Becoming a change activist

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Over 1,500 people are making a change by joining this year’s School for Health and Care Radicals. These change activists are going to learn how to rock the boat, but stay in it.

Run by NHS Improving Quality, the School is entirely based online, is completely free, is backed by the world's largest health organisation: the UK's National Health Service (NHS), and is a platform for radicals to learn together, using powerful, guided learning which also qualifies for Continuing Professional Development points.

The School for Health and Care Radicals is a free, five-week virtual learning programme for change activists in health and care and the first lesson will be taking place today (30 January 2015), between 9.30 and 11am (GMT), with catch up sessions available on the internet for those unable to attend the live lessons.

We spoke to some of this year’s pupils via a Twitter chat to ask them why they have joined the school and what they hope to get from their studies.

When we first asked what they are all most excited about, they told us ‘each other’: that they were looking forward to connecting with the diverse group of people taking part. Mixing up who takes part allows them to get a kaleidoscope view and a bigger picture. It’s also an opportunity for pupils to share their own knowledge and experiences. They are excited to be connecting to other like-minded people, across the globe, which they feel is crucial in building a 'radical' movement. They hope to build a virtual network of people to support, motivate and inspire each other to keep rocking. Some pupils talked about forming an army of radicals, ‘ready to break "ranks", to meet in the minefield between bunkers where they will help one another across.’

We asked the students what are they most looking forward to learning at the school. Answers included that they were really excited to identify more effective routes to innovation and change; to learn about effective ways to inspire, lead and evaluate change, they are looking for insight into theories and proven practical methods of change; experiences of crowd sourcing and its impact on engaging with diverse audiences, and what to do when the going gets tough.

Michael Goodeve (@MichaelGoodeve) told us ‘I'm hoping the #SHCR will help me work in different ways; to open my mind to smarter and more creative ways to get the job done’.

Students told us that what they would most like to get from the course is to be inspired, and to learn how to be brave in making change happen: One student tweeted that she is excited for this course and is hoping that she can improve her confidence around speaking out, learn about rolling with resistance, and to be inspired!’ They also want to ‘hear about some cool stuff and ideas.’

When we asked them to describe in three words how they feel about taking part in the school, they told us they are eager, anxious, intrigued,  inspired, ready, raring-to-go and most of all, ‘excited!’

The programme contains five modules over five weeks between 9:30 and 11:00 am GMT:
  • 30 January - Module 1. Being a health and care radical: change starts with me
  • 06 February - Module 2. Building alliances for change
  • 13 February - Module 3. Rolling with resistance
  • 20 February - Module 4. Making change happen
  • 27 February - Module 5. Moving beyond the edge.
If you would like to register for the school or would like to know more, visit the School for Health and Care Radicals website: www.theedge.nhsiq.nhs.uk/school.
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