Enterprise and sustainability: Future thinking in curricular approaches

9 January 2014, 9.30 AM - 9 January 2014, 9.30 AM

Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol
The workshop is designed for people interested in both enterprise education and ESD – groups of people who do not necessarily have opportunities to seek shared perspectives on developing future thinking in the curriculum/ explore flexible pedagogies from a common base or opportunities to better link enterprise and sustainability practically and in the informal curriculum. It is seen as the start of what we hope will become a longer term dialogue between participating institutions about the relationships between enterprise and sustainability.

The day will aim to

  • share better understanding of both approaches to future thinking and its role in the curriculum as a basis for then identifying whether by joint approaches, and our ability to speak to different audiences, we can strengthen the voice for future thinking and flexibility in curriculum planning and the relationship of formal and informal curricular approaches.;
  • explore best practice examples from a range of institutions in developing practical examples of enterprise and sustainability in the formal and informal curriculum;
  • explore ways to deliver enterprise education more sustainably.

There are considerable synergies between the approaches to thinking underpinning both ESD and entrepreneurship – both looking at future thinking, flexibility, new modes of learning and thinking about society: in essence both aim to encourage students to create new futures. This day will provide a space to explore those synergies, conceptually and practically.

Building a more sustainable society requires entrepreneurs to understand sustainability concerns, and vice versa.  In particular it provides an opportunity to look at

  • Students as partners
  • The role of future thinking in ESD and entrepreneurship: the shared pedagogies
  • Examples of embedding sustainability thinking in enterprise education
  • Whole institution v ‘ funded small scale initiatives’
  • Institutional change: how ESD and entrepreneurship support and influences the whole institution
  • How we articulate entrepreneurship and sustainability thinking as attitudes of mind not just as skills for employability.
  • Curriculum: supporting academics’ teaching and creating learning resources
  • Extra-curricular learning: how ESD and entrepreneurship link with the informal curriculum, opportunities and advantages
  • We want to explore whether the shared emphasis upon students determining the futures they want to attain and the language in which they articulate that future thinking provides opportunities for a dual approach in which ESD and entrepreneurship work together to achieve curriculum change.
  • To some involved in ESD, entrepreneurship is ‘raw capitalism’, to some involved in entrepreneurship ESD is ‘anti-capitalist’. Our interest is in starting a process that breaks down those perceptions and identifies the shared ground – for example the emphasis in both of developing graduates who are future thinking and flexible, who will lead innovation – and who understand both languages.

UKPSF:  attendees will engage with the following areas:

  • K1 Reinforce core knowledge of ESD/ entreprise and their links
  • A1/ 2 Support learning
  • A4 Develop effective learning environments and approaches to student support and guidance
  • A5 Reflecting on how to develop approaches to continuing professional development  looking at current best practice thinking about these thematic values.


The outcome we are seeking is a clearer understanding of the relationships between ESD and entrepreneurship in participating institutions – and an agenda for developing this dialogue.

The event will be led by Bristol students.

  • Explore best practice in embedding entrepreneurship  – and the values and approaches of entrepreneurship
  • Explore best practice in embedding ESD  – and the values and approaches of ESD
  • Identify opportunities to build synergies in terms of the flexible pedagogies associated with future thinking, creativity and openness core to both areas of work to establish how best to take them forward.

The focus is on shared inter-institutional experience and the development of a future programme of cross institutional work.

Sessions and speakers

Institutions who attend are invited to provide posters for a poster display and weblinks for a virtual leaflet display. One session will focus upon examples from across the UK. Institutions wishing to present their experience should approach the event lead at Bristol: Chris Willmore with a short explanation of the project/approach they would like to present.

Students involved in sustainability and enterprise education/ entrepreneurship will be central to the event: hearing how they have worked to develop these agendas. The Head of Enterprise Education Dave Jarman; Director of Sustainability Martin Wiles and Chris Willmore  the University Academic Director of Undergraduate Studies will introduce sessions alongside students and speakers from participating Universities.


There is no charge to attend the seminar, but a place must be reserved. Please register online. 60 places available on first-come, first-served basis.

Provisional Programme

09:30-10.00   Arrival and registration

10:00-10.15   Welcome and introduction - HEA representative The Higher Education Academy

10:15 - 12.00    Flexible pedagogies: Enterprise and ESD in the curriculum: developing meanings.  Introduced by: Chris Willmore and David Jarman University of Bristol.  Students from University of Bristol

12:00-12.45    Case Studies in integrating enterprise and ESD.  Presentations from participating institutions

12:45 -13.45    Lunch including poster displays

13:45-14.45    Linking Sustainability and Enterprise in the informal Curriculum.  Introduced by Martin Wiles, University of Bristol.  Students from University of Bristol

15:00-15.30   Institutional opportunities and challenges.  Mapping opportunities in participating Universities

15.30   Panel Q & A: Taking ideas forward

16:00   Close of event

This event is being organised by The Higher Education Academy in conjunction with the University of Bristol.


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