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Posts Tagged ‘entrepreneurship’

This week has been Enterprise Week 2008 and in my volunteer role as Education Liaison Officer for the IOD I chaperoned a group of students from Central Sussex College up to the IOD headquarters in Pall Mall. The IOD lays on a series of interesting speakers for this event each year, with an objective to stimulate entrepreneurship among the students.

This year’s speakers were pretty good and Tim Campbell in particular (ex-Apprentice winner) spoke really very well about his experiences in life thus far, without harping on too much about his time with ‘Sir Alan’.

I believe the students all benefited from the day and it is always rewarding to see the lights coming on in a students’ eyes as they finally hear the liberating message that they are empowered to be in charge of their own futures – along with the message that it takes effort to succeed in any discipline.

Last evening, I was the guest speaker at the University of Sussex Enterprise Thursday event and this was equally rewarding for me, as I took the students through my own entrepreneurial journey to packaging pure natural mineral water into more sensible (Tetra Pak) paper cartons. I’m proud to say there weren’t any early leavers (my personal barometer of effectiveness) and the questions afterwards showed the students had made a genuine engagement with the journey I’ve been on, thereby broadening their understanding of a subject area they weren’t previously familiar with.

The recycling questions in particular opened an interesting discussion and it is encouraging when people listen to what you’re saying and think. I’ve never claimed a carton is a perfect package; simply that it’s a more sensible package than plastic for portable water with an overall lower carbon footprint than the aternatives!

As it is Enterprise Week, I took the liberty of starting my presentation with a bit of an eye (mind) opener in the form of a mildly modified version of the ‘Did You Know’ / ‘Shift Happened’ presentation. For those who don’t know, the original presentation was developed back in 2006 by Karl Fisch, the technology coordinator of a US High School; in order to help raise funding for the technology he saw a need for within his school. If you have the time, his blog is worth perusing, otherwise you can simply watch the presentations embedded in my ‘blogroll’ to the right of this blog.

Karl’s presentations have subsequently gone around the globe umpteen times and while there’s always some who interpret them as a little too much of ‘us versus them’ (the comparisons of China and India) – I love the way they open students’ minds to the reality of global competition and how they need to do a little more than turn up at lectures if they genuinely want to ‘make it’ in life. I love them for the way they encourage some to think about entrepreneurship as a means of taking control of their own lives – perhaps for the first time…

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