12 August 2022 at 2:44 pm

PIF Recipient: Te Kaihau Ltd

Global citizenship and sustainable development are at the heart of a new education initiative from a New Zealand organisation on a mission to develop leaders who embrace diversity and can work across cultures. 

Te Kaihau Education

Te Kaihau Ltd, based in the Hutt Valley, is the organisation behind the Global Enterprise Experience (GEE), a well-known social enterprise proposal competition. For years, GEE has brought together eight-person virtual teams from around the world. Their challenge: to work together on a six-page business case for a profitable, self-funding business venture that addresses a United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and can get off the ground with limited capital. 

In 2022 alone, GEE placed 1,100 participants from 131 universities and 98 other organisations across 72 countries onto global teams. Although many participants are tertiary students studying business or other courses, GEE teams are open to anyone, anywhere in the world, looking for a cross-cultural challenge. 

From a highly successful foundation, Te Kaihau Ltd is planning to upgrade the Global Enterprise Experience into an even more impactful programme that builds lifelong links between Kiwis and emerging global learners, while making a real contribution to sustainable development. Thanks to an award of funding from the International Education Product Innovation Fund, managed by Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao (ENZ), the upgraded GEE programme is on the way to becoming a reality. 

The new ‘GEE Peer-Leader Plus’ programme is designed to supercharge the impact of the existing programme, which already develops an impressive set of skills in its participants: cross-cultural communication, teamwork, entrepreneurship and innovation to name a few. 

Future GEE learners who opt into GEE Peer-Leader Plus will benefit from one-on-one leadership coaching, peer-group interactive webinars, online learning modules, and a microcredential in peer-leadership which will be assessed on performance. 

 As Te Kaihau Ltd explains, the upgraded programme aims to transform learners into peer-leaders. Instead of being passive recipients of knowledge, peer-leaders step up to make a difference where they can, no matter their ‘designated role’ in a workplace or other organisation. Peer-leaders are confident, can influence others, are action oriented, and can support designated leaders to make change. 

A deeper, more immersive learning experience through the GEE Peer-Leader Plus programme will also leave learners in a better position to bring their sustainable business concept to life, or take other meaningful action on the UN SDGs. 

Woven throughout the new learning experience is a uniquely New Zealand theme, which draws attention to New Zealand’s efforts on sustainable development and positions New Zealand as a leader in ‘manaaki leadership’, which uplifts and supports the mana of others. 

To complement the upgraded GEE experience, a microcredential will be developed and offered to universities and other education providers. A microcredential – a short course that offers certification on completion – recognises achievement in a specific set of skills, competencies, and knowledge. The GEE Peer-Leader Plus microcredential will provide a way for education providers to incorporate peer-leadership into their international-focussed course offerings. 

Over time, and using the GEE Peer-Leader Plus microcredential as a stepping stone, Te Kaihau Ltd hopes to build a full qualification in global leadership and innovation by 2025, with the GEE Peer-Leader Plus experience serving as one module. With GEE participants coming from 800 universities around the world, Te Kaihau Ltd has built a valuable network of learners and education providers. Now, with support from ENZ and the International Education Product Innovation Fund, the stage is set for the New Zealand-led GEE programme to supercharge its impacts, building peer-leaders around the world with the skills and capability to take action for a better future. 

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