The crucial relationships between universities and local business partners is to be explored in a revealing online event.
Liverpool Hope University is holding a series of discussions examining what’s known as the ‘Communiversity’ - connections between higher education institutions and the wider community.
The webinar event programme, hosted by Hope’s Centre of Education and Policy Analysis (CEPA), began in earnest last month with a discussion about how university-school partnerships could help bridge social and achievement gaps that are all too present in society.
Now the second event in the series, hosted by Revd Dr Tony Bradley of the Liverpool Hope University Business School, will focus on how the School is supporting sustainable business initiatives in collaboration with local partners.
Titled ‘Developing a Communiversity – students, social businesses and servicing solidarity', it will take place on Monday November 23rd at 4.30pm - and you can secure your attendance by booking, for free, here.
With input from doctoral student Garth Dallas, masters student Muhammed Umair Sadiq, and undergraduate Katie Moore, the webinar will also explore how the University is engaging with social economy businesses in the Liverpool City Region (LCR).
Meanwhile the Hope students will also share their insights to reveal the symbiotic relationship between the Business School and The Good Business Festival (TGBF) - a respected LCR initiative which took place in October this year and focused on the economic response to, and future recovery from, the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
And at the heart of discussions will be Communiversity model known as ‘GENE’, a concept first put forward by Dr Bradley, and co-authors Ronnie Lessem and Anselm Adodo, in the 2019 book The Idea of the Communiversity: Releasing the Natural, Cultural, Technological and Economic GENE-ius of Societies.
Dr Bradley comments: “The Communiversity idea may be applied and delivered in a range of interconnected contexts - whether it be the world of refugees, primary school children and teachers, social economy businesses, or something else.
“And the connecting thread is that each context will address aspects of social justice, educational inclusion and the ability to, gently, break-down the walls of the University, to let the community in and the practical fruit of our scholarship out.”
Dr Bradley says the ‘GENE concept can get the very best out of any Communiversity project.
It begins with ‘Community Grounding’ - the ‘G’ in GENE -
Next ,a shared journey ‘Emerges’ as a common culture of the Communiversity - the first E.
Dr Bradley adds: “The Emergence of a shared culture leads into an investigation and understanding of how our new way of learning together may help us to navigate the world better.
“This Navigation or N takes place within the sphere of the Research Academy.”
What results from this shared journey is, Dr Bradley argues, an Effective project output, business or "Course" development.
And Dr Bradley hopes this way of thinking will translate to a self-perpetuating cycle of Communiversity success stories.
He states: “If we have completed one cycle, it will, inevitably, lead onto a new one, as we spiral forwards into the next phase of our Communiversity development.”
There’s a whole range of Communiversity events planned between and April next year, and for the full programme you can head here
Speaking earlier this year to announce the series, Dr Catherine O’Connell, Senior Lecturer in Education Studies and Associate Director of CEPA, revealed how the importance of the Communiversity had been brought into sharp relief by the Coronavirus pandemic.
She commented: “In an era of pressing social challenges there is an urgent need for universities to develop and enhance new and existing reciprocal relationships with key stakeholder partners, and to be grounded in communities as partners in knowledge-creation.
“This will particularly be the case in the recovery that shapes the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The idea of the Communiversity seeks to connect a diversity of educational stakeholders.
“There are many models of communiversity which connect local social networks and research-informed tertiary education and local ecosystems for social transformation are co-opting universities into their developmental programmes.
“This event series explores the possibilities associated with the concept in our local context.”
**** Here are the dates for all of the other planned events:
8/12/20: Community Integration: Education on and for migration
11/01/21: Developing Student Teacher self efficacy through the Hope Challenge
10/02/21: Working with communities' local knowledge and resources
24/02/21: Investigating Primary Leadership in Catholic Schools: a case study of knowledge building through active partnership
24/03/21: Collaborative approaches with Leaders in Early Childhood Education and Care.
26/04/21: Panel session: Realising the Communiversity