Let’s begin with five deceivingly simple questions: WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A COMPACT FLUORESCENT LIGHT BULB? Before reading on, pause to think about a full answer to each of the questions on the left. It might even be useful to make some notes on this page before continuing. The questions are not easy. The answers are more complex than merely the production or market costs in dollars. It’s not the “Price Is Right.” They are more complex than assessments of the benefits of each. In fact, they are difficult still after refining by asking, “Value to whom and when?” The list doesn’t even include software, services, meeting basic needs, or technical breakthroughs. What a great way to start a class discussion! Creating value is perhaps the ultimate expression of an entrepreneurially minded engineer. The other two of the 3C’s (curiosity and connections) form the supporting cast that promote a creation’s discovery and relevance, ultimately contributing to its value. Accordingly, the shared mission statement of the partners in KEEN is to “graduate engineers with an entrepreneurial mindset so they can create personal, economic, and societal value through a lifetime of meaningful work.” The (non)Definitive Dictionary Some words have a well-accepted definition. “Value” does not. Lexicographers, the researchers and writers of dictionaries, don’t even agree on first definitions for “value.” They offer the following: • measure of importance or benefits (Cambridge Dictionary) • monetary worth (Merriam-Webster Dictionary) • relative worth ( • a deserved regard (Oxford Dictionary) • a quality that renders desirability ( ) Their differences are significant and reflect a variety of viewpoints. In the absence of precision, perspectives matter. KEEN Perspectives on Personal, Economic, and Societal Value KEEN promotes the creation of personal value. Since the 1950’s, personal value systems have been the subject of sociological research. They have identified human values across cultures, vocations, and people groups. The studies reveal how personal choice and preference are connected to perceived ends — terminal values. A well-known study identifies and ranks 18 personal values including happiness, a comfortable life, freedom, equality, wisdom, sense of accomplishment, and self-respect. 1 While it is common to help students develop a self-awareness of their learning or personality type, a student’s self-awareness of values and shared values will help them develop their personal and professional passions, a goal within the character portion of the KEEN Framework. Graduates of KEEN programs are equipped to create economic value, critical to the sustainability of any endeavor within an economic context, whether as an individual, organization, or country. If you struggled with the above questions, it might be gratifying to know that economists have also struggled with the concept of value, developing concepts like utility, value in use, value in exchange, and value as shaped by human psychological factors. 2 Engineering economics is Creating value is a frequently used phrase among KEEN faculty. But what does it mean? A handbook for entrepreneurially minded learning (EML) should offer a few definitions, views, and thoughts regarding “value”—a term that packs a complex meaning and is elusive in definition. AVision forValue WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A PENCIL SHARPENER? WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A PORTABLE GLUCOSE METER? WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE? WHAT IS THE VALUE OF A MINI COOPER? 34