David Cameron introduced the event and reminded participants that this was an opportunity to challenge ourselves, and our way of regarding education.
Karen Lawson gave an overview of the festival achievements so far 30 events, almost half delivered by partner orgnaisations. over 1000 people attending from Thurso to Ayr and 3 college regions deliver events as part of their merger strategy. Karen also gave an overview of some of the major themes arising from festival events so far:
1. Without Walls: both metaphorical and physical walls that constrain how we provide learning opportunities. This could be outdoor learning, gaming and also the walls we create that restrict our thinking and ability to be creative in practice.
2. The focus on employability and essential skills - should we now be focussing on the skills young people need to be employers, to be able to create, innovate and manage their lives.
3. The need for youth work skills training for all teachers and lecturers - how to engage with young people and keep the passion for young people's potential alive.
4. What success and failure mean, and an assessment system and assessment criteria that limit learning.
5. Our own personal and professional power to take risks, try out new ideas - not waiting for permission, but also the type of leadership that builds on peoples capacity to innovate.
Gillian Hunt from City of Edinburgh Council and Diarmuid McAuliffe for UWS gave overviews of their events and why they had become involved in the festival. Gillian talked openly about the taboo subject of touching children and the interest that the event had created, while Diarnuid discussed the intervention of walking, drawing and extending sites of learning as necessary to counteract learning in isolation and in silos.
We had two rounds of dynamic trading from a very mixed group of merchants (see Merchant's Guide) and photos who persuaded and exchanged ideas for dangerous dollars.
The winners from the Merchants were Sense over Sectarinism, Rownbank Environment Education
and Angus College.
One of the highlights of this year's festival was A Walk On the Wildside and Creative leaders for the walk, Paul Gorman gave a challenging account of what was dangerous about the walk and challenged us as participants to think differently and creatively., while Matthew Sowerby shared his first attempts at making a film about the walk - See Walk On the Wildside blog for further Information.
The finale to the day at the Emporium came with the auction of dangerous ideas: