There are entrepreneurs and there are others. One’s past speaks for itself, the other speaks about the past. Look at their DNA and another wonder. In the 14th century ‘nice’ meant ‘ignorant’ and ‘awful’ stood for full of awe. To successful entrepreneurs, such as members of the Guild of Entrepreneurs, ‘failure’ today might as well mean ‘almost success’.
Complex problems appear as white light refracted into its concomitant parts. Each source light in the spectrum can be delineated further: that’s the idea, that needs refluxing, build the relations and prototype etc. Then, thrive on what comes next. Our focus when we’re trained on a problem is laser-like says Tony Harrison of 3D Generation Limited.
Wouldn’t it be something if storytellers and journalists were privy to the entrepreneurial gene? You could argue many freelancers are but there’s a different strain at play here. One that’s about building a legacy, and looking to the next new thing — being ahead of the curve, when few, if any, can quite see it forming.
There’s a problem in academia where the next generation of communicators designed to shape your knowledge of the world via news, current affairs and journalism, are being nurtured.
Firstly, traditional journalism and storytelling courses teach you to be part of a conventional system, hence you learn conventional ways to compete for a place on the conveyor belt — which is badly in need of new parts. And what happens when you can’t get on the belt? Rachel Wang of Chocolate films, alongside members of the Guild’s narrative created their own.
The best part of digital innovations were not immediately started by mainstream broadcasters and digital media. That’s reason enough to roll your eyes.
Secondly, your knowledge is codified by a standardised set of units called modules. Brilliantly expanded in the 1960s when university learning expanded and a raft of fresh subjects needed homes e.g. film and journalism studies, it now requires an overhaul.
Within this modular system reigns perennially debated subjects such as objectivity. However, storytelling is as much about knowing yourself than the subject matter under scrutiny. Yet, you’ll be hard pressed to find comms programme which place entrepreneurship, self critical awareness or otherwise its spirit at the fulcrum, let alone the wider business acumen and, say, emotional intelligence.
If you keep on doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep on getting what you get.
Hence in academia, we assess students through a series of well intentioned hierarchical modularised units; how to write in the pyramid style, or otherwise create a documentary in the first semester, only to drop it in the second.
If data from the World Economic Forum is anything to go by these programmes have their work cut out for them. Critical thinking and creativity in a post digital world where nominal storytelling jobs are threatened, will be paramount.
This week we caught a glimpse of a future where new unfolding artistic practices mixed with world beating entrepreneurial skills. The former were students from a new programme called disLAB, which puts critical project prototyping above the anxiety of a plethora of formal assessments.
In disLAB’s world failure is viewed as a transition point to re-iteration. In the latter, London’s Guild of Entrepreneurs — serial entrepreneurs as wealth managers, insurers, former elite medical force personnel, producers, and business drivers — shared their global knowledge collectively and in private one-on-ones.
To think of it as Dragon’s Den or Tank Shark doesn’t do the scheme the justice it warrants, as intense ideation is followed by rapid scaling to pose a proto model potentially ready for market. In all of this the disLABers are negotiating an array of new, hard and soft skills in a time frame.
The signs so far at launch have this week have been deeply positive. And with the cooperation of both groups, we hope to share with you the experience of this new alliance.
These are the Guild’s Entrepreneurs.
Thanks to: Rachel Wang of Chocolate Films; Lee Robertson of Investment Quorum; Judy Hadden of Oil Risk; Patrick Swint of Knightsbridge Ventures; Tony Harrison of 3D Generation Limited; Simon Fordham of the Fordham Henderson Partnership; Nicola Manning, Chair of Education at the Guild of Entrepreneurs in the City of London at The Guild of Entrepreneurs in the City of London; and James from Cherry Duck Studios.