Summer School in Brazil

23 juli 2018 00:00 - 10 august 2018 00:00

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and Bodø, Norway

Week 1 -Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 23-27);
Week 2 -Bodø, Norway (August 06 – August 10)

Course content

About the course

Duration and location:
Week 1 -Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (July 23-27);
Week 2 -Bodø, Norway (August 06 – August 10)

Faculty responsible:
Nord University Business School is the institutional course organizer, in cooperation with Fluminense Federal University (Brazil)

The drastic decrease of oil prices in the last few years is a call of attention for Norwegian actors to find alternative development pathways. In addition, issues of climate change and ecological justice mobilize local communities against oil exploitation to preserve local livelihoods. An iconic-case is that of Lofoten. In other geographies, like in Latin America, where the economy is largely based in extractive industries, this debate has been a reality for a while. Regions in large oil exporting countries like in Brazil, face similar challenges as in Norway: how to diversify the economy, create new areas of growth that are an alternative to oil exploitation. This summer school seeks to engage a selected group of master students from Norway and Brazil to learn about the macro-economic implications of an extractive-based economy, and how entrepreneurs can be agent of innovation and change towards a post-extractivist economy.

Participants will get a first-hand experience from sub-national administrative units in Norway and Brazil that even if still connected to oil and gas industries (Nordland, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul), have diversified its economic development pathway beyond oil-exploitation.
During the first week, at Rio de Janeiro the focus will be macro-economic issues: understanding the extractive economy’s transformation, with a focus on the dynamics of innovation and evolutionary change at a regional scale. Participants will get acquainted with frameworks as triple helix, innovation systems and smart specialization. Students will also become familiar with the societal structures and institutions that are a basis for a post-extractivist economy to emerge.

These macro-level aspects, shall be linked to the practical implications for firms and individuals willing to innovate. This will be the focus of the second week at Nord University in Bodø. To reflect about the suitability of certain new products, processes or business models to succeed in the scenario of the economy’s transformation, students will also become acquainted with theories and methods to understand the entrepreneurship process like: the entrepreneurial mindset, creativity development, opportunity development and exploitation.
The course will apply action-based learning, which requires students’ active participation throughout the time. Students will be exposed to challenges faced by entrepreneurs in Norway and Brazil who wish to exploit an opportunity emerging in the context of the economy transition towards post-extractivism, for example, algae-based products, greening of the Brazilian food value chain, off-shore supply vessels. Working in groups, students will define a research problem, and will solve this problem by linking the theories from lectures with empirical materials from interviews or archival data. The students will be graded through group presentations, and a short research report. Students seeking credits will have some time after the course to deliver an expanded paper.

Themes covered in the course include:

The first part of the course will focus on the macro aspects of a post-oil economy restructuring and entrepreneurship:

  • Discourses of extractivism and post-extractivism
  • Regional focus of economy transition/ smart specialization
  • Triple helix: industry-government and university collaboration
  • Business modeling workshop

The second part of the course will focus on the following themes:

  • New product development process
  • Understanding the entrepreneurial process
  • Market and new venture development
  • Design thinking to identify opportunities

  • Travel one week to Rio de Janeiro. Visit science-parks, two university campuses of Fluminense Federal University at Volta-Redonda and Niteroi.
  • In Bodø, the course includes a visit to the Salten Incubator.
  • Action-based learning: work in multi-cultural groups to define a solve a real-life problem!

Learning outcomes
After successfully completing the course, the participants will:


  • Have an understanding of the hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourses about extractivism and post-extractivism in the context of Norway and Brazil.
  • Have a good understanding of the main theoretical approaches to understand innovation dynamics at societal level with emphasis on triple helix and innovation systems.
  • Have a good understanding of the concept of smart specialization and how it might generate windows of opportunities in Norway and Brazil.
  • Have an understanding of the entrepreneurial process, with emphasis on entrepreneurial opportunity identification and exploitation.
    Have a good understanding of the concept of business models and how they are a tool for entrepreneurs and innovators.
    Be familiar with the main aspects of design thinking, new product development and new venture creation- what it takes to be an entrepreneur.


  • Be able to analyze the main components of innovation systems at a national and regional level -answer questions as: what can predict if an innovation system is suited to post-extractivism?
  • Critically outline the consequences of development pathways focused on extractivism at national and regional levels, and the implications of smart specialization as a pathway diversification strategy.
  • Identify the conditions in which certain entrepreneurial ideas can contribute to path diversification and the conditions to exploit the market opportunities around these entrepreneurial ideas.
  • Be able to use tools as the business model canvas to plan for business ideas in the context of new products, services or processes developed in the context of post-extractivism.


  • Have increased their ability to analyze rather complex problems and frame it as a research question.
  • Have gained competence in collaborating in team work with intercultural groups, and using digital learning tools.
  • Have increased their ability to reflect on and consider theoretical problems in a general sense in research.
  • Have increased their ability to communicate (in writing and orally) problems, analyses, and results to colleagues, including contributing in academic debates.


  • Officially registered as first year student in the master programs of Social Sciences (FSV), Business or Energy Management (HHN)
  • Officially registered as a third year student in the bachelor of business (HHN) and planning to take the master program in business at HHN. It is a requirement that upon start of the summer school the student has successfully finished his/ her bachelor degree

Recommended previous knowledge
No previous knowledge besides the same requirements for intake in the respective master program.

