Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Sharing learning across the third sector

Today, I am delighted to be launching the Academy – sharing learning across the third sector.  This new initiative has been a long time coming: since I first discussed the concept with David Elder nearly three years ago, the model has changed twice, funding partners have come and gone, but at last, today, the company I incorporated last year finally gets off the ground.  The launch event is being held this afternoon at founder member Sense Scotland’s TouchBase facility in Glasgow.

The Academy is a not-for-profit social enterprise, a co-operative consortium, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland.  It’s also an expression of the “shared academy” model I blogged about in February of last year.  The company is incorporated as The Academy for Shared Learning Limited, but will trade as The Academy, with the strapline ‘sharing learning across the third sector’.

The Academy is first of all a marketplace for charities, social enterprises, community organisations and individuals involved in the third sector, to buy and sell learning services.  Secondly, it’s a means for its members to network, collaborate, and share resources and opportunities.  It’s a partnership model for charities and others to work together, access high value services, generate income, and co-operate for mutual success.

To begin with, the Academy is offering a range of courses, e-learning and publications such as workbooks, developed and sold by its members.  All the proceeds go directly to the members themselves.  Over time, we expect to extend the range of learning services, and feature collaborative services from more than one member.

Membership is open to anyone who shares the Academy’s aims, so not just charities and not just those in Scotland.  Anyone who values the contribution of the third sector, and especially its expertise and ethos in learning and development, would benefit from membership, including local authorities and other public bodies, individuals, and other organisations involved in similar services.  And many of the Academy’s services, including e-learning and printed publication, reach well beyind Scotland.

More information is available at the Academy’s website.  You can join the Academy at
I hope to blog further with updates about the Academy’s growth and progress.  Let me know what you think.

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