Posted By Administration,
Thursday, September 18, 2008
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Tools To Do The Job—Up from Chaos – Beyond Theory
Chaos and Entrepreneurship in the same breath! How is it possible? Because entrepreneurship is not an orderly, predictable process. Yes, planning is necessary, but the best laid plans of youth and age do not guarantee success. John Hughes will speak to these points more fully later on.
In the meantime, thanks to a grant from the Coleman/Hughes Foundations, we’ve moved forward since last year’s conference. At that time we focused on the need to utilize the neglected resource of our expanding 55+ population. For a variety of reasons there’s greater awareness of this need, so we won’t go over that ground. Incidentally, 55+ is a marker, not a wholesale descriptor. 55-65; 65-75;75-85; 85…. The decades are distinctive.
As for the Coleman/Hughes grant, Kingsborough Community College and Morrie Helitzer, working together, have developed a curriculum and workbook for instructors to guide would-be 55+ entrepreneurs onto productive paths to reach their goals.
Is this a blueprint for success? Realistically, the answer is “No.” Nevertheless, it is a step in the right direction. Trial and error are the watchwords. Several of you* have joined the parade of willing “tryers” as Heather Van Sickle and Tommy Goodrow at NACCE have urged you to do. We look forward to NACCE continuing its fine marketing job.
In building this program KCC and Helitzer had and have a two-fold objective:
1. To customize existing materials to meet the needs of the 55+ audience, emphasizing the intergenerational aspects of this effort.
2. To maintain an open architecture that allows for modifications and additions .
While our focus is on the CC’s, Ed Rogoff of Baruch College and the CUNY Institute for Virtual Enterprise, all part of City University of New York, have been a valued resource and partner in this undertaking.
In our model, proprietary resources are shared with network schools (in this case NACCE member schools and IVE network schools). In exchange for use of the materials, we ask users to contribute revisions and improvements to the materials, share assessment and outcomes data and be willing to collaborate on resource development and outcomes dissemination.
Now, for an ultimate, if difficult, truth: Teachers without extensive entrepreneurial experience are not properly qualified to instruct 55+ entepreneurship. Not that the problem is insoluble. The task for your institutions is to seek able and willing entrepreneurs to join your ranks, as grandfathered adjuncts or lecturers, to share their feats and foibles with your student/learners. Your colleges can do it, provided your administrators and faculties recognize that this proposition is experientially and factually based, not a theory.
Moving along, Morrie Helitzer will talk about how we’ve moved from there to here on this project. Our CC colleagues will provide on-the-ground discoveries they’ve made. John Hughes will share his special insights on what we’ve learned by living this long and preview his new chart on ISM—Intimacy, Sensuality & Mystery, i.e, Entrepreneur-ISM.
Morrie Helitzer, NY
John Hughes, President & CEO, The John E. and Jeanne T. Hughes Foundation