Global Resources in ESP: Kickstarter!

Hello, ESPers worldwide!

At Kanda University of International Studies (KUIS) in Chiba, Japan, I have been fortunate to be able to create and teach courses that focus on the following subjects: business communication, business strategy, business management, marketing, business creation, and organizational leadership. For teaching these courses, there is no shortage of online resources if you are willing to use your imagination.

In the business creation course, for example, I have found the Kickstarter website to be very effective in getting students to focus on the creation and promotion of a business idea.

On its website, Kickstarter is described as follows:

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. We’re a home for everything from films, games, and music to art, design, and technology. Kickstarter is full of projects, big and small, that are brought to life through the direct support of people like you. Since our launch in 2009, 4.9 million people have pledged $807 million, funding 49,000 creative projects. Thousands of creative projects are raising funds on Kickstarter right now.

On the Kickstarter website, funding may be raised through pledges for projects in the following areas: Art, Comics, Dance, Design, Fashion, Film & Video, Food, Games, Music, Photography, Publishing, Technology, and Theater.

In class, I am experimenting with having students make promotional videos such as those on Kickstarter as well as more traditional presentations about their business ideas.

Another benefit of Kickstarter is that it can be used for leadership training. Getting “buy in” (or stakeholder support) for a project proposal or business plan is essential for a leader, and Kickstarter is perfect for conducting training in this area as well.

Finally, the website is fun to visit. The Stanford University page is a good place to look for some creative Kickstarter projects.

Check it out!


About Kevin Knight

Kevin Knight
Kevin Knight (PhD in Linguistics, MBA, MPIA) is an associate professor in the Department of International Communication (International Business Career major) and has also been working in the Career Education Center of Kanda University of International Studies in Chiba, Japan. In the TESOL ESP Interest Section (ESPIS), he has served as chair and English in occupational settings (EOS) representative, and he is currently the ESPIS community manager. He was also a member of the Governance Review Task Force (GRTF) appointed by the board of directors. In addition, he has been a TESOL blogger in the area of English for Specific Purposes (ESP). He has more than 30 years of professional experience working for private, public, and academic sector institutions including Sony and the Japan Patent Office. His doctoral research on leadership communication (i.e., discourse) as a basis for leadership development was under the supervision of Emeritus Professor Christopher Candlin and Dr. Alan Jones.
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