Almost two weeks have passed, but memories are still fresh!
September 9th, 2013 – a day like any other really, except I got to meet for the first time “in the flesh” 49 extraordinary people, all on the same day, and all in a single room! Granted, the room was not too big, but the energy and excitement as we got to know each other, shaking hands or finally pulling those virtual hugs into the real universe, was unbelievable.
These forty-nine “students”, seasoned managers, board-room veterans, serial or aspiring entrepreneurs, from all walks of life, were representing all five continents (sorry Antarctica, we’re still waiting for your representative!), and a staggering thirty (30!) countries. It is difficult to describe in words, and even more difficult to imagine, the richness of the interaction and the dynamics of such a special group. A biased population, for sure, driven by the desire to grow better.
As the week progressed and we delved deeper into matters pertaining to research ethics, and quality of research, we also took great care to nourish and develop social relations, in places traditionally suitable for debate, such as pubs, restaurants and cafés, and to be honest, for me this is almost without exception the most interesting part of such a residency – discovering the people. As big a supporter of online education as I am (being actively involved in it!), the added value of face-to-face interaction, for even the briefest of times, to me is invaluable. And Tim agrees!
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It would not be fair to leave out the exceptional team from our partner York St John University, who have done an amazing job of catering to all our needs, academic or logistic, and have done so with style. George and Irene, Sarah, Leanne and Natalie, thank you!