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Hope you’ve had an awesome week. I have!  I love learning so it was with great excitement that I accepted an invitation to attend an ‘Entrepreneurship Forum’ on Wednesday.  Then ‘blow me down,’ I was invited to attend Deakin University’s ‘Spark Program,’ an experiential program designed to give students, staff and alumni an opportunity to see, experience, and relate to the early stages of the entrepreneurial path.

Yong Zhao introduced me to thinking with an entrepreneurial mindset for schools about 5 years ago. He really got me thinking. You see as educators in schools many of us are ‘silo thinkers’. You know what I mean. We went to school, we went to university to train as teachers and administrators and then we went back to schools to educate the next generations. Usually with great passion and commitment. But sadly not with a broad mindset and the ability to look outside the schoolhouse. So when I read Zhao’s work and learnt about entrepreneurial spirit, it deeply sparked my interest. My mother and father had been successful business owners and my Gen Y daughter has just launched her second successful business so I wanted to discover more about entrepreneurship.

Guess what I did?

Almost 4 years ago, I resigned from my fabulous job as a Head of School leading an amazing K – 12 International Baccalaureate School and took a huge risk by becoming an entrepreneur and creating my own start-up! It’s Fantastic! Wow! I’m learning heaps and I’m way out of the ‘silo thinking’ mentality. Opening doors like this leads you to exciting new directions and you meet amazingly creative and innovative people along the way. A clear recipe for disruption, innovation and change.

So meeting Henrik Scheel on Friday, a Danish entrepreneur now living in San Francisco who focuses on entrepreneurship education, impact investing and start-up projects in the digital signage space was truly inspirational!

Disruption One: Entrepreneurial mindset. The first disruption to change the way we learn is the whole global entrepreneurial explosion we are currently experiencing. If you are not thinking about how to develop your school as a global enterprise and developing your students’ entrepreneurial global competencies then you’re missing the boat! Seriously!

Developing entrepreneurial spirit in our schools where experimentation, risk-taking, learning from failure, creative problem solving and market awareness will enable Generation Alpha and Generation Z to successfully create their own futures. I’m learning first-hand in an experiential real-life situation what it means to create a start-up, take risks, think innovatively and be a part of a global network that enhances my learning and value to the world. Are you doing this at your school?

Disruption Two: Big Data. Digital devices and technologies are providing trillions of gigabytes of data and can assist us gain deeper insights into brain processes, cognition and motivation under varying conditions. This enables us to design learning and work environments to maximize focus, intrinsic motivation and creativity. Sophisticated analytics can help schools design personalized learning programs to meet the needs of all learners. How exciting! Are you using Big Data at your school?

Disruption Three: Global networks. The shift from a work force to a talent cloud is already changing learning opportunities to provide global access to a plethora of learning programs and courses anywhere, and at any time. Less linear career pathways with multiple institutions are enriching formal pathways to career requirements. Career mobility now requires self-directed learning and the ability to communicate personalized performance and mastery. Are you developing global networks and global partnerships with other learning agencies at your school?

Disruption Four: Innovative Business Models. The digital explosion has created a huge ecosystem of innovative business models and e-commerce business tools. In my start-up alone, I use Zero, Infusionsoft, Canva, mobile apps and social media including Facebook, Linked in, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter. Only 10 years ago, most of these solutions did not exist!!!  Innovative business models provide those with a new age entrepreneurial mindset new ways of harnessing opportunities to deliver highly customer-centric experiences. To best meet the needs of students schools must negotiate resources and talent across a global community. BYOD can be innovated to CYOS – ‘Create your own school’ to best meet the needs of 21st Century learners. Are you using these e-tools at your school?

Disruption Five: Next generation cities are growing all around the world driving creative solutions to large-scale problems like transport, power, manufacturing, travel and unemployment.  Engaged citizens and higher levels of leadership are required to revitalize economies from the ground up. The Enterprise Forum is a part of skilling the bay in Geelong a city that used to depend on manufacturing. It’s so exciting seeing innovative ideas and start-ups emerging.  Deakin is offering Melbourne Knowledge this coming week with over 60 horizon-expanding events where you can explore the innovation, creativity and technology shaping our future and connect with our knowledge sector’s most innovative ideas and thinkers to help co-create the city we want and need.


Globally, DIY culture is growing rapidly, 3D & 4D printers, digital lasers, pop-up businesses, AI, sharing and openness is creating a shared learning infrastructure. Are you offering global shareable events at your school to generate new ideas and innovations?

If you’d like to learn how to adapt your school to meet the needs of 21st Century Learners why not attend the Leadership for the 21st Century workshops. Click here for more information. Or why not consider inviting me to work with your school community to fast-track change and innovation and prepare 21st Century Learners to thrive in their future. Contact me if you would like more information.


Reference: KnowledgeWorks Forecast 3.0

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