"In a speech to mark the opening of the Settlement in 1898 Mary Ward stated its mission as: “education, social intercourse, and debate of the wider sort, music, books, pictures, travel”. She added: “It is these that make life rich and animated, that ease the burden of it, that stand perpetually between a man and a woman and the darker, coarser temptations of our human road”
Being in this type of college is quite inspiring, but the main reason for me to assist to this event was the trainer, Gerard Darby, a researcher, writer and trainer specialised in enterprise, creativity and lateral thinking. I had already met him at another training session in Mary Ward College several years ago and found some of his works very inspiring: "Dare to Dream".
"Hyper Island UK" "The young entrepreneurs" , BBC4 Radio programme about creativity and education". He also co-edited with Vincent Nolan an incredible book titled "Reinventing education" in which Gerard Darby wrote about "An enterprising education".
Even though I have been reading and writing about creative thinking for years, to attend a session with Gerard Darby is a fresh look at topics I think about. Participating in this event, I had the opportunity of challenging myself and think about my thinking. Besides, the way he organised the setting, with a mix of activities, sense of humour, stories, puzzles, images, references, contemporary examples we can relate to, practical activities for own personal and professional development, made me look at things from different angles, explained by somebody with a lot of experience... I suppose it is like a coach being coached by another coach or a psychologist being supported by another psychologist. In this case, I was inspired by his expertise about creative thinking.
This was a learning experience, not only about lateral thinking (as he explained, a concept invented by Edward de Bono), but about the way of training in an engaging, friendly and effective environment, what is one of the themes of creative thinking when focusing on products, individuals, processes and environments.
"Successful businesses are ones that put the consumer at the heart of their operation. Similarly successful learning should put the student at the core. In reinventing education, let us focus on the most important people in education- the students. Let us value them as they truly are, as individuals with individual ideas, thoughts and aspirations and who, given the right encouragement and environment, could deliver an enterprising future for us all"