Turkey is often referred to as the bridge between East and West. Innovators of all types know that the bridge between ideas, between disciplines, and between cultures is often where the magic happens. Turkey is one of those places. Situated between three seas and occupying two continents, home to many sites of continuous habitation from ancient times, Turkey boasts more than 30 indigenous languages and ethnic groups, and countless immigrant and expatriate communities. And if current research on mega-cities as innovation hotbeds is accurate, then look no further than İstanbul – population 15 million. Turkey is the quintessential meeting place of ideas. It has been for millennia.
Social entrepreneurs in Turkey have garnered attention and support from organizations such as Ashoka, Skoll, Endeavor and the UN. They have developed innovative approaches to challenge the disequilibrium in areas such as education, gender equality, environmental awareness and protection, micro-finance, cultural heritage, human rights, health, economic and community development. In addition, social entrepreneurship courses and programs have gained tremendous popularity in universities and adult education programs around the country. While popular interest in social entrepreneurship is growing as social entrepreneurs gain more visibility, they face challenges that are specific to the Turkish context. These are the ideal conditions for getting to know a country through its change agents.
The Field School in Turkey organizes learning experiences that are region-specific and issue-specific. Whether you have a passion for Mediterranean social change, an interest in learning about environmental initiatives throughout Turkey, or if you want to get to know İstanbul through its innovation ecosystem, we create courses that bring Turkish students together with international students to explore the field of social innovation in Turkey. Prior knowledge of Turkey and the Turkish language are certainly appreciated, but not required.