26 November 2018

Community and Service

Theory U, Conscious Capitalism and Global Wellbeing

During the past couple of weeks, I have been interested to read articles on two relatively new ideas of relevance to Service Learning at Scotch. The first is Otto Scharmer's work on 'Theory U' at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The theory suggests that, in order to create change on a deeper plain of awareness, we must first recognise the need for personally letting go of old judgements and attitudes while accepting new realities with an open heart and an open will to effect the change needed. It struck me that this is exactly what a Service Learning programme in schools should achieve. The model below combines Theory U concept with the Scotch College Service Model and diagrammatically illustrates a service learning journey from 'Downloading' through to 'Presencing' and on to 'Embodying'. The hope for Scotch is that, as boys move through the College, they experience this journey and become Servant Leaders with a drive for positive disruption and co-creating new ways of operating in the world.

Theory U

The second idea, which has been around for a while and is having some impact in the business world, is 'Conscious Capitalism'. The term expresses a desire among some business entities to positively impact on all their stakeholders and to create a culture among employees that makes them aware of the impact their habits and actions have on their organisation and their environment. 'Conscious Businesses' develop authentic leaders that do not exercise dominance and control to reach a goal, but who are of service to the business, its people, its customers and the community (Servant Leaders). Change can be profound if based on a genuine desire to focus on humanity and the role that we personally have in living that change. I am reminded of a quote attributed to Brisbane indigenous activist Lilla Watson from a speech she gave at the 1985 'Decade for Women Conference' in Nairobi:

"If you have come here to help me, you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together."

A noble aim of service is to truly understand the connection between self and others in thought and deeds.

The final idea that in some ways links the other two is 'Global Wellbeing'. This seeks to apply globally the Bhutanese, 'Gross National Happiness index' that measures, culture, governance, knowledge and wisdom, health, spirituality and psychological welfare, a balanced use of time, and harmony with the environment. There is a clear connection between undertaking service, and wellbeing, particularly if the service undertaken is done so with a sense of connection to the greater community and understanding of self.

It is interesting to note that Scotch College hosted six students from Bhutan during the 1970's - in Australia as part of the Colombo Plan. At least one of these OSC's is now a member of the Bhutanese government.

Round Square International Exchange to Jordan

Any Year 10 boys who would be interested in an exchange to Kings Academy in Jordan, should see me to discuss. We had a successful reciprocal exchange in the last academic year and it would be good to see this partnership continue.

Related to this, we have a boy - Paul - from Appleby College in Canada arriving on November 9. He will be staying in Boarding with Year 11 boys (Year 10's last term). This boy does not yet have a nominated family to support him in the six weeks that he will be with us. If you are in a position to be able to take Paul out on weekends to show him a little of Perth and the State, please me know.

Logging Service

There are a number of ways that service completed by boys in Senior School can be logged. Groups undertaking a service activity as part of a class or House initiative will generally have the service processed by the staff member concerned. Boys who have completed service individually on campus or service unrelated to school activities, should complete a Service Logging Form and return to Student Services - where hard copies of the forms are located.

Wheelchair Basketball Fundraiser

rio wchair

Last Thursday during lunchtime, leaving Year 12 boys from Anderson and Brisbane Houses competed in Wheelchair basketball. Money raised from a gold coin entry into the Gym to see the spectacle will be donated to the Wheelchair Sports Association. The Houses are also in a competition to see who can raise the most money through their respective House Everyday Hero accounts linked below. Please donate through these even though your boy may not be in either House.

wheelchair basketball

Quiz Night for Neuroblastoma

The fundraiser is part of the boys' participation in the IB Diploma Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) programme. The CAS programme seeks to develop the boys' understanding of themselves, the world around them and their place in it. This event represents the major service project in their 18-month CAS journey, combining advocacy and fundraising to improve awareness and understanding around neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is a life-threatening childhood cancer most commonly occurring between the ages of just zero to five years. In order to aid the support and research for those affected by this significant condition, a group of year 12 IB students have organised a family quiz night to raise awareness of Neuroblastoma. All proceeds of this fundraiser will be going to Neuroblastoma Australia and the Bright Blue Foundation. Hosted in the Scotch College Dickinson Centre on Saturday 3 December, this event will feature catering for dinner with non-alcoholic drinks, a quiz night with advocating guest speakers between rounds and prizes for winning tables, as well as a silent auction with a wide variety of items.

Tables can be chosen during booking online, with tickets priced at $35 individually or at a 10% discount at $315 for full table of 10 tickets.

We hope to see you and your families there on the Saturday, the 3rd of December (Week 8) from 6.00pm onwards to help support the cause.

To book tickets, please visit www.scotch.wa.edu.au and click on Book a Scotch College Event

Mr Bill Cordner

Director of Community and Service