ESRC – Enterprising Together Event

Responsible entrepreneurship presents a significant step in the right direction for community empowerment.

Dr Al-Dajani secured funding from ESRC to hold an event on responsible entrepreneurship during the annual Festival of Social Science. Thanks to the event, Plymouth’s refugees and asylum seekers met with students and staff from the University as well as local business owners, and other members of the general public, to collectively brainstorm, design and ignite team-led responsible enterprises that aim to foster community empowerment.

‘The event provided a good platform for people from different streams of life to meet and interact during the group work, with the hope that participants would get the chance to put, what they had learnt on the day, into practice and enrich the flourishing social enterprise sector in Plymouth.’ (Hoayda Darkal, PhD researcher, Human Geography and Resilience).

Plymouth University plays an important part in the life of the local community and Plymouth University’s mission, vision and values underpin all it’s activities (Plymouth University Strategy 2020).

The day was filled with practical and creative workshops to support enterprising ideas, offer solutions, connect communities and design business propositions. The participants were divided into teams; each team had to then present and pitch their ideas to the panel of experts and compete for an interesting prize.

Enterprising Together: Award Ceremony, Mast House, November 2017

The energy of the day was amazing, the connections and new partnerships made during the day emphasise the importance of these kinds of engagements and collaborations for communities from all over the city enabling them to hear each other’s point of view and contribute to the dialogue for change and betterment.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all involved for making this day such a success and I am already looking forward to next year.



TEDxPlymouthUniversity is back! Interested in speaking or being a volunteer?

TEDxPlymouthUniversity is back and is looking for speakers to bring the best ideas in Plymouth to a wider audience.

The TEDxPlymouthUniversity evening last spring themed around the Evolution of Inspiration saw thirteen speakers selected from over seventy applicants to bring their chosen topics to the stage. Fascinating talks on; being a Futurist, how the oceans connects us, evolution of the undead, equality, robotics, poetry, prejudice and changing the world, made for a night full of inspiration and insight.

Plymouth has a proud history of exploration and discovery, and that pioneering spirit is still alive today. There are amazing innovations, fascinating discoveries, and inspirational ideas right on our doorstep, right now.

TEDxPlymouthUniversity’s Spirit of Discovery will bring together the best of what Plymouth has to offer now and for the future. From entrepreneurs to explorers, philosophers to physicists, we will bring people together to discover new ideas and forge lasting connections.

The event will take place in February 2018 and the deadline for speaker submissions is 17 November. The TEDxPlymouthUniversity team will choose successful speakers at the beginning of December.

The event is independently organised under licence from international non-profit organisation TED, which is devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks, and will take place on the university’s city centre campus.

Apply to speak online at

If you are interested in volunteering at TEDx please apply here

Digital rights and online security

The Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) funds research into the big social and economic questions facing us today. This year’s nationally celebrated Festival of Social Science, with over three hundred free events taking place across the UK, allowed us to question and debate behaviour and online privacy, online security and children’s rights with regard to digital freedom and digital policy.

The specific topic is highly relevant nowadays as the digital world of technology and the internet connects and influences our daily lives bringing not only a broad range of benefits but creating new challenges and risks.

Children’s rights in the digital age are presently undermined by a mix of innocence, ignorance and media pressure. It is in the interests of the economy, society and indeed the whole world to wake up and inform the younger generation of the positive/negative impacts of the ‘the digital’ environment. Children’s well-being and their digital rights and awareness are interlinked and inseparable.

Pupils from Helston Community College enthusiastically engaged in prepared activities and participated in interactive talks given by Professor Andy Phippen and an entrepreneur Raphael Dennett. Professor Phippen reviewed recent policy and current research into digital rights raising concerns about online safety and the impact it has on teenagers and society as a whole. Digital enthusiast and entrepreneur Rapheal Dennett talked about the importance of self-marketing as an individual especially in terms of a future employee or employer.

Professor Andy Phippen on digital rights, November 2017

The prepared tasked engaged students in debates and offered space for group work. Pupils had to create various posters and present their points and opinions in short 3-minute presentations, which allowed them to gain confidence in public speaking and improve their presentation skills further. The presentations were judged by our speakers and also by Dr Hilary Duckett, the Associate Dean of Employability and Associate Professor of Human Resources and Leadership who joined us for the day.

Throughout the day, pupils worked alongside Plymouth University student ambassadors taking full advantage of the opportunity to learn about different degree programmes and student life in general. The day ended with a sunny walk around the campus.

In the words of the student ambassadors

(AN) “I think being able to work with the younger generation really helps to understand how the world is changing and why there is a need for them to be educated about these changes. They are the future”.

(AP) “It was great to see so many students engaging with the event and showing a genuine interest in their futures. I really enjoyed talking about life at university with them and hearing their contributions in the presentations”.

As coordinator I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experience from the creation and preparation to the delivery of the event and I would like to thank the ESRC, FoSS and teachers from Helston Community College. I would also like to thank all involved from Plymouth University; the speakers, the Research and Innovation Team and the Events Team.

An engaging and fascinating programme of events

The Festival of Social Science is on this week and I cannot wait to attend some of the talks and events. I cannot choose for you but certainly can recommend one or two. I am especially looking forward to today’s lecture on Purpose-driven Marketing Management, a workshop on responsible entrepreneurship ‘Enterprising Together’, a discussion on ‘The Future of Employment’, the Festival Celebration Event and particularly the radio broadcasts by Radio CogNovia at Red House Radio.


What’s more, via international webinar, a panel of gender and entrepreneurship experts will share with us their research on how entrepreneurs conquer social, political and economic borders. The webinar organised by ISBE Gender and Enterprise Network is scheduled for Wednesday November 8th at 14:00-15:30 GMT.WebinarPartyStaying in the spirit of promotion and marketing, next week, as every year around this time, the University of Plymouth and its partners will present an engaging and fascinating programme of events and workshops to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).GEW

Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest campaign to promote entrepreneurship. Each year, it plays a critical role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs to consider starting up their own business, inspiring people to explore their potential as self-starters and innovators.

The list of event I would recommend attending would be excruciatingly long as all of the scheduled events and workshop are equally interesting and appealing. So please choose for yourself by following the link below.

A link to the Plymouth Enterprise Week’s full list of activities from Monday 13th November – Sunday 19th November.

See you at some of the eventsFestivalOfSocScience