Happy International Day of Education! Quality education and lifelong learning that is inclusive and equitable is key to achieving gender equality and breaking the cycle of poverty that leaves millions of young people and adults behind. The theme this year is “invest in people, prioritise education”.
This is what SDG4 is all about and it’s one of the key SDGs we focus our work on. Helping people learn through doing has been core to what we do since I founded Dynamic4 in 2001… and to what I’ve been doing since my early teens.
In my early teens I started training others in the bodybuilding and mindbody techniques I’d been practicing, then snowboarding… before working professionally as a personal trainer specialising in Pilates and spin – Dynamic4 Fitness in the early 2000s.
By this point I’d also spent a few years designing and delivering project-based learning programs in financial services to solve real business and customer problems – while helping leaders and teams develop skills and the mindset for human-centred design and innovation.
These days I play at the place where design, social innovation, and wellbeing meet – to help create the conditions for happier communities. The convergence of what I’ve been learning and experimenting with for over 30 years. Coaching and working alongside people using an action learning approach to solve problems that matter has always been my preferred way of doing things. There are no experts in complex challenges.
I wrote Solve Problems That Matter: Design, Build & Launch Your Social Enterprise Idea to share some of what I’ve learnt. A simple and practical guidebook with worksheets to help founders and leaders design regenerative business models and solutions that create great outcomes for people and our planet – while being financially successful and looking after their wellbeing.
This is just a small piece of my lifelong learning journey… I continue to prioritise exploring my curiosity and learning every day. Check out my reflecting on 20 years of Dynamic4 blog series for more of the journey and key things I’ve learnt.
UNESCO is dedicating this year’s Education Day to girls and women in Afghanistan who’ve been deprived of their right to education. It’s calling for the immediate lifting of the ban restricting their access to education. You can find out more and get involved here.