Emporium of Dangerous Ideas

Emporium-ezine-banner Apr 15

Emporium Pool launch imageCollege Development Network (CDN) in partnership with a number of key organisations hosted an extremely successful Emporium of Dangerous Ideas in June 2015, with 18 events and over 1,000 delegates in attendance.

The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas is a future-orientated education festival that aims to re-establish the importance of dangerous ideas as agents of change in education - to shift the axis of what is possible! The festival is designed for everyone who is passionate about education, including college, university, school staff and students, as well as those engaged in education throughout the creative communities.

The theme of the two-week Emporium was 'emancipatory education'. With changing curriculum design and delivery - who is being set free? This theme was explored during the period with a successful launch on Tuesday 09 June at Govanhill Baths in Glasgow, followed by events taking place in various locations across Scotland, including Drygate Brewery which was the host to Leadership in 21st Century Education and Business of Brewing; CDN hosting 'sell-out' Mind Full to Mindful event, finishing on Friday 19 June with Creative Change Exhibition: Finale.

Explore how the Emporium reached its goal by providing opportunities for everyone in education to be inspired, challenged and stimulated to think differently: icon Emporium Success (548.07 kB)

"The emporium exists to take risks and try new things" Karen Lawson, Curator of Dangerous Ideas

Drygate brewing event image"How dangerous would it be if we implemented the changes in education that we conceived and not the compromised versions we always seem to put in place?" The Real David Cameron



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delegates at Emporium launch imageView photographs at Emporium Facebook

Find out what delegates were looking forward to at this year's Emporium.

Emporium Publications and Links

Karen Lawson, CDN, was interviewed about the Emporium by TES FE Podcast and Radio EDUtalk
Find out more: icon DangerousEd Talk (1.99 MB)

Informed Scotland May 2015 special issue cover graphic


Emporium of Dangerous Ideas commissioned icon Informed Scotland Innovation Special to link showcase the Emporium and place it at the heart of the broader innovation agenda across the learning and skills landscape.





surf graphicOffice Surfing

Office Surfing - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work in a very different environment from your usual workplace? Would you like to try it out and become an office surfer? Would you like your organisation to Host and office surf?

For more information contact Samantha Hay.

Emporium-Deep-Water graphicTuesday 09 June 2015

Emporium of Dangerous Ideas Launch

Glasgow – Join Dr Colin Jones, the Real David Cameron, Cherry Hopton and many more ... Dive into the deep end at Govanhill Baths!

More information

Emporium-Leadership graphicWednesday 10 June 2015

Leadership for 21st Century Education

Glasgow – Join David Price OBE, Paul Collard, Cathy Walsh OBE, Dr Ken Thomson and Angela McCusker and many more ... at Drygate - UK's first experiential craft brewery.

More information

Thursday 11 June 2015

Where Do We Go From Here?

Forth Valley College – Join Forth Valley College for an evening of geocaching the campus followed by campfire discussion.

More information

Mind Full to Mindful graphicFriday 12 June 2015

From Mind Full to Mindful Education!

CDN, Stirling – This experiential workshop will be facilitated by Dr. Lyndsay Lunan, a lecturer from City of Glasgow College. There will be an opportunity to carry on the mindfulness conversations we started four years ago at CDN, at the Emporium of Dangerous Ideas.

More information

Friday 12 June 2015

Failing in Education

Howden Park Centre, Howden, Livingston EH54 6AE - Failing is an essential part of learning but does our education system provide authentic learning environments that thrive on risk, experimentation and failure?

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Saturday 13 June 2015

CDN teachmeet event graphicSchool Takeover Teachmeet

Stirling High School, Torbrex Farm Road, Stirling FK8 2PA – A dangerous idea teachmeet for school teachers using the TeachMeet format to share ideas and problems.

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Monday 15 June 2015

Character Scotland Event graphicCharacter, Culture and Values Conference

Glasgow – The event is run by Character Scotland and is an opportunity to learn how the exploration and nurturing of values, skills and attributes can empower children and young people and help to improve their outcomes in life, learning and work.

More information

Monday 15 June 2015

The Creative Gauntlet

Forth Valley College – Join Forth Valley College where you will work to the Creative Brief: 'Why I am Passionate about Education' to generate your own thoughts feelings and ideas.

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Tuesday 16 June 2015

This is How We Do It

Forth Valley College – Join Forth Valley College where student facilitators will devise and design a session which presents to lecturers a series of exercises based around the theme of learning.

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Tuesday 16 June 2015

SERA logoResearch as if Education Mattered. And Education as if Research Mattered

CDN Stirling - CDN (College Development Network) and SERA (Scottish Educational Research Association) are working in partnership to link education and research in the area of poverty.

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Tuesday 16 June 2015

Creative Learning Network logoAttaining Creative Solutions

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, The Prince Philip Building, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9DW - (Invitation only event)

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Tuesday 16 June 2015

Creative Conversation Invitation 16 Jun 15 poster graphicCreative Conversations: We Can Work it Out

The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, The Prince Philip Building, Nicolson Street, Edinburgh EH8 9D (4.30 - 6.30pm)

icon We Can Work It Out details (155.83 kB)

Full information about this Creative Conversation is available from Linda Lees at City of Edinburgh Council, Arts and Creative Learning, Schools and Community Services.

