Monthly Archives

March 2017

Powered By Wonder: Join the dots

Join the dots

Earlier this week I talked to a group of educators, careers advisors and business people at Jaguar Landrover’s Education Centre.

I’m continually, meeting lots of people who share my passion to help young learners to hold on to their dreams; to be confident and succeed in whatever they want to do.

The UK has a major skills gap. Youth unemployment across Europe amongst 16-24 year olds is historically high and rising. As new types of jobs evolve the skills gap can only get bigger unless businesses and schools work together to change outcomes. Learners need more than ever to understand the purpose of why they need to learn certain things.  At a Chambers meeting last week Paul Kehoe, CEO at Birmingham Airport said “We’ve been talking about the skills gap for a long time. It’s time we start doing something about it.” We couldn’t agree more!

Education shouldn’t be just about gathering knowledge, it should be about understanding why we need it and then what we can do with it. Knowledge is power, but it needs to have purpose.

Every employer that I talk to wants employees to have creativity and to be able to think for themselves. However, everyone knows the curriculum has become so rigid and target focussed that it’s knocking the passion out of learning. And learning should be fun because that passion is what drives innovation.

My plea to businesses is simple – you know where the shortfalls are, so it’s time to skill up our future work force and inspire learners. Experts should be influencing, be thought leaders, spreading their drive and passion to empower future generations.

It’s not just learners who need the support of businesses. School leaders are crying out for business people to act as governors, especially in the most deprived areas where uptake in these roles is low. We must work together to build a strong vibrant economy.

Collaboration is key. Let’s join the dots and bring learners, educators and businesses together.

Please contact me to talk about the work we are doing. Visit our website www.thewonderwhysociety.co.uk for more information.

Powered By Wonder: Writer’s Block

This started off with writing stories so how come I’ve got writer’s block? 

When I’m talking to people about what the business is I’m frequently asked “where did this all start?” People love a story. I tell them it began with my own children constantly asking questions and I thought it would be a good idea to write stories that explained a concept in an imaginative way. In truth I can remember exactly where I was standing and even what I was wearing when the idea to write my first children’s story came to me. It was a defining moment. 

In the following days and months I can remember sitting with my youngest son on my lap sketching out ideas, drawing random pictures on an A3 pad and following his train of thought. We wondered together and followed his random train of thought. I loved how his mind was so free from constraint, unafraid of being wrong. It inspired me. 

So with so much around me to write about what’s with the writers block? How can someone who loves writing so much, who is so inspired by the world around them run out of ideas to write about? Where has my creativity gone? I’ve spent so much time worrying about it. 

Yet today in the early hours, watching the sun rise and listening to the birds sing I’ve worked it out! I’ve realised I’ve become so distracted with the mechanics of running the business, of getting this project off the ground, obsessed by strategy and planning I’ve been too busy to just think and reflect, but reflecting was exactly what I needed to do. 

The irony is that that’s what The Wonder Why Society is all about. It’s the place where learners so pushed to reach targets and achieve goals can connect with the things they love talking about. Meet with other learners who share the same interests. It reminds them that they need to question and think. That is where true learning starts. 

So today I’m going to reconnect , I’m going to walk in the park and stare at the sky and look at the natural world around me. Then I’m going to write about it. 

It’s where this journey started and I think it’s time I went back to basics.