Co creating cowan short pitch-stakeholders_211212


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The relationship between Cowan High School and the community of New Brighton stretches back six decades.

Cowan has strong anti-Apartheid ‘struggle’ credentials and produced many of New Brighton’s most prominent struggle leaders during the Apartheid era.

Right now the community faces a struggle of a different kind ... One of survival in the face of the worst economic crisis in living memory.
Unemployment is rife in New Brighton, crime and violence is on the rise and prospects are looking bleak.

Since the economic downturn began in 2008, many workers have been laid off. Many are parents of Cowan learners. Their financial capacity has come under pressure and many can no longer afford to pay school fees. Cowan has come under massive financial pressure.

Consequently Cowan pupils suffer through inferior education … the SGB does not have the funding necessary to pay for the services of desperately needed additional temporary teachers. Several teachers are sacrificing their time to voluntarily assist the learners without realistic expectation of remuneration.

Down the years Cowan has excelled in the areas of art and culture, but the deteriorating educational environment has had a detrimental impact on academic performance, which is reflected in a deteriorating pass-rate.

Although Cowan has been very successful in attracting funding for infrastructural projects … donors draw the line when it comes to salaries and wages which they see as a government responsibility.
A Department of Education representative made it very plain during the recent Strategic Planning process that Cowan should NOT expect the Department to bail them out ... because THAT is highly unlikely to happen.

The onus is thus on the Cowan Community: If you want a decent education, take responsibility for funding it yourselves.
It is a challenge which several learners have already shown a willingness to accept and confront.

It is from these humble beginnings that a GREAT idea was born. An idea set to transform a community.

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Co creating cowan short pitch-stakeholders_211212

