Peer Academy: Adults learning from each other to drive organisational & societal change

Peer Academy is experimenting with a new model of peer-to-peer learning. The goal is to bring together innovators and collaborators across Corporate, Government and Not For Profits who are passionate about accelerating change in their organisations.

Yesterday I enjoyed the company of a group of multi-talented individuals at the very first “how to host” session by Kylie Long from Peer Academy here in Melbourne. Peer Academy is a new start up collaboration between Onur Ekinci, Mark Hogan and Kylie Long with the aim of inspiring change through peer-to-peer learning. The intention is to respond to the need for skills sharing, rather than more traditional longer form approaches to education and training.

A program of fifteen workshop sessions has been launched as part of the Changemakers Festival, itself an exploration of the ideas, people, and technologies driving change, and an invitation for everyone to get involved in creating a better future. The fifteen sessions cover topics ranging from Placemaking, through personal branding through social media, to storytelling for change. The organisers are hoping to use Melbourne as a proving ground for a model that can be rolled out nationally and then globally.

The “how to host” session is, as the name suggests, designed as a taster for those of us who think we might want to run future sessions as part of Peer Academy. I was attracted for two reasons, first, in my new role I’m always looking for opportunities to explore new ways of doing things and to learn from others; secondly, my previous role with Bang the Table took me out of the networking and training loop for a few years, so I’m looking for ways to “get back on the horse”.

Kylie ran a great, necessarily fast-paced, two-hour session in which we designed and pitched our proposed sessions to all present. The pace really drove one to focus hard on the “pitch”. What are the learning outcomes? What are the specific skills that could be passed on? Who, specifically, would be interested? Why would they be interested? The aim was to develop an elevator pitch that the rest of the participants could happily buy into. Ideas presented ranged from Bio-mimicry to Art Therapy for planning a career change. My proposed session was on creating personal rapport to drive change. I was a great session. Kylie is an excellent facilitator and obviously has an enormous passion for the Peer Academy vision. I would encourage any Melbournites reading this to jump on board.

Photo credit: Stian Rødven Eide

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