A Dive into Live Learning 2023
by Jen Buchanan, Program Director (Engagement)
Are you an educator with a passion for sparking innovation and cultivating entrepreneurial mindsets in your students?
Every month, Future Anything’s Live Learning sessions bring together educators from across Australia to participate in an online 45-minute professional learning-focussed conversation designed to inspire and empower educators in fostering entrepreneurial thinking within their educational spaces.
At the core of our work, Future Anything believes in bringing together inquisitive, innovative, and inspiring educators to share ideas around enterprising curriculum.
Our Live Learning sessions are designed to push at the boundaries of traditional professional development, offering a unique platform where movers, shakers, thinkers, and doers converge to explore a diverse range of topics. While our discussions are centered around education, they extend beyond the classroom, looking at social enterprise, innovation, and the broader education ecosystem.
Across 2023, we hosted eight incredible Live Learning sessions, each delving into thought-provoking subjects. For this blog, I’ve taken some time to review and reflect on these fascinating discussions, and added some extra links for anyone interested in delving deeper into specific conversations.
Disruption, Change & New Possibilities in Education
Live Learning 14
In our first session for the year we were joined by Jan Owen AM to explore some of the big challenges- and opportunities- currently facing us as teachers and learners.
“We think about jobs as a kind of jungle gym now, not a ladder. You need very different skills and capabilities to cope”. Jan Owen, AM.
Some thought provoking takeout from this conversation included that by 2030, we will, on average:
- Spend 30% more time per week learning skills on the job;
- Spend double the time at work solving problems;
- Spend 41% more time using science and mathematics skills;
- Utilise verbal communication and interpersonal skills for 7 hours a week each;
- Develop an entrepreneurial mindset due to having less management (down 26%) less organisation coordination (down 16%) and less teaching (down 10%).
Building Human Capability
Live Learning 15
In this session we were joined by Hassan Mekawy (Program Manager – Education, SACE Board of South Australia) and Pip Cleaves (Associate Principal, Global Village Learning) to unpack how we can prioritise the development of capabilities as integral to the purpose of education.
We explored the skills and competencies required for building human capability, how we can future-proof curriculum, and ideas to develop closer collaboration between industry and education.
- Want to learn more about Critical Thinking? This workbook from the Global Digital Citizen Foundation is a great resource for building Critical Thinking activities into your classroom.
- Take a deeper dive into the micro-credentials endorsed by the South Australian Skills Commission with further information here.
The Empathy Advantage
Live Learning 16
In this exclusive Australian first interview, author Chris Shipley joined us live from San Francisco to share insights from her new book “The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce” and to discuss how we can inspire value creation by leading with empathy. In particular we discussed the challenges being faced by schools in the face of technology- and economically-driven disruption, and how as leaders our work needs to be far more human-centered.
- If you enjoyed this conversation, a recent publication by Chris Shipley and Heather McGowan might be of interest. “The time has come to lead differently from the way you were led” is here and takes a deeper dive into leadership and discusses the point that what got you to your leadership role today will not take your leadership into the future.
- The Empathy Advantage: Leading the Empowered Workforce by Heather McGowan and Chris Shipley
So, you want to start your own school?
Live Learning 17
Many of us have thought about it… what if I wanted to start my own school? In this fascinating conversation we talked to three amazing educational leaders who have done just that. Imogen Hunt first opened Peregrine School in Hobart in 2000 , John Stewart opened the Living School in Lismore in 2020 and Brett Wood opened Music Industry College in Brisbane in 2008. An fascinating and honest conversation of all the highs and lows of opening a school.
Challenging the Status Quo
Live Learning 18
In this conversation Chrissie Coogan, Principal, Coorparoo Secondary College (QLD) and Trudi Edwards, Head of Primary, Matthew Flinders Anglican College (QLD) shared their experiences. With recent news about schools exploring a four-day week, this thought-provoking session unpacked how we might reimagine schooling to create dynamic learning environments that push at the boundaries of traditional schooling. Coorparoo SC has this year implemented a four-day week with huge success! Also this conversation included a fascinating discussion about the Wonderarium at Matthew Flinders, as a place to challenge students to delve into provocations about ‘big’ issues with the goal to spark curiosity, creativity and critical thinking.