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Education (Clockwork) Orange

Forth Valley College – Join Forth Valley College for a facilitated tour of the environs surrounding selected stops of the Glasgow Subway system.

More information

Wednesday 17 June 2015

Creative Learning Network logoCreative, Confident Learners - What Difference Have We Made So Far?

Jupiter Artland, Bonnington House Steadings, Wilkieston, Edinburgh EH27 8BB - (Invitation only event)

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Thursday 18 June 2015

Business of Brewing poster graphicThe Business of Brewing

Drygate, Glasgow – Join Jamie Cook, Sarah Drummond, Snook and Paul Gorman for the final stage of the brewing challenge.

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Friday 19 June 2015

Emporium finale graphicCreative Change Exhibition: Finale

CDN, Stirling – This Exhibition of Creative Change will be curated by the Real David Cameron and focus on how creative approaches, risk taking, and dangerous ideas have shaped learning and learning environments.

More information

Agents of Danger

Meet this year's Agents of Danger:

Karen Lawson imageKaren Lawson
Curator of Dangerous Ideas

"The history of science is replete with discoveries that were considered socially, morally or emotionally dangerous in their time; the Copernican and Darwinian revolutions are the most obvious. What is your dangerous idea? An idea you think about (not necessarily one you originated) that is dangerous not because it is assumed to be false, but because it might be true?" - Steven Pinker

Aileen Duffy

Aileen Agent of Danger imageThe Emporium of Dangerous Ideas encourages us to look round the corner and contribute to providing a great education that really matters. It is difficult to make good change happen. It only happens when people are passionate about the change. And passion is certainly not lacking in educators. Just as we ask the question whether or not exams leave students incapable of thinking we need to make sure the education system does not leave educators cold. The Emporium fires us up to believe we can make good change happen.

Hannekke Van Wel imageHanneke Scott - Van Wel
Director of Stone Opera
"Delivering good education is not a dangerous idea.
Questioning what is good could be a bit dangerous.
Risking your position by facilitating change is more dangerous.
Doing nothing to improve education is the most dangerous of all."

Lesley Whelan imageLesley Whelan
Depute CEO, SCEL
"Determination, energy, and courage appear spontaneously when we care deeply about something. We take risks that are unimaginable in any other context." Margaret Wheatley
The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas encourages us to think deeply and act differently.
Julia Still imageJulia Fenby
Education Officer, Creativity, Education Scotland
Imagine if every single person involved in the education system, whatever their role, was 1% more creative each term - what a force for change that would be overall!
David Cameron imageDavid Cameron
The Real David Cameron
"How dangerous would it be if we implemented the changes in education that we conceived and not the compromised versions we always seem to put in place?"
Martin Boyle
Head of Creative Industries, Forth Valley College
Martin Boyle image"The Emporium of Dangerous Ideas is potentially one of the single most important developments in Scottish education right now. Not content with thinking about what we do right now, it challenges us all to ask the difficult questions about what education ought to look like in the future. For me, breaking away from outdated models of delivery is critical. It's vital that we focus on creativity, both for the colleges and our students, to ensure that we produce the dynamic, work-ready students of the future and provide an outstanding, engaging, exciting and challenging experience which puts each and every student right at the centre."
Elinor Vettraino
Academic Coordinator of Business and Enterprise at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln
Elinor Vettraino image"What are we doing as a nation which is really different educationally from what we did 100+ years ago? Creativity and innovation are found in pockets throughout Scotland but as a system, our educational thought process is still focused on teaching and not learning, instruction rather than experience. So, what if we didn't teach students but instead we coached them through the process of learning? What if we did away with formal lessons or classes and instead offered spaces for dialogue and exploration through which they would create ways of addressing their own learning needs? This sounds ridiculously rigour-less! And yet this approach is working in a growing number of countries through models like Tiimiakatemia.
My dangerous idea would be to have this way of working in the initial teacher education provision for all schools, colleges and universities in the UK so that throughout all parts of the sector, this approach becomes a commonplace model.
Paul Gorman
Hidden Giants
Hidden Giants logo"I believe we learn when we participate in the process of learning. All too often children and young people can feel alienated from learning as they believe it has been predetermined which leaves little room to explore their natural curiosities. Authentic learning requires a deep appreciation of self, community, society and world. The role of the learning facilitator is therefore to create a middle point from which a number of possibilities can grow and build."

In the News

icon Office Surfing (185.27 kB) - spring 2015

icon Character, Culture and Values press release (27.18 kB)

View the icon Emporium Emporium of Dangerous Ideas 2014 produces a headlining Finale (453.44 kB)

Friday 27 June 2014
Profiting from learning in more ways than one – read more in TESS

Friday 7 February 2014: Gaming – Minecraft project opens up new worlds of creativity – read more in TESS.

Previous Emporium of Dangerous Ideas

Emporium of Dangerous Ideas 2014 - College Development Network (CDN) in partnership with a number of key organisations hosted an extremely successful Emporium of Dangerous Ideas 2014 in June, with 25 events and over 1,500 delegates in attendance.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2013 – It was delivered over nine days in June, with 30 CPD events offered in eight different geographical locations, in partnership with 12 organisations, which were free to anyone who was interested in the future of education.  Please view the animated summary.

Festival of Dangerous Ideas 2012

For more information, please contact Wendy Grindle, Marketing and Communications Manager on 01786 892005 or email Wendy Grindle.

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(as at 08 May 2015)