does the world need from entrepreneurs today?
Confidence. Everything in the world that we see was created either by nature or by entrepreneurs that focus on creating value. If you see an opportunity to create change that will benefit the world, take action.
Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs?
Two of my favorite quotes that I think apply to entrepreneurs are from Winnie the Pooh: “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,” which I take to mean that we should all act on our values. “You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you. You have to go to them sometimes.” Which I take to mean that as entrepreneurs, we have to go to customers and create great ventures that will serve them rather than waiting for customers to come to us. Entrepreneurship is proactive engagement with customers.
What do you think makes Babson unique?
We are both conceptual and action-oriented. Put simply, we think AND do! We think, believe, dream, dare, and take action. The faculty are here because we love teaching, learning, interacting with students, and contributing to leading-edge research.
What do you do for fun?
I build business models with entrepreneurs and corporate innovators. Beyond that, I love playing tennis, writing, and being with my family.
Describe yourself in four words.
Brilliant, graceful, optimistic, and humorous!
Anything else people should know?
I love students, working with my colleagues, the atmosphere of learning, and the quest for creating a more peaceful, economically balanced, socially and environmentally harmonious world.