Dec 4, 2007

European Jamat prepares for the knowledge society

European Jamat prepares for the knowledge society

In a rapidly growing knowledge society, lifelong learning and cross-border collaboration are becoming integral to success in today's meritocratic world. The Jamat needs to build upon its diverse resources in order to take advantage of the many opportunities and address the challenges presented by globalisation.
The Ismaili Council for the European Union (ICEU) has embraced the challenges and opportunities of the information society and has instituted programmes in order to assist the European Jamat in engaging with a changing knowledge-based world. Currently, the ICEU has programmes in the key areas of lifelong learning and enterprise development.
Lifelong learning
The ICEU Lifelong Learning programme aims to promote shared and continuous learning, to develop the personal and economic potential of individuals, and to encourage a greater social conscience and active citizenship within the larger European community. Currently, the ICEU provides a framework for the Jamat's lifelong learning through an accreditation process with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE).
Tasneem Virani, Director of the ICEU Lifelong Learning programme, explains that "lifelong learning is a process that needs to be nurtured and guided, with continuous support and recognition." The ICEU Lifelong Learning programme provides this support through on-going workshops and peer mentoring. In addition, all participants in the programme complete an evaluative assignment prior to receiving their certificate from LSE that allows them to reflect upon how the programme has encouraged them to continue in their journey of learning.
Enterprise development
The ICEU Euroventures programme promotes a culture of collaboration within the businesses and professional sections of the European Jamat, and beyond. The Euroventures Business stream acts as a catalyst to encourage entrepreneurs to explore joint investment projects and to achieve economic growth through targeted partnerships. The Euroventures Professionals stream aims at creating an enabling environment for professionals to network, share experience, knowledge, and best practices, and find areas of common interest to achieve professional growth and career development.
Arif Devji, Director of the ICEU Euroventures programme, notes "collaboration between members of the Jamat across European national borders is key to the success of Ismaili businesses and professionals in the continent." In light of this, the programme has and will continue to introduce several projects, including the proposed Euroventures Online portal and the Euroventures Conference recently held at the Ismaili Centre Lisbon (26-28 October 2007), which facilitate networking among professionals and entrepreneurs.
These ICEU programmes are examples of avenues through which the Jamat can take advantage of the opportunities presented by today's knowledge society. With the ever-increasing trend towards globalisation and meritocracy, learning and collaboration become instrumental to the continued progress of the community worldwide.

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