Enrol Yourself is redesigning lifelong learning by harnessing the power of peer groups.
"Multiply by twelve the resources, knowledge, experience and encouragement you would have by yourself."
- Clemence Tanzi, pilot participant
We think lifelong learning goes beyond fostering personal employment and fulfilment, to fostering what is needed for collective action and a sustainable future. Our education system tends to allocate sections of our lives for learning and leaves the rest to chance. How could we create a totally different system, one that brings learning closer to the fundamental purpose of our lives - throughout our lives?
Enrol Yourself was founded by Zahra Davidson and Roxana Bacian, a pair of social designers by background.
They couldn't find what they were looking for on the market. They wanted development opportunities but felt formal education or training didn't hold the answers. Eventually they realised that their meetings had become a space to moan to one another, so the idea was born to turn their shared need into something less whiny and more productive.
They created a website in the summer of 2016, recruited the pioneering pilot group and got started. In summer 2017 Enrol Yourself won the Our Place in the World award which brought support from InnovationRCA and UnLtd to expand to new regions in 2018, working with facilitators who will initiate new, local peer groups.
We exist to respond to:
A future of work that will increasingly require us to be lifelong learners
Public funding for adult education has been cut by over a third since 2010 and 35% of UK jobs could be under threat from automation. We are looking at a landscape in which continual re-skilling will need to become the norm, and we simply don't have the infrastructure - or the widespread demand needed.
Read Nesta and Pearson's latest report on this topic.
A need for scalable access to lifelong learning at a time of increasing inequality
If we’re to ensure our societies have the skills they need, support people to deal with insecurity, and avoid growth of an unemployable ‘underclass’ we simply must open up access to lifelong learning.
‘Despite evidence that has clearly shown that economic gains for society outweigh the cost of investing in lifelong learning, it is a chronically neglected area.’
(John Field, 2012)
Increasing need for '21st Century' cognitive, creative and collaborative skills
The future of work is not only going to require ongoing learning, it is going to favour those with skills that cannot be replicated by machines. Those softer, more elusive skills such as creativity and collaboration will become increasingly valued and demanded by employers.
Read our thoughts on the the future of work on Medium.
People achieve more when they're part of a peer group. Whether that means launching a project to prove their new capabilities, developing a close knit network of collaborators, daring to take new risks or all of the above, peer-led learning helps people to grow in confidence. Momentum multiplies between members of the group, followed by a multiplication of ideas and action.
Our vision is to see this multiplication happen not only between the individuals within a peer group, but between multiply groups undertaking Learning Marathons simultaneously. We would like to see the Learning Marathon become a global event, a new and decentralised infrastructure for lifelong learning that puts power into the hands of communities to make learning happen for themselves.
Peer-led approaches to learning not only create a dynamic, exploratory environment and lower the cost of learning, they also create wellbeing impacts which we are measuring through the Learning Marathon by asking participants to assess themselves during the process. Growing as a platform will enable us to replicate these impacts whilst providing access to learning to those who could not or would not want to learn in a formal, institutional setting. We'd like to see lifelong learning become more accessible to those who want to take part, allowing them to build the capabilities, relationships and wellbeing they need to flourish in the future.
"I didn't feel like apologising for anything I'd done and that was a big moment for me. I felt comfortable with the complexity of my project and able to stand up and talk about it"
- Ali Norrish, pilot participant
Find out more
Listen to us discuss how to learn as part of a community on the MetaLearn podcast.
Listen to us discuss five design questions with Rodrigo Bautista on the 21st Century Design podcast.
Listen to us introduce ourselves at the Alternative Art School Fair - on Clocktower Radio.