Aims of the Festival

The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas aims to re-establish the importance of dangerous ideas as agents of change in education – to shift the axis of what is possible! It is for everyone who is passionate about education including college, university, school staff and students as well as those engaged in education throughout the creative communities.

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Thursday, 5 June 2014

So what's it all about?

As the launch draws ever nearer ( only 14 hours to go) I have been reflecting on what the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas is really about.  The interest from various press agencies looking for examples of schools and children doing dangerous things, or developing a curriculum that encourages risk taking and failure, has
once again struck me that anything to do with education is automatically associated with children - perhaps not surprisingly so.

The Emporium is of course mainly about (but not exclusively)  about college education and how we can do things differently.  Colleges connect to all other sectors of education so essentially the Emporium taps into every area of learning, and if we consider this as a system, when we change one area it should/could bring changes to the whole system.

Increasing I've come to realise that the Emporium is about creativity in education: how we view the education system, how we lead it, they way we develop and deliver the curriculum.  The Emporium allows a genuine opportunity to play with possibilities, to share ideas, visions, take risks by modelling a different view or a different way to engage with learners.

The risk taking is difficult to manage in a climate that wants to know in advance what the outcomes will be.  In the run up to the Emporium there is a paradoxical motivation to provide events that will please the participants with a need to model creative approaches that fully engage the participants in their learning. That's not always comfortable.  Each year we do something we haven't done before and I think each year we take more risks - failure is never far from our minds.  And yet, isn't that one of our key aims - to model trying something different and not succeeding in order to learn and develop.

If we keep in mind that the purpose is to generate and share ideas, to play with possibilities, in order to shift the axis in education, we will learn from whatever happens.

Enjoy the Emporium and make sure you you take a risk in shaping the education of the future.



  1. Karen, I think as curator of the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas you would have failed if you hadn't modelled risk-taking . To shift the axis you had to push the boundaries, try something different and then evaluate if it's better!

    “A ship is always safe at the shore - but that is NOT what it is built for.”
    ― Albert Einstein

    I am really looking forward to the Invisible launch tomorrow!


    1. Hope you are still of the ship Aileen, charting these unknown waters.