A third festive season for ‘Emergent Thinkers.com’ and a window of reflection, celebration and relaxation before a new year with renewed hopes!
2021 was another unusual year, yet an improvement on 2020 with respect to freedom of movement whilst keeping safe. My tagline became ‘Pirates, Pioneers, Passion and Phenomenology underpinned by Entrepreneurship & Harmonious Principles.’ Here I summarise six dominant themes.
- Entrepreneurship for all
There was lots to share on the Erasmus + EntreCompEdu project which addressed the professionalisation of entrepreneurial educators. Participants across 58 countries were supported online in building creative and entrepreneurial mindsets using real-life contexts and value creation within their practice. I had the wonder of being part of a dream team from six countries, and the Online Global Graduation at the project’s end was the culmination of the fizz-popping energy, joy, and learning across a global collective. This followed a moving award ceremony with Dafen School Global Whole School Pioneers, which drew attention from ministers, academics, professionals and the wider community. In October, following my journey with the International University of Malaya-Wales’s faculty members from biotechnology, biology, business, media, literature, and advanced technology, I would join forces with a global team to share the story and impact of EntreCompEdu for Malaysian Higher Education
More in 2022 to follow on embedding entrepreneurial competence in our curriculums, local and afar.
2. Promoting entrepreneurship to support the sustainability agenda
Promoting entrepreneurship specifically to support the sustainability agenda has also been a priority endeavour. Time was invested in supporting educators in facilitating ‘value creation’ through the SDGs, as well as developing the ‘Harmonious Entrepreneurship Society (HES)‘ with my co-founder Professor David A. Kirby.
2021 outputs include 60 harmonious venture case studies, journal papers, book chapters and conference presentations, all contributing to growing our global network, in addition to the foundation level online course ‘Principles of Harmonious Entrepreneurship’ I launched at the Enterprise Educators UK International Entrepreneurship Educators Conference. We have also grown a project advisory team of education, entrepreneurship, and sustainability expertise. I look forward to sharing more exciting news on the first Inter-University HES competition in the Spring.
3. Pirates and positive rebellion
The ‘power of voice’ and its positive employ in challenging systems that are failing us is core to ‘Emergent Thinkers’. Strength of voice contributes to wellbeing through individual and collective agency, supporting independence, dignity and citizen engagement. Skilling oneself and others for empowerment pays dividends, especially in life contexts where personal and societal challenge can wear us down. During International Women’s Day 2021 I toasted my incredible local and international female change agent networks who often make both subtle and powerful differences in so many ways. I have evolved as a Pirate, (fast approaching day 1000!), and continued to develop my Pirate Networks ‘locally and beyond, – a growing professional crew committed to effect change, whether “it be in the margins, in the spaces, conversations and actions, that others are unable or afraid to touch “, or warn you away from. This year I supported my ‘Be More Pirate’ network who pay close attention to threats to social justice and liberties as we witnessed governments at national and local level rushing through legislature or policy changes without the required serious scrutiny and debate. In 2022 I will further contribute to promote good rebellion, the tackling of misinformation, disillusionment and apathy.
4. Living in ‘wonder‘ with phenomenology
My phenomenological doctoral journey continued in 2021, and I was privileged to work with respected phenomenological and educational researchers. Sponsored by the Networked Learning Consortium, homed by Aalborg University, Denmark. Dr Mike Johnson and I, through hanfod.NL, developed the first handfod.NL event, which featured a ‘Phenomenology In Practice’ workshop led by Professor Cathy Adams and Professor Nina Bonderup-Dohn. Negotiating all sort of issues including covid compromising our Cardiff based location and castle event, we persevered and pivoted online, and with the special help of our Canadian and Danish network, gave birth to a new collaborative phenomenological research community. Mike, Cathy and I carry forward the hanfod.NL vision of bringing phenomenology into the spotlight within networked learning with a pitch at a Phenomenology Symposium at the Networked Learning Conference in May 2022. Mike, Cathy and I, joined by Dr. Joni Turville will submit our paper which brings a phenomenology of practice lens to the student’s experience of Zoom breakout rooms.
5. Strengthening skills and mindsets
It’s been a busy year with many conferences presentations to deliver, but in August I joyously shared my ‘professional context vlog assessment’ was in print -in Routledge’s “Designing Courses with Digital Technologies” book [ed. Professor Stefan Hrastinski, Mid Sweden University]. I was also humbled to share the importance of high level oracy and authenticity in the global EntreCompEdu online café series.
2021 also meant promoting ‘improving mental health’, recognising and celebrating human vulnerability, our own and others, and calling for more routine public or collective displays of Emotional Vulnerability for a reimagined healthier post-covid world. A theme to reappear in 2022.
6. Passionate Inspirators
Finally, I was delighted to add to the ‘mind behind’ interviews as well as report on the ‘Reimagining Our Futures’ webinars organised by the Societal Innovation and Enterprise Forum (SIEF). So many people to learn from. Lots more of these in the pipeline next year.
So I wish you all a peaceful, safe and happy ‘sustainable’ festive period as I wish a big and warm thanks to all my contributors, interviewees, networks, colleagues, doctoral supervisors, followers, learners, community, and fellow-‘entrecomp’ers, for another year of support and comments across the media platforms.
A special call out this year to a truly great inspirator for me –
Associate Professor Kathryn Penaluna, PhD
as well as my co-founders on HES and hanfod.NL,
Professor David A. Kirby and Dr. Mike Johnson
Thank you – Diolch