Enterprise Awards 2017 in photos

11th December 2017, Lancaster House Hotel.

Congratulations to all the winners, finalists and nominees at this year’s Enterprise Awards 2017!

For those of you who couldn’t make it, the winners were…

Student Leader: Sofia Akel, Racheal Alake, Tolu Adeshina & Georgia Frimpong – Black Excellence Networking Events Team

Knowledge Exchange Champion: Luke Brown

Impactful Researcher: Paul Whaley

Sustainable Venture: Kaizen Academy

Bright Sparks: Raymond Alake

We had a great evening celebrating the achievements of Lancaster students, alumni and staff and would like to wish everyone a healthy and happy new year. See you in 2018!

P.S are you in any of the pictures below? Tag yourself on our Facebook page here

 

Learning to create more a-ha! moments in learning

How do you learn? I learn through doing; a-ha..! Knowledge applied through reflection of a real life experience.

Those ‘A-ha!’ learning moments come for me, more often than not, when I’m doing or trying something out; experimenting for myself or more crucially doing it with others.

I spoke to a university graduate and a current postgraduate student recently and they expressed a similar view. They described learning as not knowledge being poured in but in the application of new knowledge; both expressed a desire for more opportunities for active learning in the classroom, for discussion and collaboration across disciplines to share ideas and perspectives. ‘I want to know what I can do with this knowledge; my knowledge out in the world.’

We see that magical ‘aha’ moment a lot when students bring a problem or an idea to work through together in the Ideas Labs we run weekly in the Learning Zone during term time.

Working on your own idea is a motivated process of being willing to challenge your dearest held assumptions, experimenting to apply knowledge you have or new knowledge you have found, joining the dots to make sense of what’s needed to move forward and validate an idea as an opportunity. It’s about the search for desirability, feasibility and viability of a solution users want, need and will pay for; even just paying with their time; whether it’s a project, a social enterprise or a business venture of some kind.

The Teaching and Learning Studio at Stanford University is a place where educators from all disciplines experiment with new ways of engaging students using design thinking and experiential learning to solve wicked problems. The studio supports educators to develop strategies that help students develop skills and mindsets for the 21st century and I was very fortunate to be an awardee of the EEUK Richard Beresford bursary, a personal development fund for educators, which part funded a trip to the studio for the learning trip of a lifetime.

Fresh from d.School inspiration, I’m grateful for a whole new network of international colleagues to exchange ideas on shaping learning using human centred design that puts the student at the centre of the experience.  So forward thinking are they at Stanford d.School, that it’s an annual thing for educators to pitch their major and minor courses to students on d.School’s ’Pitch Night’…

I want to learn to facilitate more of those ‘A-ha!’ learning moments for students who come to the Enterprise Team’s Ideas Labs sessions. It’s about creating the environment for students to ‘try on’ mindsets and behaviours; practice being curious, resourceful, imaginative, questioning norms and assumptions, observing, ideating, making connections and big leaps to confidently create new solutions; seeing failure along the way as as the stepping stone to the next experiment…and that’s a tough one for us all to ‘try on’ in our practice.

It’s about the quest to develop all students as creative problem solvers;  ‘innovators’  in every discipline. This skill, rooted in creativity is needed in every shape and size of organisation to remain competitive and for employees, leaders and entrepreneurs to continue to find ways to create new value.

So what is Design Thinking and how does it relate to designing learning and facilitating learning experiences and how an it be used as a pedagogical tool?

Design thinking is a mindset. It is optimistic, collaborative, human centred and creative and it’s experimental. It’s the confidence that everyone can be part of creating a more desirable future, and the design process empowers people to take action when faced with a difficult challenge. That kind of optimism is well needed in education and in students heading out into a challenged global environment.

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Design thinking is a team sport and through small design challenges we and our learners can learn the attitudes and mindsets to collaborate and create, experimenting by framing a learning through design challenge, unpacking assumptions about the challenge or problem, exploring the problem space with users, defining a point of view about the challenge.

Through optimistic and energised ideation a design team can  learn to ‘turn off’ the evaluator mindset and generate ideas through divergent thinking; brainstorming, building on one another’s ideas, generating lots of ideas to create great ideas, and learning that sometimes seemingly wild ideas are the spark to something better; out of the box possibilities; solutions to wicked problems. Ideas are selected for development through voting and the design team builds to learn through improv and role play to imagine possibilities before building simple, fail fast mockups and prototypes to share with users for feedback. What works, what doesn’t..? Return to prototype… return to test… iterate…until ‘Ahah! We did it! Our solution has cracked the problem; what a feeling… ‘like something inside me changed.’