Mode of delivery
Face-to-face lectures, group work, site visits, invited speakers, group presentations

Organization and learning activities
This is an intensive course of two weeks with individual study required prior to and after the meeting. The course integrates lectures by experts in the field, presentations from entrepreneurs and local industry actors in Norway and Brazil, site visits and active discussion of the different cases by the participants. Students are required to work in groups, defining a research problem, prepare a short research report and present it to the peer students and the teachers by the end of the second week.

Assessment methods and criteria
It is compulsory to have an active participation in the form of presentations and discussions (written and oral) related to the cases “challenges” presented by local entrepreneurs and industry.

Students will prepare a short research report (Times New Roman, 12 points, single-spaced, max. 10 pages excluding references) describing a research problem inspired by the “challenges” and presenting a solution. This report and its oral presentation will be assessed as passed/ non-passed.

Optionally, students who want to gain 7.5 points, will need to write a research paper (Times New Roman, 12 points, single-spaced, max. 25 pages excluding references). The deadline for this report is November 25, 2018. Supervision will be provided after the course.

Required readings
A list of scientific articles will be provided prior to course start

Digital learning tool
Participants will have access to the online learning platform Fronter where articles, videos from the course and other materials will be uploaded. Students will submit their reports through Fronter as well.

Practical information

Points (Diploma delivered by Fluminense Federal University, Brazil): 5 + (2.5 with research paper)
Level of course: Master course

Target audience:
2nd semester students in the following programs
- M.Sc. in Business
- M.Sc. in Energy Management
- Master in Social Science MASCIENCE

6th semester students in the following programs
- Bachelor in business

Type of course:
Elective for students in business or other social science disciplines with interest in entrepreneurship and innovation
Network partner universities are Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Federal Institute of Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil)

Language: English.

Professor Marcelo Amaral, Federal Fluminense University, Brazil
Professor Julia Paranhos, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Professor Marilia Bonzanini Bossle, Federal Institute Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil
Professor Gry Agnete Alsos, Nord University Business School, Norway
Professor Einar Rasmussen, Nord University Business School, Norway
Associate Professor Bjørn Willy Åmo, Nord University Business School, Norway
Senior research fellow Roberto Rivas Hermann, Nord University Business School, Norway
University Lecturer Lars Anders Billström
Research fellow Tadeu Fernado Nogueira, Nord University Business School, Norway
Senior researcher Nhien Nguyen, Nordland Research Institute, Norway
Associate Professor Sølvi Solvoll, Nord University Business School, Norway

Course responsible person: Dr. Roberto Rivas Hermann, Nord University Business School, Norway

- 20 February 2018
- 20-01 March 2018- Interviews with potential candidates
- 01-05 March 2018- Notification of selected students
- Jul 23 – Jul 27: Week 1, , Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- Aug. 06- Aug. 10: Week 2, Bodø, Norway
- 15 November 2018 Delivery of paper for students applying for 7,5 credits

The course has a limited number of 7 scholarships. The selected students must participate in the two weeks course which takes place in July/August 2018. One week of the course takes place at Fluminense Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and one week takes place at Nord University, Bodø, Norway. The program covers return ticket (Bodø-Rio), accommodation and some meals. Selected students shall make sure they have the necessary traveling documents.
Nord University Business School will provide support by booking the accommodation and flight tickets for the selected participants.

Course evaluation
The course will be evaluated by the participants in the last session. In addition, an online survey will be implemented asking for feedback on the course, including how it can be improved.

How to apply if you are a student at Nord University
Send a motivation essay along with your CV to  before the 20th February, 2018. Follow these instructions:

- Include in your essay an answer to the following questions:

  • Why you would like to take this course?
  • In which ways your participation can animate the group works and debates during the summer school?

- Motivation essay is max. 2 pages, Times New Roman, 10 points, single spaced. English or Norwegian

Selection criteria
A commission will assess the best essays and propose the candidates participating in the summer school

We will invite the shortlisted candidates for an interview, to clarify the commitment to participate in the course

Due to the limit amount of places, and in case of more applicants than seats available, other criteria will be used to select the applicants:
Gender balance (50/50)


The selected participants will be informed of the outcome by March 05st, 2018

Candidates will have one week to confirm the invitation, otherwise those in the reserve list will be invited

General Schedule

Jul 20FridayNord team – Travel from Bodø to Rio (Bodø – Oslo – Frankfurt – Rio)
Jul 22SundayFree day in Rio
Jul 23 – Jul 27Mon-FriClasses in Brazil (Rio/Volta Redonda)
Jul 28SaturdayFree day in Rio
Jul 29SundayReturn to Norway (Rio-Frankfurt-Oslo-Bodø)
Aug 03FridayBrazilian team – Travel from Rio or Porto Alegre to Oslo
Aug 04SaturdayArriving in Oslo (morning) – Day in Oslo
Aug 05SundayTravel form Oslo to Bodø
Aug 06-10Mon-FriClasses in Norway (Nord U.)/ Norlarnet seminar
Aug 11SaturdayTravel Bodø-Oslo
Aug 12SundayReturn no Rio (Oslo-Frankfurt-Rio)

Further information:  
Roberto Rivas Hermann
Postdoc, Nord University Business School, Bodø, Norway
+47 75 51 78 39