I ‘believe’ in the tradition of engaged scholarship. This is a participative process of research incorporating multiple key stakeholders. It connects theory and practice, academia and practitioners along the entire research journey. It values not only outcome, but also the process, which is full of passion, respect and meaning. Finally, it wishes to give back, to have a social impact and practical relevance, to matter to wider society. For this, I also try to encourage, enable and engage in entrepreneurship – to incubate entrepreneurial activities.
Since 2014 I am Head of the Advisory Board of the social incubator Zahnräder Network, which I co-founded in 2010 and managed as its Chairman until 2013. Zahnräder encourages and enables social entrepreneurship in Germany “from Muslims for society” and has been supported, for example, by the British Council, Youth for Europe and Ashoka Changemakers and won the Social Entrepreneurship Academy Public Choice Award in 2012.
I also act as a Non-Executive Director in various startups in education, finance and technology. Oxademy, for instance, is a fascinating and innovative venture in the Higher Education space. It combines high-quality teaching with excellent learning technologies to provide rigorous, customised and affordable education programmes to the world.
I mentored the 2012 regional winner of the Saïd Global Entrepreneurship Challenge, social entrepreneurs at the Initiatives of Change in Caux and the Fulbright Entrepreneurship Conference in Berlin. In 2014, I was honoured to be a jury member for the social entrepreneurship awards “Go for Social!” and the “Hult Prize” in Oxford. In 2010, together with two colleagues I won the Exist-scholarship from the German Federal Ministry of Economics & Technology worth 100000 Euros, which we subsequently turned it down due to other commitments.