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The Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators contains the process and methods of design. Developed by the global design company Ideo, (Founded by David Kelley who also founded Stanford’s d.School). The toolkit offers new ways to be intentional and collaborative when designing educational experiences, and empowers educators to create  impactful student centred learning solutions, but also to integrate design thinking into problem based learning as a creative problem solving process. The process empowers students to get creative, starting by solving simple human centred challenges to prepare them for tackling seemingly insoluble challenges.

‘Educators from across the world are facing design challenges every single day, from feedback systems to daily schedules. Wherever they fall on the spectrum of scale – the challenges educators are confronted with are real, complex, and varied. And as such, they require new perspectives, new tools, and new approaches. Design Thinking is one of them.’ Ideo.com

What was woefully missing in my education, and my daughter’s after me, were those serendipidous ‘A-ha’ moments in learning, and it’s this creative, human agency, I now believe that is at the heart of our work as educators. We have a short window of opportunity to intentionally develop learners as creative problem solvers, innovators and value creators beyond their discipline; skills for living and for lifelong learning.

‘Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.’

Benjamin Franklin

My thanks to Enterprise Educators UK for part funding this learning experience with the Richard Beresford Bursary. More details on how to apply here.

Resources:

Teaching innovators can download Design Thinking for Educators here.

A Canvas to design learning here

Sir Ken Robinson’s ‘Whats the point of creativity at University’ here.

Have you attended an Ideas or Startup Lab?

Fill in our feedback survey for a chance to win a £15 Amazon Voucher!

With the final Lab sessions for the academic year behind us we are now keen to gather feedback on your experiences of the Ideas and StartupLabs which have run this academic year. A simple, short survey has been composed to help us do this. The survey should take a maximum of 10 minutes to complete! We would really appreciate your help with this as any feedback will be vital to helping us to shape our future offering.

Click here to access the survey

If you complete the survey and are happy to provide your name and email address, you will be entered into a prize draw to win a £15 Amazon Voucher. Terms and Conditions of the prize draw are outlined below:

Terms and Conditions for Feedback Survey Prize Draw

The Prize and Draw

  1. The prize will be a £15 Amazon Voucher in the form of a gift card purchased from Amazon.co.uk. This gift card is bound by its own Terms & Conditions which you can access here. We will not give a cash equivalent.
  2. Entries will close at midnight on the 14/08/17 and a winner will be drawn on the 15/08/17. The closing date is however subject to change. Notification through our website and social media will be provided if the date is changed. (27/07/17 – The date for completion has been extended from 27/07/17 to the 14/08/17, T&Cs have been updated with the new date)
  3. All entries will be entered into a spreadsheet and allocated a number. A random number generator will be used to select the winner.
  4. Our decision will be final. The winner will be notified by email as early as possible following the draw on the 15/08/17.
  5. If the winner does not respond within 7 days of the notification email, a new winner will be drawn and the same steps will be followed until the prize is claimed.
  6. The Enterprise Team reserve the right to stipulate further limitations in the selection of this gift card in order to facilitate a decision.

Eligibility

For entry into the draw you must:

  1. Have completed the survey to a substantial level which will be of help to The Enterprise Team. The standard of entries will be determined by members of the The Enterprise Team.
  2. Have completed the survey by midnight on the 14/08/17
  3. Have attended a IdeasLab or StartupLab at Lancaster University over the 2016-17 academic year, The Enterprise Team will verify each entry against records.
  4. Participants are limited to one entry per person.
  5. Must provide your name and email address, meaning that the completion of this survey will not be anonymous.

 

Insights into Building a Business and Franchising

This weeks Entrepreneur – Len Rainford

Len Rainford

Franchise Director and Management Consultant for The Franchise Specialist 

With over 30 years’ experience, Len has seen franchising from every angle and aspect. He has been Franchise Manager for two international companies, has been a Franchisee and Franchiser
and has worked as a Franchise Consultant for several major brands. Not only that, Len has also started, run and sold four businesses – all in different sectors. He now works in a consultancy role passing on the knowledge and experience that he has gained over the years to help others to achieve their goals.

