Academia’s contribution to the proper and timely scaling of the fourth sector is enormous, as the entire intellectual infrastructure for the sector needs to be assimilated, built and disseminated. The emergence of the fourth sector is organic, yet its rise also presents the opportunity to thoughtfully, carefully, and boldly create the coherent global system that we dream of. This requires engaging academics and researchers at leading universities, think tanks, and other knowledge hubs in order to create the future of management science theory, for example.
As a growing number of specialists set out to study the fourth sector, more knowledge is being generated, which is heightening the decision-making ability of managers in the sector. However, significant further enquiry is needed in the field of management science to understand the many dimensions of the fourth sector, to assess its prospects, and to understand what it means to manage, live, and scale in a for-benefit economy.
Specific actions that universities, research organizations, think tanks and other knowledge hubs can take to enhance the space for the fourth sector are as follows:
1. Curriculum development to educate leaders to advance a for-benefit economy through the fourth sector development.
2. Include research and teaching programs focused on for-benefit enterprises as part of business and policy schools.
3. Build a library of case studies on fourth sector entity management and growth strategy across different contexts.
4. Develop tools and frameworks for students to lead the transition towards a for-benefit economy.
5. Create peer-to-peer networks, fellowships and mentorship programs to lead the growth of the fourth sector.
6. Design executive programs for business leaders, policymakers, influencers, and practitioners willing to advance the fourth sector.