In celebration of ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’

Felicity Pirate image: Vanessa Randel 

Today is ‘International Talk Like a Pirate Day’.

My name is Felicity, and I’ve been a pirate for 531 days. Evocative memories of the evening I claimed this mantle firmly cemented. A potent mix of shared values, a collective consciousness of grievances, powerful stories shared by author, social entrepreneur and inspirator, Sam Conniff Allende, and clarification of who must take responsibly. An intoxicating charge of positive change-maker energy unleashed across a sizeable room.

Feelings and focus didn’t dissipate. They grew stronger from relations built with Right Hand Pirate’, co-author, pirate network lead, Alex Barker, and many other fellow pirates drawn from across the globe.

I am in fine company.

Many people cling to the clichés of the bloodthirsty, pillaging or Jack Sparrow-like pirate. Yet, I love to share the true stories of the ‘Golden Age’ Pirates who ‘ set the world alight with audacious rebelliousness, and a clear commitment to ideals of justice and equality’ (De Marco, 2015). Agents for change that fought for fairness, diversity, inclusion and voice.

Sam and Alex, though their ongoing endeavours to build the global community of change-maker pirates dare to challenge the status quo. They envision and encourage others into service to take responsibility for creating a ‘dynamic, responsive force, in and around the systems that we have got that are letting us down, [at] the speed we need, to create the change that is required’ (Conniff, 2018).

We are the actors in our destiny.

I embrace my pirate identity. I am a positive professional change agent. In my own professional context, education, I am further inspired by the words of Parker J Palmer, who reminds us as to why we entered the profession in the first place. “..we once believed that ideas and insight are at least as real and powerful as the world that surrounds us. Remembering ourselves and our power can lead to revolution, but it requires more than recalling a few facts. Remembering involves putting ourselves back together, recovering identity and integrity”.

Being a pirate has enabled me to recover and reaffirm my identity and integrity!

So today I celebrate, and also count down the days to next week’s pirate party with Alex and Sam to celebrate the new ‘How to: Be More Pirate’ book launch.


I thank Vanessa Randle for my personalised pirate representation, Felicity, the pirate © 2020 Graphic created by Vanessa Randle, –

Some trail of my pirate journey

Pirates in education: rule breaking with purpose

21st century pirate – the rebel with a cause

EntreComp: the tool of choice for resilient VUCA* proof change agents

The mind behind 21c pirate rebellion

Lifeworld and lifelong development: the transformative power of entrepreneurial learning

Healey-Benson, F. , Lohnmann-Hancock, C. & Morgan, P. (2020) ‘Pirates in HE: Social Justice for connected communities in unprecedented times’, Nexus + Conference, UWTSD, Wales, 14th July 2020. Link forthcoming.

Conniff Allende, S. (2018) ‘Be More Pirate: Or How to Take On the World and Win’, Penguin: UK.

De Marco, G. A. (2015) ‘Foreword’ to Phillip Gosse’s ‘The Pirate Who’s Who’: Giving Particulars of the Lives and Deaths of the Pirates and Buccaneers’ expanded edn, Warped Mind Press.

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