Is Blockchain the future of tech?

Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook and Amazon – will their reign last forever?

Concern over the amount of power and information held by some of the world’s largest tech companies such as Apple, Alphabet (Google), Facebook and Amazon appears to be growing in today’s society.

Recent months have seen increasing interest and investment in a new emerging technology – ‘Blockchain,’ a version of the technology that brought us bitcoin. It is believed that Blockchain technology could be used to build similar platforms to those of the big tech companies however, in a more cooperative style – owned by all who participate or invest, avoiding the super-concentration of wealth and power into one company.

Blockchain experiments are now popping up all over the world, so who knows what the future holds…

Find out more by reading the full Newsweek article on their website.

 

 

Spaces 4 Change

Unlock the potential of unused or under-utlised space in your community

Spaces for Change (S4C) is a UK wide programme funded by Young UnLtd. The scheme is looking to fund and support individuals or groups of young people aged 16-24, to start and run social ventures using under-utlised spaces within their community.

Successful applicants are awarded £5,000 of project funding along with a dedicated award manager providing tailored support, cohort support and peer to peer networking opportunities for sharing knowledge and learning.

Expressions of interest can be submitted up until the 13th of November. Successful applicants will be invited to pitch their idea to a panel in January.

To find out more about the scheme and to apply, visit the Spaces for Change webpages.

Are Social Enterprises more sustainable, innovative and profitable?

‘Does doing good make you better?’

There are 471,000 social enterprises in the UK, making up for almost 9% of the total UK small business population. Government research has recently revealed that businesses which put their profits into social or environmental causes appear more likely to be innovative and profitable than traditional SMEs.The research also compared the types of challenges cited by SMEs and Social Enterprise Employers.

Take a look at some of the highlights from the study which was commissioned by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy on Enterprise Nation’s blog.

Maybe you have an idea for a Social Enterprise? Book on to an IntroLab to tell us about it!

Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summit

Live Stream of WildHearts Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summit

To ‘celebrate the power of entrepreneurship as a force for social and economic change,’ the WildHearts Group host Global Entrepreneurial Leaders Summits, bringing together some of the world’s leading Corporate, Social and Founding Entrepreneurs.

The next summit is being held in London on the 5th of October. The Summit includes sessions on Women in Leadership, Business for Good (both local and global) and Impact-full education. The day includes many inspiring speakers including Elizabeth Nyamayaro, Head of UN’s #HeForShe campaign.

The great news is that you can watch the Summit live from the comfort of your own room on the WildHearts Group Facebook page. It will also be available for catch up following the event.

The Bootleg Benchmarks – Eight ideas for Careers and Enterprise through the Curriculum

Ready Unlimited is a small team that makes a big impact

Amanda Brooks, Enterprise Education Development Manager in The Lancaster University Enterprise Team reflects on learning from the recent International Educators Conference:

At the International Enterprise Educators Conference in Glasgow Caledonian University in September, I met Managing Director and principal consultant Catherine Brentnall of Ready Unlimited who was there to share and launch a draft of her guide for Secondary School teachers to support the development of careers and enterprise through the curriculum.

The guide – The Bootleg Benchmarks – ‘Eight ideas for Careers and Enterprise through the Curriculum’ – was developed through a project funded by Enterprise Educators UK, and delivered in partnership with the University of Hertfordshire.

The guide, and an accompanying pedagogy survey, helps identify pragmatic actions which subject teachers can utilise, adapt and experiment with in their own classroom.  Catherine shares the Lancaster University’s Enterprise Team’s vision that through education, young people develop the enterprising and entrepreneurial knowledge, mind set and behaviours relevant to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. To achieve this, her mission, like our own, is to work with a community of educators so they can incrementally create and strengthen enterprising and entrepreneurial teaching and learning for all young people, through the curriculum.

Catherine welcomes feedback on Bootleg Benchmarks, and although it was designed with secondary schools mind, it’s an excellent starting point for teaching staff in HE wanting to innovate their practice.

Catherine works with hundreds of teachers and Head Teachers every year across the UK and abroad.  Her unique combination of skills and expertise enable her to bridge the gap between academic entrepreneurial learning theory and practice by effecting real change in classrooms.  ‘“If you give teachers the time and tools to develop enterprise education for themselves, they can change the experience of every student that comes into their classroom.’ said Catherine. Teachers involved in developing enterprise and Entrepreneurship education in the curriculum say it has enabled students to:

  • Have a sense of belonging and purpose in their community
  • Develop a love for lifelong learning
  • Connect with the world of work and business that they will one day move into
  • Develop enterprise capability, financial capability and economic and business understanding
  • See and make opportunities

For teaching staff at Lancaster interested in learning how they might start to introduce Enterprise into their modules the Bootleg Benchmarks offers a helpful eight-point check list from which to benchmark current practice.

