• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Paul Tosey Nigel Biggs Spinder Dhaliwal Graham Robinson

Page history last edited by Norman Jackson 13 years, 8 months ago

Surrey Team Enterprise Project  (STEP)


How did it all start?

Over the summer of 2008, Graham and Sandra Robinson took six months out to travel around Scandinavia and Eastern Europe in a motorhome. They happened to mention their trip to Arie de Geus, UK President and co-founder of the Society for Organisational Learning (of which Graham is a member).


Arie advised them that they should visit the Finnish city of Jyväskylä where, he said, they would discover an amazing school for young entrepreneurs, which is part of the city's Technological University - the Team Academy. His co-founder of SoL, Peter Senge, has described the Team Academy as showing, "the future of management education".


Graham and Sandra spent a day at Team Academy and were amazed, not only by the programme that is based on teams of students who learn about business by running their own businesses, but also by their confidence, enthusiasm and maturity. On their return to the UK they have been working, with others, to see the Team Academy model adopted here in the UK.


He told Paul Tosey and the two of them investigated further, and put in for a SCEPTrE fellowship.


Cue Spinder and Nigel, the entrepreneurial talent within the University.  Both passionate about student entrepreneurship, they were keen to get involved.


Surrey Team Enterprise Project  (STEP) was formed involving Paul Tosey, Nigel Biggs, Spinder Dhaliwal, Arie de Geus, Graham Robinson.


The first step was to taste the Team Academy experiences.  So three innocents, Paul, Spinder and Nigel, headed for the sub zero charms of Finland and little did they know their journey was about to begin.


TA Presentation



HEEG funding

 The Surrey Team Enterprise Project has also successfully received funding from HEEG


Project : An exploration of the use of student-run real businesses in the region, the UK and internationally as the learning for all or part of the award of a university degree and how this innovative approach could dramatically improve student-centred entrepreneurship learning in the UK


This Surrey Team Enterprise Project will examine the experiences of HE institutions in the region, in the UK and internationally who use student-run real businesses as part or all of the evaluation and award of a degree.


The aim is to create a consortium of interested enterprise educators, businesses and organisations (such as the Society for Organisational Learning SOL UK), to learn and share best practice internationally and also to stimulate institutional passion (if that is not an oxymoron) for innovation to develop entrepreneurship education to include "learning by doing" in real long-term student-run businesses.


The Team Academy Finland

is an innovative and successful approach to entrepreneurial, knowledge-based business education pioneered in Jyväskylä, Finland in 1993 (Leinonen, Partanen, & Palviainen 2004).


The social and economic trigger for its development was the ‘double whammy’ experienced in Jyväskylä after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the city’s manufacturing industries’ major source of revenues, and the fact that in 1993 the Finnish economy was in the midst of a deep recession. Unemployment of young people was particularly high.


The Academy is now a largely self-funded, nationally accredited degree awarding institution within the Finnish Educational system. Over 30% of the businesses generated by the 800+ students who have graduated from it over the past 16 years are still trading profitably and some 60% of its graduates have continued to be engaged in entrepreneurial, start up businesses.


Peter Senge (MIT, founder of the Society for Organizational Learning) has described The Team Academy as representing ‘the future of business education and learning’. Team Academy has caught the imaginations of SOL-UK members and is strongly supported by Arie de Geus, president of SOL-UK and former director of strategic planning at Shell.


The Team Academy approach involves students in creating and running real businesses. It facilitates experiential learning by its students, through applying the ideas of Senge and others on organizational learning and on the knowledge creation theories of Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi. It eschews a traditional, teacher-centred approach in favour of a learning partnership emphasising experiential learning supported and facilitated by coaches, with an emphasis on action, enterprise, and capability development.


Leinonen, N., Partanen, J., & Palviainen, P. 2004, The Team Academy: A True Story of a Community That Learns by Doing PS-kustannus, Jyväskylä, Finland.


Team Academy (Finland): http://www.tiimiakatemia.net/index.php


Team Academy Finland 


YouTube plugin error


Finland Video for SCEPTrE Fellowship Fair!


YouTube plugin error


Experience the Future of Enterprise Education:The ‘Team Academy’ Model

18th-19th March 2010,


The team wanted others to share this experience and so a two day workshop was arranged facilitated by Finland Team Academy. 


