Lessons for Innovators (NESTA)

Lessons for Innovators was a lunchtime talk at NESTA.

If you have never been, as I hadn’t, I was impressed by their ‘cool’ offices. Obviously not of a par with Google Cool but definitely cool. The space was well designed and accented with vibrant colours. It would make a very creative learning space. AKA my classroom…. One can dream.

Anyway back to the talk: which did have a little irony in the fact they were talking about MOOCs and online learning/ teaching innovation for it to be delivered in a traditional seminar /lecture format. Not that there is anything wrong with that and it was the best possible delivery method given all factors. They could have broadcast/ live streamed the lecture? Maybe next time.

There were 2 speakers, both of whom were excellent at the lectern.

Martin Bean, Vice Chancellor of the open university and Simon Nelson CEO at future learn.

Martin was first to speak, if you haven’t had the pleasure of hearing him you must take the opportunity. He is a brilliant and witty speaker. He spoke of hover boards and 21st Century, in the media portrays that we (education in all forms)

“we are not being disruptive enough”

A very interesting thought considering the exam and content reforms that are happening. the news this morning was of Gove’s announcement to change A levels to terminal exams? memory test? Lets leave that for another post;)

Back to Martin: in his 25 very successful years in arena of education in some form or another he has developed 8 rules.

      1.Be Bold: challenge and don’t take no for answer. Look to the future and arrive their before anyone else does!


      2.Get out of the blocks: Get your idea out even if it is not perfect. Iterate/ Sprint over and over again. Adapt , change and modify to improve your idea.


      3.Collective Conscientiousness: get you team on board. Everyone needs to feel that they have a stake in the market. This is

Game Changing



      4.Bring your Governance with you: involve them early. Challenge their “No not possible” responses. Sell your idea, what are you doing and why. Excite, enthuse everyone.


    5.Deadlines: no excuses, stick to them NO matter what. Fear is a blocker, communicate but stick to your deadlines. It gives focus to all stakeholders.