The power of peer groups - RSA

The power of peer groups

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  • Fellowship in Action

Enrol Yourself is a start-up providing lifelong learning with a difference.

Instead of lectures and traditional teacher-student dynamics, the peer group is at the heart of the learning process. Peer groups are all about bringing people together to learn and support one another, creating a ‘commons’ of knowledge, momentum, experience and resources.

RSA Fellow Zahra Davidson is co-founder and Director of Enrol Yourself. The company was named ‘One to Watch’ by the RSA Future Work Awards in 2019 and was part of the RSA Economic Security Impact Accelerator for purpose-driven start-ups.

 Now, 3.5 years later, Enrol Yourself is on the next part of their exciting journey. 

Enrol Yourself have a proven 6 month process for peer-led learning called the Learning Marathon. Through this process, learners are able to develop professionally and personally whilst also forming new relationships. 

Participants often go on to spread peer-to-peer principles and approaches within their work, their projects and their personal lives.

For example, Janice Johnson who developed her own project Eating with Elephants through her Learning Marathon. Eating with Elephants is a supper club powered by stories. Each guest is able to share a story of their own over the course of the evening, making the entertainment for the evening peer-led.

The pandemic provoked the Enrol Yourself team to really reflect on their practice and the ‘craft’ of bringing peer groups to life and sustaining them. They call it Huddlecraft.

This idea is at the centre of Enrol Yourself’s new ‘field guide to pollinating peer groups’, a guide to what makes peer learning so impactful. Read Huddlecraft.

What’s next? For their 2021 Learning Marathons, Enrol Yourself have launched a crowdfunding campaign to offer free places to those affected by Covid-19. The Abundancy Fund aims to raise £15,000 to provide 20 free places. The fund is open until 15th December.

To make sure these places can reach people who will benefit the most, Enrol Yourself has created bursaries, in partnership with 9 organisations whose communities have been impacted by Covid-19. 

They include:

  • AC Diversity Bursary for young black Londoners and black men
  • Amaliah Bursary for women of colour
  • CoachBright Bursary for student volunteers
  • Hustle Crew Bursary for a black woman or non-binary person on the Unravelling Time Learning Marathon
  • Institute for the Future of Work Bursary for the people of Grimsby
  • Leeds Beckett University Personal Development Bursary for recent graduates facing hardship in the current climate
  • More in Common Bursary for community activists, offered by the Jo Cox Foundation
  • Street Space Bursary for the people of Barking and Dagenham
  • The Ubele Initiative Bursary for black people and people of colour 

Take a look at all of 2021’s Learning Journeys including programmes themed around leadership, business as a force for change, and creating regenerative change.

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