Thank you for participating in the 10th European Entrepreneurship Education Workshop and Award ceremony 2021!
Because of the pandemic, we cancelled the workshop and the award ceremony 2020 and organised this year’s activity on Zoom. We know that we all enjoy coming together in Lund to discuss entrepreneurship education and learning, listen to award winners, enjoy conversations with like-minded colleagues when spring (most often) has arrived in Lund. But, as Marie Löwegren said, challenges and setbacks often create innovative solutions and we learned that it was a great advantage for us to organise EEEW/A as a digital event, since it generated an opportunity for many more people to join in.
We had four activities in the programme, two panels and two keynote speeches. The observations here relate primarily to the two fascinating keynotes. Both reflected on entrepreneurship education and learning in a humble way; they managed to be elegantly thought-provoking and inspiring at the same time.
David Rae told us that the academic career is his third career, and the knowledge from the two first careers have inspired him a lot. With this introduction, he reminds us that we never stop learning and experiences from different contexts are valuable. He is a boundary-spanner, stressing the need for us to be humble in what we do, to take on the role as observers, as those who not only teach, but are also learners – this is especially important when we visit countries and contexts in the global south. David also talked about responsible entrepreneurship and innovation, and there is certainly a need to consider the concept of responsibility, not only in theory but also in action and in the different activities we engage our students in. Finally, David reflected on the post-pandemic time and the need to reinvent the classroom, the action we have taken during the last year has taught university educators a lot and it will influence how we teach in the future.
Slavica Singer reflected upon her career under the title Giraffes, Galileo and Education for the Entrepreneurial Competences. Autonomy cannot be put as a contrast to accountability; we have no right to be autonomous as universities if we are not accountable at the same time. She also talked about embeddedness, how education for entrepreneurial competence needs to be embedded across campus and beyond. As individuals we are embedded, we might not see our own learning of entrepreneurial competence, just like Galileo once said that we cannot observe our own rotation. Therefore we need to learn, unlearn and learn again not to be over-embedded. Giraffes work together on the savannah; we need to do that too, to avoid silos and instead cross boundaries. Surprisingly, the giraffe does not have a really big heart, as scientists thought, but a very small heart with a strong beat that is possible because of thick walls on the left ventricle; the taller the giraffe grows, the thicker the walls become. This is knowledge Slavica got from her daughter who is a biologist. This story tells us how we have taken knowledge for granted without questioning.
Slavica shared stories about our community, how collaboration with other researchers has helped her and her institute to develop in amazing ways. Let’s do our best to keep this community and to strengthen it. We got some inspiration from the final panel – The future of entrepreneurship education: Where are we going and why? One take-away was the encouragement from Ulla Hytti to consider the context of entrepreneurship education and to reflect upon interest related to entrepreneurship education and learning. With those words, we conclude that we still have a lot to accomplish, so we hope that we will meet again next year for new discussions!