More than 500 education professionals from all over Brazil participated, in July, in the International Seminar on Entrepreneurial Education in Belo Horizonte. The event, held by Sebrae through the Sebrae Entrepreneurship Education Reference Centre (CER), was a milestone for Sebrae system as a whole. “Entrepreneurship is an important topic for us. Sebrae believes that it is possible to learn to undertake, and the sooner one learns, the better. This Seminar is the first major event at CER and the beginning of a dialogue about the future”, said Heloísa de Menezes, president of CER.
Among the panelists were national and international speakers such as the philosopher Viviane Mosé, the director of the Ayrton Senna Institute, Mozart Neves Ramos, the Portuguese educator José Pacheco and professor Andrew Zacharakis, from Babson College (Boston / USA), as well as entrepreneurs such as Felipe Gómez Arbeláez, María Luján Tubio and Kdu dos Anjos.
Challenges of a new era
Throughout the day, they discussed the approaches of entrepreneurship in the world, the challenges of a new educational model, and the need for a way of teaching that goes beyond the preparation for the labor market, but has the power to transform individuals and communities. “We need to teach our youth to deal with a world that is becoming a world of work, not a world of employment anymore,” said Heloísa.
In a provocative presentation, professor Fábio Mariano Borges, of ESPM, drew attention to the challenges of education in postmodernity, especially for issues related to gender identity. “Are we really embracing the future or only the future that we find comfortable?”, asked Fábio. “Either we take on the spirit of the 21st century, or we’ll continue to mimic the twentieth-century zombies.”
Among the participants were teachers and educators from the most diverse fields, as well as professionals from Sebrae and other institutions from all over Brazil. Thiago Oliveira, director of the education department of Itaúna Chamber of Commerce, said that in addition to the immediate applicability of the content of the panels, CER platform is an important tool to foster entrepreneurial culture. “It’s a way of bringing entrepreneurship more easily into the countryside, which often stands far from the mainstream discussions. Sebrae is providing accessibility to a very relevant theme”, he commented.
Exchanging experiences and learning
In addition to the theoretical discussion, the seminar was marked by the exchange of experiences and practices about entrepreneurial education. María Luján Tubio, for instance, spoke about Casa do Presente, a school designed by her and co-created by the students, that offers complementary education with the purpose of awakening creativity, developing talents and reconnecting young people with their life purposes.
Kdu dos Anjos presented the art education project Lá da Favelinha Cultural Center, which serves children and young people from the community of Cafezal in Belo Horizonte, with English classes, capoeira and hip hop workshops, as well as other regular cultural events.
“Events like this are really powerful. And it’s not so much for what happens upon stage with the speakers, but mostly for what happens when each of us interact within the event and share our thoughts and impressions upon those speeches and activities. Convening people together is a great way to create new networks and new ideas”, concluded professor Andrew Zacharakis, of Babson College.