Royal Holloway: Alumni Entrepreneurs Profiling Campaign

So honoured that my wonderful university, Royal Holloway, University of London; who supported me through three life changing years of study and personal growth, asked to feature me in their current campaign to profile alumni entrepreneurs.

Well done TeamGEA!

So today I had a de-briefing meeting with the wonderful Livity crew (big ups to Mark & Oyin particularly for all their hard work!) who we (The 4WD Foundation) worked with to create and deliver the Google Enterprise Apprenticeships Programme, which is now fondly known as #TeamGEA. Preparations for the next phase of GEA are already under way, very exciting stuff!

It was an absolute pleasure to work with and support 10 fantastically talented and motivated young entrepreneurs over such an intensive 3 week period.

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What does learning mean in the 21st century?

Here is a wrap-up video featuring myself and a few other familiar faces from the Channel 4  Education Summer Conference 🙂

Channel 4 Education Conference

I was asked to speak on behalf of The 4WD Foundation with the wonderful Captain Sam Conniff of Livity at this Summer’s Channel 4 Education Conference on “What you really need to know, but never never learn at school“. Sam and I combined our knowledge and experiences that have come from working with young people who aren’t in education, employment or training (NEET) to present the huge impact that educational irrelevance has on these young people. We also spoke about how unhelpful and isolating acronyms like ‘NEET’ are.

Here are some of the main insights that we shared:

The 4WD Insight

Education doesn’t teach students about the lifelong relevance and importance of information. Information is a basic component of knowledge (which is power) and therefore is a micro component of education. In order to succeed in life, a young person needs to know:
– how to initiate, develop and maintain a positive relationship with information
They need to know:
– how best to analyse, critique, demand, exploit, interact with, source and value information
This enables them to go on to live a life making positive informed life choices & decisions.

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SHINE – The Unconference for Social Entrepreneurs

Really looking forward to this 3 day ‘unconference’ for social entrepreneurs next week. People who went in ’09 said it was the best event they’d attended all year so I am very really excited!! Especially as my darling baby The 4WD Foundation is at such an exciting stage of growth and development.

Taking place in London, 13th-15th May 2010, SHINE is a huge practically-focused event. Meet up, swap ideas and skills. To take part in a packed schedule of 1-to1s, workshops, parties, design sessions and debates.

A 3 day pass is ÂŁ50 but with this code ‘6QPNZWXE’ you get a 5% discount (and I get a 5% refund!).

See you there!

Sunday Sessions 27…

This track says it all…all we can do is keep moving (4WD).

Lost One

Feeling like I’ve lost a good one right now.

“But time don’t go back it goes 4WD

Relevance…

“We ain’t we, it’s me and her, cos what she prefers over me is work, and that’s where we defer, so I have to give her free time even if it hurts. So breath mami it’s deserved, you’ve been put on this earth to be all you can be like the reserves, and me my timing is on me, …the time’s now for her... and maybe we can be we again like we were. Finally my time’s too short to share, and to ask her now it ain’t fair”

Bright Ideas

I was asked by the wonderful guys at WestFocus (Thank you Martha, Anna and David) to be a guest speaker (with my entrepreneurial hat on) at this year’s Bright Ideas Final and Prize giving evening.

The Bright Ideas competition is open to students from WestFocus’ seven member universities, and invites students to enter innovative ideas for new businesses, products and services.

As a past winner, it was a real honour to be asked to speak and to be able to share my post-graduation entrepreneurial experiences; both the highs and lows, with such a receptive, like-minded audience.

I was really impressed with the quality of the entries and it was fantastic to be able to network with the students following the ceremony. Shout out to the guys from Kingston who tried to test my Grime knowledge! HA!

Well done to all the winners! And well done to all of the entrants, being brave enough to put your personal idea up for scrutiny shows you have the true heart of an entrepreneur!

Thanks to my awesome entrepreneurial homeboys Matt, Andre and Robert for showing up and giving me groupie love and support on the night x

Engaging Young People In Social Action…

Firstly happy Social Enterprise Day! To all current and future social entrepreneurs. It is a fantastic privilege to be able to contribute simultaneously to lasting social change and the economic well-being of ourselves and the world at large. I hope you are all enjoying and making the most of the fantastic week that is Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).

Last week I had the luxury of having a hot chocolate accompanied by a rather thought – provoking discussion with two very dear friends and fellow social entrepreneurs, Matt Kepple and Duane Melius.

Sharing stories and frustrations with these two fantastic young men is something I’ve had the pleasure of doing for a while, but this time it was different. In amongst our usual creative and visually aided ramblings and disagreements about the parameters of youth, engagement, social change, the economy, politics and the plight of the social entrepreneur, we stumbled across something rather beautiful, an Idea.

Well to be honest first we argued quite a bit and drew lots of random diagrams, but that’s normal. And then we came up with a cool question which is also pretty normal (we are a pretty cool questioning bunch) :

How could we combine our resources, experience and contacts to create a broader movement of improvement within youth engagement for social change?

And then the Idea came. Ragged, unformed, imposing and dangerous. It stormed upon us bit by bit until we got so dizzy with excitement we were quite frankly shouting the Coffee Shop down. We actually scared the lady sitting next to us away (but the guys wouldn’t let you know that!) We played with the Idea, pulled at it, questioned upon questioned it (and each other) and ‘thought-showered’ on it until we’d rubbed it up the wrong way so much that we could actually see our faces in the darn thing. Poor Idea.

So, here it is:

We now are creating a practitioners model for engaging young people in social change. One that acknowledges the variety and homogeneity within youth, the spectrum of ‘engagement’ and the tension between adult leadership and youth empowerment.

What do you think?

As the sunsets on Social Enterprise Day, please join the discussion around how we engage this next generation.

Please check out Matt’s blogpost on this same topic here

❤ Naomi Jane

 

Twitter: #SocEnt #GEW
www.yse.org.uk
www.wemakesense.org
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4WD…the beginnings