ISBE Vice President November Blog

The ISBE 2019 conference is rapidly approaching. This is always one of the major highlights of my academic year and I’m looking forward to catching up with colleagues and friends and to exploring new research, practice, and policy insights.

I have attended ISBE conferences for over ten years now and I am excited every time when I arrive at the reception desk to register and get my conference experience officially started. The conference six years ago in Cardiff was particularly notable, however, as my name badge came with an additional shiny ribbon with ‘Board’ written on it for the first time. This year, it has struck me with regret that I’ll be ribbon-less. My term as an ISBE Trustee and Board member has finally come to an end.

I was first attracted to the ISBE conference as a route to present my research and obtain feedback on my enterprise and entrepreneurship education practice. I soon learned, however, that ISBE is more than ‘just’ a conference. It also played an important role in communicating the community’s work relating to small business and entrepreneurship, and gave members such as myself the opportunity to input into policy development. The latter aspect of ISBE’s work particularly appealed to me. I wanted to be more involved in driving the policy agenda and put myself forward for the ISBE Board as a result. I was extremely proud when I was successfully voted on.

ISBE responses to policy calls for evidence are very much reliant on contributions to the annual conference, special interest group events, and on individual responses to surveys ISBE put out asking for input on specific topics. As one of the Board members responsible for collating and submitting responses I would like to send my sincere thanks for your input.

In the past two years alone, you will see your input into ISBE seen in following policy reports. Other contributions by ISBE have been made through surveys, round table discussions, and formal and informal conversations with policy makers and organisations that share our values and goals.

Although I’ll no longer be on the ISBE Board, I intend to continue as an active member of the ISBE community and to be as strong a champion as I can for my personal passions of enterprise education and entrepreneurship support. I’ll miss my ‘Board’ name-badge ribbon this year, but I’ll be at the conference in Newcastle and hope to see you there. I also look forward to seeing you at future conferences – hopefully with a ribbon of your own on your name badge!

Dr Kelly Smith
ISBE Vice President for Education and Practitioner Learning

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