  1. 1. Co-creating Cowan The Cowan High School GOOD to GREAT Programme Prototyping an innovative new community “collaboration” solution.SOCIAL COHESION THROUGH EDUCATION, ART and LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT… “Sharing UBUNTU with the WORLD”.
  2. 2. Hypothesis: The school as the hub of a unique global community:• Every school is a unique institution, drawing together a large and random crowd of people … and moulding them into a “community” based on their shared experience of school life;• ‘Pride in one’s school’ invokes our first sense of ‘loyalty’ (beyond the immediate family) … it is the glue that binds a disparate set of individuals into a unique “community”;• Eventually, former students will spread their wings and develop their own individual networks … but still remain forever anchored and emotionally attached to their school … the ‘safe space’ that shaped their formative years;• School is a powerful emotional anchor for many of us … it is from these roots that a great tree will grow.• The extended school community provides a huge resource pool of imagination, skills, know-how and experience … it is the school’s unique “Crowd” … a global network that, if it can be effectively harnessed, has the potential to provide answers to virtually any problem we’ll ever need to face.
  3. 3. Cowan High School : Introducing the G2G Programme• Cowan High School is an impoverished but inspired township school in a struggling community ... located within line-of-sight of Port Elizabeth’s iconic 2010 World Cup soccer stadium.• The Cowan G2G Programme is an initiative conceived in collaboration with a great bunch of kids from Cowan High School in New Brighton who decided to rise above “average” and instead be the VERY BEST they could be..• Cowan has a proud history of achievement … but instead of resting on its laurels … the Cowan Community consciously decided to transform their school … from GOOD to GREAT.
  4. 4. The school as a Open Collaborative Networking hubThe success of The Cowan High School G2G concept depends on our abilityto nurture and develop a local “community” and provide it with globaloutreach.We choose to anchor our community to a local school because we believethat a school has several unique attributes from a networking perspective:• Every school is the hub of its own unique community.• As we connect up the school’s community we initiate an ever-expanding social network, whose ‘reach’ is global.• Using social networking principles, we can grow , inter-connect, structure and manage ‘our’ school’s community.• By ensuring that goals are agreed, individual programmes and projects are aligned … we’ll all work together to mutual advantageThink about it … the ‘old-boys club’ of various elite schools shapes the futuresuccess of everyone who passes through those hallowed portals. Althoughour motives are more altruistic, this seems a sound principle to build on.We simply speed up and formularise the process.
  5. 5. Cowan’s Unique Strengths and Opportunities• The school’s most obvious current ‘strength’ is in the performing arts, where they have a number highly talented vocal performers in the school’s sublime (and award-winning) choir;• The school’s financially-challenged neighbourhood community offers a wealth of accessible skills and know- how (particularly in the area of manufacturing … thanks to industrial lay-offs and a weakening local economy) that can be translated into marketable products;• The Cowan Kids through their rapidly developing social networking skills, hold the key to shifting the focus to the global market.
  6. 6. Modelling our approachThe Cowan G2G Programme focusesattention on three separate areas:• Education;• Art; and• EntrepreneurshipEach is an independent project in its own Academic Art andright, but their objectives are closely Culturealigned and integrated. Components aredesigned to interact holistically to achievethe common vision and the broader aimsand objectives of the programme.In our model, Integration happenshorizontally, vertically an laterally, andfrom a right-brain, left-brain and total- Entrepreneurshipbrain perspective … to encourage a crosspollination of ideas across differentdisciplines
  7. 7. Programme Aims• Academically, we WILL transform Cowan into a great educational institution with results that rival and even surpass the finest “elite” schools in the area;• Artistically, we WILL develop the latent talent present in the area and the surrounding community into a world-class incubator of original artistic thought and expression;• Entrepreneurially, we WILL kick-start a new kind of vibrant and cohesive local community economy, with everyone supporting one another … in the TRUE spirit of UBUNTU.
  8. 8. Programme Objective 1: Academic• To retrain every Cowan educator in modern interactive, experiential teaching methods to internationally recognised standards … thereby empowering them to practice their skills using available resources and within the budgetary constraints imposed on all public high schools.• In recognition of the fact that 50% of matriculants will not find jobs in the formal sector by the age of 24, to prepare all Cowanites for a different future … via a rounded education that values thinking skills, creative expression and entrepreneurial effectiveness.• To adapt the curriculum to address not only academic effectiveness … but simultaneously to look at the practical needs of the students and how these can be aligned to the outcomes of the other legs of this programme.
  9. 9. Programme Objective 2: Art and Culture • To identify talented members of the school’s “creative community” in all disciplines and nurture, develop and hone their artistic skills to the highest international standards: • To provide a platform to expose these emerging talents to a global market … and help them to exploit opportunities to the benefit of the individual artists concerned; • To simultaneously raise funds for the school and various innovative collaborative initiatives linked to the Cowan G2G programme in the areas of Education, Art, Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
  10. 10. Programme Objective 3: Entrepreneurship • To empower the Cowan developing and activating the entrepreneurial skills and resources of its COMMUNITY, both local and global. • To unveil and pilot a unique UBUNTU-inspired COLLABORATIVE entrepreneurship model that spurs REAL Local Economic Development at community level with the aim of transforming the local economy and making it self- sustainable and able to absorb much of its existing and emerging manpower. • To position our projects to tap into a large existing reservoir of funding geared towards youth entrepreneurship and SMME development • To provide financial benefits in proportion to each member’s inputs ... not as employees, but as shareholders in a series of innovative, sustainable and profitable new ventures.
  11. 11. Current Status of the Programme• The G2G Programme has the keen support of The School Principal, Trevor Dolley … as well as the School Governing Body and Educational staff;• The G2G Programme has an active and enthusiastic presence on Facebook involving mostly present and past students;• Our global group of “Friends of Cowan” are actively involved with the planning and implementation of various projects;
  12. 12. Immediate Challenges to confront:• With a strong core group in place, our first challenge is to persuade the broader Cowan Community of the concrete benefits of constructive participation in the programme, how it will benefit themselves personally … while transforming their old alma mater, Cowan High School … from GOOD to GREAT.• Our second challenge is to enable effective collaboration … by Crowdfunding the development of the web-architecture to successfully connect the Cowan G2G core-group with our Community on various levels … from local to the school’s global diaspora, via Facebook and our own unique collaboration platform.
  13. 13. Immediate PrioritiesComponent Purpose Timeframe1. Community Support thus stimulated via the Cowan G2Gsupport and Facebook group. Required: a programme ofbuy-in. meetings, workshops, focus groups , etc. to extend November, buy-in to ALL key stakeholder groups. December 20122. Funding for Proposal by Tony Pearce has been submitted to December 2012“Academic“ Adopt-a-Schools. Requires support fromLeg. stakeholders .3. Funding to 1. Seed-funding to enhance logistics and secure December 2012kick-start buy-in ; and to kick start Crowdfunding campaign;programme. 2. Crowdfunding campaign to develop website with December 2012 collaboration tools ; various early stage activities of the programme. 3. Cowan DVD to fund the needs of the school and March 2013 fund entrepreneurial activities.4. Website Multi-purpose Internet platform to facilitate January 2013 Collaboration
  14. 14. Core Management Team (1)• Ian Bentley: Visionary Innovator and social-entrepreneur. Ubuntu Entrepreneurship originator. Strategic Planner and Concept originator. G2G group moderator on Facebook … Role: Programme Integrator and Co-ordinator.• Tony Pearce: Passionate UK-based educationalist and experiential teaching expert. Doctoral dissertation on education in New Brighton. Driving force behind “Red Location Choir”… Role: Project Co-ordinator: Academic Leg.• Yvette Dubel: Celebrated American Artist and Innovator. Cultural Fusion and Community Change Management expert, Specialist in“Applied Art-based Solutions”. Founder: “Context Magazine” ... Role: Project co-ordinator: Art and Culture Leg.
  15. 15. Core Management Team (2)• Tiberius Brastaviceanu: Based in Montreal, Canada. Global authority on collaborative business practice, p2p economy. Expert on value networks, open innovation. Community and ecosystem architect. Mentorship and support ... Role: Project Consultant: Collaborative Entrepreneurship.• Deborah J Boyd: Based in Washington DC. Information technology expert. Education expert. Super-connector. Fund raising strategist. Organisation Architect … Role: Fundraising Co-ordinator.
  16. 16. Conclusion:• The current South African education model involves ‘force-feeding’ facts to students that they are expected to somehow memorise. Successful ones will get to university. The balance will be on the street searching for a job. Either way the future does not look rosy.• Our approach is holistic. We will empower our children to be the very best that they can be … providing a rounded education, with problem- solving skills on a par with anywhere in the world.• Students with artistic talents will be inspired to utilise them … likewise those who demonstrate entrepreneurial acumen.• Project teams built around a combination of passion, skill and know-how will begin to transform the way that things are done in New Brighton.• It’s a win/win solution where ALL who actively participate will be rewarded for their contribution and share in the long-term benefits. It’s an UBUNTU-powered DREAM whose time has come.