This post was written by Rob Ferguson, one of the foundation teaching staff at Rolleston College/Horoeka Haemata. His blog can be found here.
I've started a new job! It's a unique opportunity. It's at a brand new school, so new in fact it's still wrapped in plastic as I type. This means we have term 4 to reflect on the past and what the future could and will look like with out the pressure of students.
At Rolleston College we are going to be doing things quite differently from the ways of the past. Dr Julia Atkin in so many of her presentations about change says you should first of all ask the question 'Why?'. In the two weeks leading up to starting my new position there were a couple of links to articles that turned up on social media that are part of the answer that question for me.
The first was written by Nigal Latta for the Star Sunday Times outlining his thoughts on the direction the New Zealand economy needs to evolve. For me his second last sentence says it all "it's that they find little niches in the world market and fill them." I'm no economic expert, but to me, it seems the best way for a small country in the South Pacific to compete on the world stage.
The second 'Nigal Latta only tells half the story on the economy' was by Geoff Simmons for the Morgan Foundation. In it he talks about how more than half of our national wealth is in housing and the affect this has on our businesses ability to step into overseas markets.
To effect change that can address the issues outlined in these two articles, we need to look to our youth. No pressure on teachers, but if we do things differently in education, then maybe in the near distant future things will start to change more in the New Zealand economy.
The interesting thing, is the inspiration and exemplars are out there. At the same time I was reading the above articles these two came out. One on Jamie Beaton and his Crimson Consulting company raising of capital in New York. Tech based companies are an obvious direction but not the only one. This article on Celia Robinson, group co-CEO of Myfoodbag gets you thinking how big could it get?
Dan Pink in his book 'A whole new mind' talks about the world entering the 'Conceptual Age' and suggests that to survive and thrive in this age you need to ask 3 simple questions. Can a computer do what you do faster? Can someone in the world do what you do cheaper? Are you producing something in demand in the age of abundance? If you answer yes to the first 2 and no to the last, things will be tough.
I like what Dan has to say in his book and the two examples of success above answer his questions in the way they need to in the conceptual age.