In this conversation we also talked briefly about educating ‘Generation Alpha’ (students born between 2010 and 2025). To quote Mark McCrindle (2014): “…they are the most materially endowed and technologically literate generation to ever grace the planet and they will enjoy a longer lifespan than any previous generation of Australians.”
- Read: Queensland schools to trial new hours, four-day week
- Listen here to a recent ABC interview with Mark Breckenridge, President of the Queensland Secondary Principals Association on Queensland’s updated school policy which would allow state primary and secondary schools to trial flexible class schedules including four-day weeks and shorter days.
- In The Complete Guide to Generation Alpha, The Children of Millennials, Christine Michel Carter explores some fascinating insights such as
- Over 40% of parents admit they consider themselves a parent who praises their Generation Alpha child too much;
- It has been suggested that Gen Alpha have a greater chance of growing up selfish, particularly impatient and expecting instant gratification; and
- Gen Alpha will be the best educated and wealthiest generation ever.
- Read: The ABC of XYZ: Understanding the Global Generations
Empowering Every Student’s Journey
Live Learning 19
During this session, we were joined by Alex Bruhn, Metavercity Project Lead at Youth Inc, Kim Brady, Leader of Teaching & Learning at Novo Education Space and Sally Lasslett, Principal, Hester Hornbrook Academy (HHA).
We delved into education models that recognise mainstream schooling may not suit every young individual optimally and heard about HHA’s HOPE Healing Oriented Program of Education, a comprehensive and systemic approach aiming to enhance students’ individual and educational requirements while aligning with their personally identified goals.
Alex introduced us to the fascinating concept of the metaverse, and we delved into the idea of the metaverse being the next chapter in the evolution of social technology and its vast potential in education.
More than a school
Live Learning 20
In this session we embarked on a virtual journey to Cambodia to engage in a captivating conversation with Dom Sharpe at Liger Leadership Academy. Liger adopts a design thinking approach, encouraging students to dive deep into real-world problems, brainstorm ideas, plan, and implement solutions. This discussion shed light on how students are tackling real-world challenges through a combination of project-based, experiential, and opportunity-based learning. One of the projects we loved that was shared with us was the “Chainsaw Tree”.
Shared with us in the conversation, Liger students explained “the Chainsaw Tree is a sculpture that was constructed by many actual chainsaws. The chains and the saws were once collected from the illegal loggers in Mondulkiri province by the Ministry. Now, our school has requested the government to own those chainsaws to build this Chainsaw Tree”.
- Find more about this project here – a great starting prompt to use in your classes.
Wellbeing in our schools
Live Learning 21
In our final session for the year, we were joined by David Bott, Co-Founder of The Wellbeing Distillery and Dr Michelle Kearney, Principal, Bayview College (VIC). We delved into the importance of fostering emotional, physical, and mental wellbeing within school environments and how we can explore innovative approaches and practices to create a more supportive and nurturing atmosphere in schools.
- Head on over to the The Wellbeing Distillery website to access a sample edition of The Wellbeing Educator. This sample edition of the course gives you free access to three course modules and the full 15-module, on-demand training course is designed specifically to elevate the wellbeing and effectiveness of professional educators.
- Sign up to Three Things Thursday – TWD’s weekly newsletter with the cool stuff we’re currently exploring, inspired by, and distilling – https://
- Here’s A Thought – A new well-being program for middle school students based on 40 illustrations from renowned artist, Matthew Johnstone – https://hatwellbeing.com
- We asked both our guests, “What are you reading at the moment?” David recommended The Happiness Studies and Michelle shared with us her love of the books by Kobi Yamada including What Do You Do with a Problem?
What a Year! Missed a Session?
We know schools are busy places and it may not always be possible to make one of our Live Learning sessions. That’s why all of our sessions are recorded and readily available on our archive. Whether you want to share a session with staff or revisit a session that left a lasting impression, you can find it all in one place here.
About the author: Jen Buchanan
Jen is a future focused educator who has forged a career as an educator in progressive schools in Australia and around the world. With a track record of creating positive, engaged and innovative learning environments in schools and adult learners, Jen is Program Director (Engagement) at Future Anything, where she leads and delivers a range of engaging, inspiring workshops and learning experiences for educators and students.