Why Social?

Why is social enterprise education important in creative disciplines?

That was the question behind the Why Social? event jointly hosted by PSEN and City College Plymouth for the ESSE Europe partnership.

We started from the premise that the connections are pretty clear: Social Enterprise is inherently creative – it’s about imagining how we want the future to be and using our skills, talent and entrepreneurial drive to create that future. Added to that, practitioners in creative disciplines have a long history of using art to inspire social comment and change.

Ai Weiwei " So Sorry"

Ai Weiwei ” So Sorry”

Lindsey Hall from Real Ideas Organisation talked about nurturing creativity and enabling young people to develop problem-solving skills whilst validating the idea that these might be used to help make the world a better place. One20Media, a student media and digital design business based at City College, Plymouth introduced themselves with a video and may even have secured a few contracts a result of the event! Ellie Malone of Effervescent spoke of making the world a kinder place through art and cake and Hannah Harris from Plymouth College of Art shared practice and philosophy about connecting creativity and social innovation.

The take away messages for social enterprise educators and aspiring social enterpise educators were:

  • Creativity and problem solving are key competences
  • Social entrepreneurship is very individual. Encourage each student explore their passions and develop their strengths
  • Integrate social enterprise across a range of disciplines. Don’t just have a ”Social Enterprise Day”
  • Include practical applications of social innovations (hovever small) as part of the learning process
  • A clear theory of change is important. Encourage students to think carefully about how their social enterprise idea will make a difference

Over 50 people attended the event, which was held at the STEM Centre at City College on 17th November 2015 as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week. You can find a full report, slides and links here.

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