When I took over the Chair of Enterprise Educators UK in August 2019, I started to share ideas on how to make EEUK fit for the future and I started to ask questions about how to ensure enterprise and entrepreneurship education itself was fit for the future. As you will see below this has resulted in some big decisions being taken about how EEUK works.
Back in August the ‘future’ I imagined involved a growing number of enterprise and entrepreneurship educators supporting a growing number of students and graduates to create cultural, social and economic value for themselves and other people. It involved exploring new partnerships with complementary networks, and it involved a myriad of ways for us to continue to support each other as educators of all kinds, through new EEUK products and services to our members and strategic partners.
What I hadn’t imagined, of course, was exactly how vitally important it was going to be that all of the above happens and fast, or how central to the restart and recovery of the global economy, and the shaping of a reinvigorated and safe society, our work and the work of our students and graduates, was going to be.
Over the last few months we have seen collaborative innovation, rapid adaptation, resilient optimism and robust resourcefulness in full swing across the UK and beyond; like never before. People, businesses, institutions and organisations of all shapes, sizes and situations have been at it, mitigating against the risks of our current circumstances, taking advantage of the opportunities the same circumstances have unveiled and simply dealing with the all too often dark realities of the losses we are incurring as individuals, as families and as society.
Through all of this, enterprise, innovation and entrepreneurship keep the flame alive, and it is our job as enterprise educators to protect it, nourish it and ensure it is put to good use. So, despite the fact that we have had to postpone our annual conference, we are still celebrating enterprise educators through our new look NEEAs. Despite the fact that we have had to put some of our plans on pause, we are still seeking new Directors to join our Board. And despite the fact that many of our Members are facing unprecedented levels of uncertainty, we are introducing new ways to ensure our Associates can contribute to the work of EEUK and support the development and success of their colleagues.
At our Board meeting in March, EEUK Directors approved changes to the shape and structure of EEUK to support its long-term sustainability and growth, and to ensure our national network benefits from the now significantly larger population of enterprise and entrepreneurship educators. From August 2021 the role of Chair will be replaced with a new role of President, aligning with other networks and associations like ours. The President and other members of the Executive of EEUK will serve for two years instead of one, to ensure that you benefit from the richer projects and relationships that can be created and maintained over this longer leadership term.
More information will follow in due course, but perhaps most importantly we will also be introducing a series of new groups and committees that will give Associates and Fellows many more opportunities to directly inform and support the work and direction of EEUK; from how EEUK promotes equality, diversity and inclusion, to the identification of policy priorities and professional development approaches.
To oversee some of the biggest changes to EEUK since its formation, and to help ensure we weather the current and any imminent storms, the Board has also agreed to extend my term as Chair (and the terms of other Directors due to step down in July) by 12 months as a transitional arrangement. One of our first jobs will be to vote for a President Elect in June this year, who will take forward the leadership of EEUK, as President, next year.
Until then, it continues to be my absolute pleasure to do all I can, working with the Board and you, our incredible Associates and partners, to ensure EEUK and EntEd is truly fit for the future. Thank you for everything you are doing today, and for all you will do next to make it happen!
Chair of Enterprise Educators UK