September 28, 2021, by Ingenuity Lab

Entrepreneurship education: where will we be in 10 years’ time? – Professor Simon Mosey

After a year of uncertainty and upheaval, this week we return to campus for the new academic year. Never one to dwell on the past, HGI Director, Professor Simon Mosey looks ahead to the future as we start a new semester of entrepreneurship education.

The Danish physicist Neils Bohr said that ‘prediction is very difficult, especially about the future.’ So why I am speculating about entrepreneurship education in 10 years’ time when I am almost certain to be wrong?

Thinking about what your field will be like in the future is useful, as it helps to see which of your current concerns are likely to be enduring, and which are just a passing phase. There is also the likelihood that something will happen in the next 10 years that no one saw coming, and this keeps one’s mind open to new possibilities.

From our current concerns, one area that will endure is the transition to teaching online. We were liberated by thinking about what we could do online that we could never do face to face. The resulting innovations, such as sharing the lived experiences of entrepreneurs from around the world and being able to deliver entrepreneurship education to communities experiencing inequality will be central to what we do in 10 years’ time.

Now that we are back in the classroom, we are starting to reflect upon what we can do face to face that we cannot currently do online. Our recent workshop with local entrepreneurs from East Midlands Chamber’s Generation Next programme highlighted to me that sharing the personal challenges of entrepreneurship face to face, and then sharing ideas of how to overcome those challenges, is more emotionally impactful when in a room together.

Simon delivers a session on the Ingenuity Process to local entrepreneurs

Emotional skills for entrepreneurial success: the promise of entrepreneurship education and policy, a recent paper by Maha Aly and colleagues, considered the emotional aspect of entrepreneurship giving us a greater understanding of this emerging area. This should lead to entrepreneurship education that is tailored to the personal and emotional journey that aspiring entrepreneurs face. Health professionals and psychology researchers are going to join us in the classroom this year, to help us to understand which aspects of education are best delivered online or face to face.

Finally, what new thing will arrive that no one saw coming?  I predict robots in the classroom – not delivering the lecture, but being physical avatars for students to gain the benefits of face to face education without having to travel. I am sure I will be wrong, but entrepreneurship educators need to take their own medicine and be open to new opportunities, even if it disrupts their own practice.

 

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