The delegates, students and staff, were thrown in the deep end. They were divided in teams and sent on a mission to come up with a business idea.

Day 1: 


An experience of Team Academy in action: a day for Surrey students and staff


Facilitated by Team Academy (Finland) and Surrey Team Enterprise Project



Team 1:  Teamtent


The first team came up with an idea for hiring a tent on campus.  It would inspire businesses and students to come up with exciting ideas and could also be used for entertainment.

The team were 

  • Entertaining
  • The team(tent) was beautiful
  • There was emphasis on The espirit of Surrey!!


Team 2

The second team had a social conscience and came up with  - A charity ”watcher” (where the money goes)

  • Their concept was to have a website for all the charity sector which enable them to be transparent


Team 3

The third team were fit and healthy cycling enthusiasts who wanted to

Make Surrey a better place.   They wanted to create cycling guide, map and application for Surrey. They had done their research and would work with the City Council, tourist centre and produce a brochure.


The three teams came back enthusuastic, energised and loving the Team Academy experience.


The process involved everyone and it actually started to grow outside the group.

The sense of uncertainty. The deadline created leadership and a strong team focus.


The conversations created trust at the beginning of the process.


The delegates foound it:


Inspiring, different, energetic, entertaining, building on experiences and input, ping, Empowerment of a team, reaffirming, stimulating, proactive and doing instead of sitting, enthusiasm, developement of contribution, reaching for the stars, working with a team, this is why Microsoft started from a garage, Proud of our contribution, easier to generate ideas with a team, inspiring others with your ideas, self discovery.


Day 2:  


A day for external and internal stakeholders

In the morning, groups generated ideas about a wide range of ways in which the Team Academy philosophy/model can be applied; not only at the University of Surrey but also in Further Education, schools, business, the not-for profit sector, and more.




Society of Orgnisational Learning (SoL)


In late 2009, SoL-UK decided, as its main programme, to put its energies and resources behind the development and implementation of the Team Academy approach in the UK, not only in Universities but in Colleges of Further Education, within in-company programmes and elsewhere. It is establishing a Limited Liabilty Partnership (LLP) to co-operate with others (including the

University of Surrey and the Team Academy in Jyväskylä) to help realise this aim.



The Project Team

 The four members of the project team bring together expertise and related national networks in teaching and learning, enterprise education, and business practice. Paul Tosey has experience of developing an innovative Master's programme and of leading a national HE project - Learning to Learn. Graham Robinson has experience of research and development in curricula at Ashridge and at the Institute of Social Studies in the Netherlands, and in the introduction of innovative in-company management development processes within several large international organisations, both as a company director and a business development consultant. He is a director of the Society for Organizational Learning - UK. Nigel Biggs has founded two companies, is Chairman of the Surrey Enterprise Hub, which supports early stage pioneering businesses and, as the University's entrepreneur-in-residence, actively supports enterprising students. Spinder Dhalwal leads the Entrepreneurship modules in the Faculty of Management and Law, is an active participant in BMAF, a national special interest group on entrepreneurial learning, and is a Vice President of ISBE (the Institute for Small Business and Entrepreneurship).


The team members have a 2009 SCEPTrE Fellowship for this project and recently hosted a lunch for Arie de Geus, President of the Society for Organizational Learning - UK who is a pioneer in the field of organizational learning and who has close links with teh Team Academy in Finland and its development globally, and is strongly supporting the work of the team at Surrey.

Dr Paul Tosey, Senior Lecturer, School of Management, University of Surrey and National Teaching Fellow (2007), P.Tosey@surrey.ac.uk


Dr Graham Robinson, Visiting Research Fellow, School of Management, and Society for Organizational Learning (SOL) UK, grahamrobinson@serob.gotadsl.co.uk


Nigel Biggs, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, University of Surrey, nigel@passionateinnovation.com


Dr Spinder Dhaliwal, Lecturer in Entrepreneurship, School of Management, University of Surrey, S.Dhaliwal@surrey.ac.uk


See the SCEPTrE Fellowship project Wiki: via http://sceptrefellows.pbworks.com/




Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.