Think Beyond | Business

By: Think Beyond  06-Dec-2011

What would learning tourism look like?

Imagine if visitors emerged from the airport to be greeted to the ‘Christchurch campus.’ They might come to jump start their learning. They may have just finished an online degree and just want to have a place to argue about their ideas. Christchurch could be transformed into a place of scholarship and learning, passion and delight – a place where tourists would come to collaborate, engage and immerse themselves in thinking.

In the past, businesses have focused on ‘training’, appointing training managers to develop, induct, supervise and manage employees. This focus is disappearing, to be replaced with the concept of a learning organisation, a knowledge economy and life long learning.

We have the opportunity to attract people who understand the complex nature of the world and want to explore learning in more depth: “They need to learn to cope with the unexpected – and Christchurch is the perfect place.” People could come to learn strategies for coping with change, to explore innovation and to use information communication technologies to stretch their thinking.

What would it take?

Building on Stephen’s ideas, I think there are some opportunities we should consider:

  1. Run a series of educational events, starting with a conference, forum or TEDx for ideas to be explored and developed.
  2. Establish an independent learning taskforce to work with the Ministry of Education, Christchurch City Council, CERA and government to develop ideas with all stakeholders. Resource this and ensure that all city developments are made with learning in mind.

We could make a start on this before the end of the year. It will take leadership and commitment – I think it is worth it.

“…and in doing so you could rebuild your city, rebuild your future, rebuild your economy and rebuild the excitement and enthusiasm for learning. It’s a no brainer really.”

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Other innovative issues might include flexible enrolments enabling students to pursue studies at other educational facilities, transport networks to facilitate flexibility, and establishing more effective partnerships in the teacher training programmes. In the late 1990’s the then Minister of Education, Trevor Mallard, took a step towards moving schools into the 21st century by allowing Discovery One School to open in Christchurch.


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