One thing is clear, Frans Lodders is a man proud of his students. In spite of an hour-long conversation meant to highlight his work, we spent nearly the entirety discussing his students and the work they have done through his courses. Like a proud, beaming parent he shows me the videos his students have made and boasts about their wonderful work. Education is the foundation of change - Frans takes this in his stride as he teaches students that would not ordinarily be exposed to sustainability to become agents of change: whether it be through social action or incorporating sustainability into business.

Circular Business Minor

Through the Circular Business minor, Frans aims to give students a foundational understanding of the circular economy, product cycles as well as business model innovation. The minor was developed and first taught in 2019 and will see its fourth iteration this Autumn. Students are taught in a practical manner; going into the field and working with SMEs to help them in their effort to transition to circularity. While doing so, students not only get to see their ideas put into practice, but they start to understand the complex nature of the issues. This helps motivate them to rise to the challenge to secure a sustainable future. Frans highlights that the minor has a double purpose: it is not just the students who are learning, but it also serves to encourage businesses to ask themselves what they can do to be more sustainable - businesses that would otherwise not be considering it.

Social Value Creation

Frans’ enthusiasm for the course Social Value Creation is infectious. It takes business students out of their comfort zone by showing them the value created in performing positive social acts. ‘Go into your community and create social value!’ is not only the aim of the course but the only instruction students are given. Small amounts of guidance and a preparation workshop are given, but Frans feels giving students free rein to follow what they are interested in and focus on the task helps instill a level of ownership and responsibility that strict guidelines can sometimes hinder. Students that are normally focusing on financial value in the business domain instead find value in giving back. And it is working as many students have created innovative projects – one of them serving the needs of asylum seekers. The project teaches asylum seekers how to recognize and avoid getting scammed and was such a success that it is now utilized nationally. Through experiencing the value they can create, students yield intrinsic motivation to continue working like this in future endeavors - a powerful long term impact. Make sure to check out the links below for some of Frans’ favorite projects.

Social Value Creation Documentaries:

Scam Protection for Asylum Seekers:

Korsakoff syndrome:

Preventative health: workshop with care providers:

Written by Agnes Evangelista