I have just finished a learning marathon. A what? A learning marathon. What's that now? Well, according to Zahra Davidson, the founder of Enrol Yourself, a learning marathon is "a 6 month self-directed learning 'accelerator'. You pursue your goals from within a diverse, committed peer group - with access to the collective networks, skills and support."
I decided to apply to Enrol Yourself because I had just left Innovation Unit, and felt the need to spend some focused time on developing my design practice, but also because I feared the loneliness of being a freelancer.
I was not disappointed. There is true power in being surrounded by a supportive, creative community of interested people. Everyone else came to Enrol Yourself with an open mind and a hardworking mindset. Our motivations ranged from wanting to develop a new venture, to wanting to test a new project, or simply making time and space to reflect on an aspect of our career or practice.
I focused on what the role of design is in creating more hope and empathy in today's society. Through the 6 months, I explored storytelling as an approach for developing empathy, confidence and capabilities needed for participation in social action. Taking part in Enrol Yourself prompted me to start the Hope Rising podcast.