Reflection on ILW 2016 theme – Ideas in Play

For the first time, we are curating Innovative Learning Week around a theme. After a lively summer of Open ILW and the creation of a new manifesto for our work alongside our partners (and critics) – it was clear that the process is often more valuable than the final product.

After countless coffees, emails, interviews and a workshop – Ideas in Play emerged as a theme. We thought it was general enough to be up for interpretation and inspire different disciplines and communities to explore it from angles.

We want to curate a programme that invites staff and students to play, make mistakes, design & deliver ideas which could be prototyped during the week. By focusing on the process – it’s not just about preparing for one event, but about what we can learn leading up to the event and what it teaches us that can grow and move past the Festival.

We also felt strongly about including an element of play into the conversation of innovation and learning.  Oftentimes, play is seen as something that isn’t productive but events which included components of hands-on imagination and creativity over the past few years were often the most successful and had the most impact.

We are trying to embrace the Ideas in Play ethos through the organisation of ILW as well.  Our design is all handmade and we have learned a great deal from the process of creation – not just producing flyers and graphics.  The Handbook is full of tools which we will be prototyping throughout the year at our Meet-ups and hopefully, by our event organisers.  The Handbook itself is the first of its kind so we look forward to learning how that helps our community build more communities.

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