Monday, March 23, 2009

Juliet Williams Jisc09

Juliet Williams, Chairman, South West RDA

Innovate or die - we need to think unthinkable and look to our current crisis being the driver of our recovery. Social Enterprise can be driven by the technological revolution - there are new routes to market and new markets for products and services - opportunities too for new business models. Smaller Businesses will need to find new ways of partnering.
Education is key to economic competiveness but do we get good value for money - are young people really being prepared for employment and being given skills they need ?. Have we lost sight of what education is. Learning is not compelling enough , learning is a community activity and emancipating - we need culture of creativity and learning and enterprising individuals who can respond to new opportunities.

We need to abandon old pedagogies quickly and look at ways to stimulate creativity and innovation. We need to look at how we fund knowledge transfer and encourage learners to move out from University to lead their own businesses. New Zealand is great model of small country who have taken many organisations out on to the Web. SMEs can gain commercial advantage of using new technologies. In Cornwall new University partnership is working well with small creative companies to change the local economy. Educational establishments need to reach out and be prepared to take more risk at all levels. We need to rethink how we work with the community and commercial organisations.

Latest product an eco-surfboard - bio-degradable with higher performance than traditional oil based boards- about to be manufactured underlicence in number of locations from spin out company.

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