This last week, Felicity and I have been busy promoting Harmonious Entrepreneurship “in the flesh” so to speak. First, we spoke twice at the 15th annual Enterprise Educators UK (EEUK) conference hosted by Aston University (ieec.co.uk). Held online owing to covid, the conference theme of “Enterprise and Entrepreneurship Education on a Global Stage” generated a range projects that proved to be both innovative and stimulating.
We presented our paper, ”Entrepreneurship and the Sustainability Challenge: the need for a systemic approach to entrepreneurship education”, in the “Enterprise for the 21st Century Workforce” track. In it we introduced the concept of Harmonious Entrepreneurship, considered its implications for Entrepreneurship Education and signposted the 40 exemplary case studies we have produced since establishing the Harmonious Entrepreneurship Society in Global Entrepreneurship Week 2020. We also took the opportunity to launch the MOOC we have produced, which was part-funded by EEUK, and announced our plans for an online Harmonious Entrepreneurship student competition.
Many delegates took the chance to visit our Harmonious Entrepreneurship Society website, joining existing followers from 120 countries, and we received such gratifying comments as “stimulating”, “refreshing”, “harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit absolutely makes sense”, “I hope more entrepreneurs will focus on harmonious entrepreneurship” and “I can’t wait to get back to my university to introduce HE”. One of the questions in the Q&A sessions was how Harmonious Entrepreneurship differs from social entrepreneurship. In response, we stressed that it is a more holistic, systemic approach that does not deal just with social issues but with the interconnected problems associated with Profit and Planet. We pointed out that we are not suggesting that economic, eco, humane and social entrepreneurship should be replaced, but that if we wish to address the Sustainability Challenge, we need to educate our young people to perceive the problem more systematically and to recognise that “making money” is an important aspect of entrepreneurship, but so, too, is ”ethical custom” and the entrepreneur’s responsibility to people and the environment.
We acknowledged the contribution of our advisors in developing the MOOC – Professor David Cadman, Dr Iman El-Kaffas, Dr Nick Campion and Paul Ranson, a key contributor – as well as EEUK and UWTSD for their financial support. Associate Professor Kathryn Penaluna (PhD) of UWTSD deserves a special mention. Not only has she supported us intellectually and professionally but she was responsible for introducing us to each other initially!
Felicity also spoke at the Association for Teacher Education in Europe (ATEE) Conference in Poland, alongside Lea Oksanen (LUT University) and Elin McCallum (Bantani Education). This provided her with an opportunity to showcase the successful entrepreneurial journey of Dafen Primary School on the EntreCompEdu project, and specifically the power of whole-school collective entrepreneurial education.
Further outputs from this week included a soon-to-be posted case study of the entrepreneurial activities of Syrian refugees in Wales, an outline for Harmonious Entrepreneurship student competition for the Hospitality and Tourism sector, and final editing of a Harmonious Entrepreneurship research article to be published in a Green Entrepreneurship edition of an international refereed journal.
If you would like to know more about the MOOC or any of our Harmonious Entrepreneurship activities, please do not hesitate to contact us. We would welcome your interest and appreciate your feedback.
Through our activities this week, we hope we have planted a few seeds that will flourish and multiply!