Meeting Time-slot: Tuesday 7th March, 2-4pm

If you wish to book an appointment to meet Len, please email the Enterprise Team.

 

Airbus Fly Your Ideas Competition

Organised in partnership with UNESCO, Airbus Fly Your Ideas competition challenges students worldwide from all disciplines to develop new ideas and innovate with Airbus for the future of aviation. The grand prize for the winning team is €30,000 and the runners up win their share of €15,000.

The competition is open to teams of 3-5 students and involves three progressively challenging rounds and a final during which the five final teams present their ideas to a panel of Airbus and industry experts. Each challenge is real and relates to one the five key challenges faced at present by the aviation industry – business models, flight operations, passenger experience, design engineering and manufacturing.

Round one of the competition ends on the 25th of November – so if you are interested – register soon and get thinking!

Visit the Airbus Fly Your Ideas website for further details and to register.

Don’t Fool Yourself! – The Overwhelming Reality of Transitioning to Work

Guest Blog: Alex Green

Alex Green is the Founder of a new start-up, which he began in August 2016 and is looking to develop and distribute his service across the UK in the coming months. His aim is to provide a platform to support young people through the transition from education to work so they can realise their potential and be successful, happy individuals.

In the last 5 years he has worked in London as a Digital Marketing Executive with experience working for agencies with clients such as Activision to Microsoft, helping them to market their products and services. He studied at Lancaster Management School and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelors in Business Studies with specialisms in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. He is now a registered student with the Chartered Institute of Marketing, studying a Diploma in Professional Marketing and continues to expand his expertise in this area. He is particularly interested in making a positive contribution to the education and charitable sectors.

“Students today have it tougher than previous generations”

(Matthew Waterton, The Guardian)

 

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If you’re someone who is soon to make the transition between full time education to full time work and independent life, this post is designed for YOU. You may be getting ready for your first week at University, preparing for the grind of your final year of studies or have just started the long, exhausting process of finding a graduate job. However, I want to provide you with some first-hand insight and advice into the realities of making the transition.

I hope you find it useful.

Back in 2012 I graduated with a 2:1 degree from Lancaster University. I was an enthusiastic individual who was hungry to learn and needed to prove myself. I wanted to chase the rat race and chose to pursue a career in Marketing in London. What I didn’t know was that getting noticed in London would be extremely hard. Before I landed my first real job at a digital marketing agency in Covent Garden I had to work in a coffee shop for 6 months, live in a hostel for several weeks and commute at 4am for months on end, whilst at the same time constantly falling flat on my face with job applications and coming short at assessment centres. Why? Because I wasn’t properly prepared.

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When I actually got the job I wanted, the realities were slightly different to what I expected and sadly I wasn’t prepared for this either. I had no clue about work politics, dress code, time management and organisation, which in turn made work life shockingly difficult. Getting up at 6am, having to meet the high expectations of my new boss and deal with the physical and mental strain of it all was a SHOCK. Over the last two years I continued working for a range of other companies and realised that I wasn’t the only young person who seemed to be struggling. We simply weren’t properly aware of the realities of living independently. Last year it got to the point where the stress became too much and I decided to resign from my job and do something that I was passionate about. After having some much needed time off, talking to many close friends, family members and advisors, I had a light bulb moment. I decided that I would be the person who would provide young transitional people with the right support and guidance so they could more quickly adapt to the current environment we live in. That’s when my idea was born.

My vision is to equip young people with the tools required to cope with LIFE AFTER EDUCATION. This may include support for mental health, self-help, career advice, personal development and maintaining a healthy work/life balance. Currently, students are only provided with guidance on how to be a successful student and some career advice is offered, but I offer the whole package for dealing with this transition in multiple areas of life – this is what makes my idea unique.

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You could argue that parents are there to provide this guidance, however modern day life suggests that families are becoming more disparate, parents are unaware of the true realities of life for young people and cracks are showing in the appropriateness of the support provided. Life has moved on. I would consider that I have come from a secure family background and regardless of my parent’s best intentions, I still found this transition extremely difficult. I am not alone in this.

By creating a resource to better prepare young people for the transition between full time education to full time work life and living independently, they will be better informed to make smart decisions helping them work towards their dreams, be happy and lead a successful life.

