Leonardo Award

Leonardo Crossing Borders: Critical Scrutiny and new approaches

Caroline Jenner

Leonardo “Crossing Borders” puts an emphasis on outstanding new developments that provoke and fundamentally challenge predominant mind-sets with an effect on corporate learning. The laureate 2011, Jimmy Wales, and his Wikipedia team, showed how important this topic is to the future of corporate learning. Professor Sugata Mitra, the first laureate in this category, gives proof of how to nourish potential and how to increase influence in media and in other modes of dissemination of good learning using advanced technology and daring discourses, be it the “Hole in the Wall” or “Granny´s Cloud”.

and in other modes of dissemination of good learning using advanced technology and daring discourses, be it the “Hole in the Wall” or “Granny´s Cloud”. Last year´s laureate Gary Copitch and his initiative “People´s Voice Media” has taken citizens learning to new heights by leading the way to giving disenfranchised communities a real voice.

Excerpt of the explanatory statement of the Leonardo Ambassadors:

“We are very pleased that this year the members of the Leonardo International Advisory Board became aware of a further different but most impressive initiative, which is fully in line with the spirit of “Leonardo”: JA-YE Europe, overseen personally by you as a most devoted CEO.
It was through the efforts of our Danish Leonardo ambassador, Søren B. Henriksen, and his colleague Christian Vintergaard, that we learned more about the manifold activities, the magnificent professional network, the interplay of entrepreneurial advancement for the young, and the raising of their societal and social awareness. JA-YE is a wonderful example of how businesses, institutions, foundations and individuals can be animated to be enthusiastic contributors towards providing young people with the experiences and skills needed to make them responsible co-creators of a global economy full of inspiring challenges but nevertheless often threatened by turmoil and the questionable conduct of decision makers. Your programs provide a well-balanced approach to addressing basic entrepreneurial skills by means of mentoring, for example through “Leaders for a Day”, as well as encouraging partnership programs for social enterprises. These initiatives are far from the green-washing practices observed in so many of today’s companies to meet the demands of an ever more conscious public. Your JA-YE Social Enterprise Programme brings together communities with the individuals you help to become ambitious social entrepreneurs.

Within the context of an award in the category of “Crossing Borders”, we inevitably also had to consider JA-YE Enterprise without Borders (EwB), which is designed to give students the opportunity of creating international cross-border partnerships. Integrating playful and fun JA-YE experiences through the initiation of entrepreneurial "dating games", in which teachers and schools can upload their company profiles and share good ideas in a multifaceted business-world designed by themselves, was an aspect that particularly impressed the experts in the area of Corporate Learning.

These are only a small part of all the activities run by JA-YE Europe in a variety of different countries with their specific learning and entrepreneurial culture. We also wish to make it clear that by presenting you this award, we not only wish to honor your achievements as the CEO of a particularly prominent organization with a great impact on European Corporate Learning, but also wish to express our deep admiration for your personal, tireless dedication as a mindful as well as passionate public advocate of these concerns.

By taking part in the debate through intriguing articles, such as “Nurturing a Culture for Social Contribution through Entrepreneurship Education”, you have put yourself at the forefront of a select group of individuals intent on co-designing a society that is more beneficial to its members.

The international advisory board sees your work and the impact of JA-YE Europe as a fulfillment of Leonardo’s spirit to which the prize feels obliged.“