Dickinson State University's Business Ethics class, under the guidance of Dr. Debora Dragseth, has embarked on its ninth annual Red Paperclip Challenge. Inspired by Kyle MacDonald's famous barter journey from a single red paperclip to a house, this unique project aims to teach students valuable life skills through a series of trades and bartering.

The assignment is straightforward yet intriguing: begin with a red paperclip and trade up for something bigger or better, and continue this process at least six times. This approach, rooted in a childhood game called “Bigger and Better,” has become a cornerstone of practical learning in the university's business ethics curriculum.

Dr. Dragseth emphasizes the educational value of the challenge, "The Red Paperclip Challenge is more than an assignment; it's a journey in communication, bartering, and taking small steps towards significant goals. These are essential skills that our students will carry with them throughout their lives."

The challenge has garnered positive feedback from former students, with many reflecting on how the experience positively impacted their personal and professional growth. A previous participant in the challenge shared, "The Red Paperclip project was more than just an assignment; it was a transformative experience that taught me the value of persistence, negotiation, and creativity."

This year's initiative has a charitable aspect as well. The items acquired through the students' trades will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to Furever Full, a local charity dedicated to helping families in need to feed their pets. Dawn Kadrmas, the founder of Furever Full, expressed gratitude for the support, "We are thrilled to be chosen for this year's Red Paperclip Challenge. The funds raised will significantly aid in our mission to keep pets in loving homes, despite financial hardships."

The Red Paperclip auction is scheduled for Tuesday, April 16, from 12:00 PM to 5:30 PM at the DSU Heritage Foundation Alumni House. Those interested in contributing auction items or donations can contact Dr. Debora Dragseth at deb.dragseth@dickinsonstate.edu.

With this innovative project, Dickinson State University continues to foster a learning environment that extends beyond the classroom, preparing students for real-world challenges and underscoring the importance of community involvement and ethical business practices.

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