As part of my research to find out exactly what support is needed, I have created a survey. If you are interested in my service and think it may be beneficial to you please take just 5 minutes to fill it out and make sure you leave some contact details so I can reach out to you in the future (this is optional). The results from the survey will be shared in my next blog so stay tuned…

For more information bout this topic, listen to my video blog below where I talk about the 10 things I wish I’d known more about before leaving University.

I am also happy to answer any questions you may have via email at alexpgreen@outlook.com.

 

What really matters most to you in life?

Web design author and ex-marketing strategy consultant Ben Hunt asks ‘Why do we do what we do?

Really… what is the ultimate point?

  • Is it just to make money? If so, exactly how much money is “enough money”?
  • Is it to make a better world? If so, what does that world look like exactly?
  • Is it to be remembered as important? If so, what do you want your obituary to say?

It isn’t for me to attempt to answer that question for you. But I can tell you this…

When you know what you stand for, what you stand against, what you value, what you don’t care for, the people or causes you wish to champion… you actually discover yourself.

And when you do that, your whole life becomes simpler, and your choices become easier.

You stop chasing and start building, because you know who you are, who you wish to become, and you can see the path from here to there.

You’ll also be able to spot the kindred spirits who can help you along your way. Perhaps you and I are kindred spirits?

For me, I find this 23-minute video incredibly inspiring. It’s the late, great John Seymour, the father of modern self-sufficiency, and he puts into words his view of the world, and what progress means, in a way that I could never do.

Watch the video here.

Best wishes

Ben Hunt

You can register for Ben’s website and blog here.

Teaching Creativity to Leaders

Favourite Read of the Week from Strategyzer’s Nabila Amarsy.

What: Employers in the 21st century are pressured to evolve rapidly and innovate at the risk of being outcompeted if they are too slow to react. IDEO’s Tim Brown advises leaders in education and industry on how to instil creativity in their organisational culture.

Why: It’s not necessarily about bean bags, ping pong tables, and free food. Empowering our staff and students to be more creative requires a deep cultural change.

How: Find out more in Tim Brown’s podcast on the Harvard Business Review.

And… In his talk ‘What’s the point of Creativity at University?’,  internationally influential thinker on education and creativity Sir Ken Robinson also considers how higher education institutions might play a greater role in developing the creative capacities of all of their students. It’s thought provoking, entertaining and well worth a watch. See the the long version here and the highlights from the talk here.

It is important to start with a clear definition of what we mean by creativity, as there are two completely different types. The first is technical creativity, where people create new theories, technologies or ideas. This is the type of creativity Ken Robinson and Tim Brown are referring to. The second is artistic creativity, which is more born of skill, technique and self-expression. You can explore more about understanding creativity and practical approaches to it here.

Financial Blockbuster

Last week I went to an event Higher Education Entrepreneurship Group event on Financial Literacy for Entrepreneurship: What to teach, and how?

This event focused on what’s important for students of enterprise and potential entrepreneurs to learn about accounting and finance, and how best to teach it.

It was an opportunity to discuss, share practice, get new ideas, and network with colleagues across the sector.

One of the most engaging and accessible sessions of the day was by Lionel Bunting of the University of Chichester, who brought a little glitz and glamour to the more mundane aspects of business planning.

Lionel showcased a creative and practical approach, designed to change the way students see and think about business problems and aspects that they’re more likely to shy away from.

With his contextualised real world based exercise; a film festival, he gives students the opportunity and ability to get to grips with all aspects of planning such as operations, marketing, generating income and forecasting sales. Setting up a business can be fun, teaching students practical enterprise skills should be equally as fun.

The talk and presentation was based on a case study workshop Lionel developed on the planning and costing out of a film festival event for an independent cinema. The workshop enables students to work with and develop a range of enterprise and employability skills as well as learn about a business model and sector.

There were other great examples of best practice shared on the day and you can see some of them here.

To hear about best practice we’re sharing on, please register with LEEN (Lancaster University Enterprise Educators Network) and to share yours drop us a line and we will happily post about it on our blog.

@BreneBrown : The Power of Vulnerabity

Brené Brown studies human connection — our ability to empathize, belong, love. In a poignant, funny talk, she shares a deep insight from her research, one that sent her on a personal quest to know herself as well as to understand humanity.

It’s a talk to share from Ted; but I found Brene Brown via MeganMacedo.com – Be Yourself, tell your story and do something that matters