Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

Social Entrepreneurship in the Water Sector

Getting Things Done Sustainably

Rafael Ziegler, Lena Partzsch, Jana Gebauer, Marianne Henkel, Justus Lodemann and Franziska Mohaupt

There are few sectors where ‘getting things done sustainably’ is as important as it is for the water sector. From drinking water and sanitation to water use in agriculture, industry, and ecosystems, Rafael Ziegler and his co-authors investigate the contribution of social entrepreneurship to the sustainable use of water.

Chapter 9: Getting things done together? From collaborative competition to collaborative campaigns

Rafael Ziegler

Subjects: business and management, social entrepreneurship, development studies, social entrepreneurship, environment, water


The Big Jump Challenge emerged from a confluence of developments. In May 2010 Big Jump inventor Roberto Epple (see Chapter 3) visited us in Greifswald to talk about river conservation and how to achieve sustainable change. We could not leave this as only a talk and miss the opportunity for the first ever Greifswald Big Jump. It was a grey day, cold with fog and rain; nevertheless, students, university staff and journalists came out (with their umbrellas) for a walk along the Ryck. Landscape ecologist Wendelin Wichtmann shared information about various aspects of the ecology in and along the Ryck. At noon colleagues and students jumped into the Ryck, which offered a refreshing swimming opportunity at about 16°C. Since then, collective Ryck jumps have followed in 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013; all subsequent ones, however, have been held in the summer. Before Epple's visit we had already discussed the goals, achievements and limitations of a collaborative competition with Ashoka staff and the betterplace lab, a think (and do) tank associated with the German social entrepreneurship initiative betterplace. We presented the results of our analysis of collaborative competition and discussed the possibility of conducting such a collaborative competition in the German language (the Ashoka competitions are not available in German). Finally, we put the analysis results of collaborative competitions together with the inspiration for the Big Jump and decided to launch the Big Jump Challenge as a socioecological experiment for sustainability in the water sector.

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