Further reading on Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in the Curriculum in the QAA’s Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Guidance:  http://www.qaa.ac.uk/en/Publications/Documents/enterprise-entrepreneurship-guidance.pdf

For the academic Year 2017/18, The Enterprise Team will be working with faculty teaching staff who offer curricular placements, consultancy projects and/or competitions, to design and promote co-curricular enterprise sessions to enable students to build a foundation for their commercial awareness and concepts of value creation in preparation for contact  with organisations. This offer is enhanced by the opportunity to join a community of enterprise learners in the weekly ‘Labs’ in the Learning Zone.

To get connected with other teaching innovators at Lancaster you can join LEEN (Lancaster Enterprise Educators Network) for updates on events and opportunities available to teaching staff at Lancaster by registering here

EEUK’s International Enterprise Educators Conference happens every year in Early September. Slides and themes from this year’s event can be seen here and here. Lancaster university is a member organisation of EEUK and staff can attend the EEUK best practice events throughout the year for free. Regular updates through LEEN.

Careers and Enterprise through the Curriculum – guide to accompany pedagogy bench marking tool. (PDF Download Available). Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/319872913_Careers_and_Enterprise_through_the_Curriculum_-_guide_to_accompany_pedagogy_bench_marking_tool [accessed Sep 17, 2017].

Amanda Brooks, Enterprise Education Development Manager
Lancaster University Enterprise Team

 

Social Saturday 2017

Support for Social Enterprises

Occurring this year on the 14th of October, Social Saturday is an annual campaign aiming to raise awareness of the difference that social enterprises are making in communities, not only locally, but also around the world. Social enterprises are businesses that put people and the planet first through re-investing their profits to provide training, employment, housing, health, education, clean water and much more.

Check out some of the great social enterprises that exist around the country online through Social Enterprise UK and see how you can support them! Find out more here.

‘Embrace Failure’ – James Dyson

Sir James Dyson discusses prototyping, failure and patents

In a recent interview on Radio 2’s breakfast show, British inventor Sir James Dyson talks about why he sees failure as something exciting which should be embraced. He also answers questions on whether he’s ever invented something in a dream, how many patents they hold and whether he uses his own hairdryers…

It a great, short interview – well worth a listen on the Radio Two website. 

Innovative clothes that grow with your baby…

Example of design focused innovation

Buying new clothes every few months for a growing child can be costly and resource consuming. This is why engineer Ryan Yasin, 24 has come up with new children’s clothing range, ‘Petit Pli.’ Petit Pli clothes are made from an inventive new material inspired by solar panels and satellites. The material grows along with the child – so one garment can be seven sizes in one!

Petit Pli was the result of over 500 prototypes and now Yasin’s efforts have been recognised through becoming the UK winner of the James Dyson Award! But he is not stopping there, him and the team are currently working towards trying to make a garment out of a single material, allowing for it to be recycled more easily!

Read more about Ryan Yasin and his innovative design on the Wired website. 

 

 

Some of 2017’s less successful startups…

Ventures aren’t always a success

It is of course not always good news for startups, even those which may have at one stage looked very promising and been valued highly. An article on the BBC’s technology pages takes a look at just a few of this year’s biggest failed technology startups including Juicero – a wi-fi connected juicing machine and YikYak anonymous messaging app.

It all just goes to show that no matter how well funded an idea may be, changing circumstances is our unpredictable environment can result in a turn for the worse.

Click here to read the article. 

The Food Exchange 2017

Looking to start or grow a food or drink business?

Join retail buyers, entrepreneurs and experts from the food and drink industry for this one day exchange event in London.

The event will help to put you in touch with large brand buyers, learn form experienced entrepreneurs who’ve been there and done it and access expert advice in topics such as sales, marketing and PR for the food industry.

Already confirmed speakers include Sainsbury’s, Green & Blacks and Selfridges.

When? Friday 29th September

Where? Presentation Suite, KPMG, London

To find out more and purchase tickets, visit the Eventbrite page.