The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
Issue 6 | June 2021


"Seligman’s PERMA+ Model Explained: A Theory of Wellbeing"

As we enter the Summer months, many of us reflect on the year so far and take time to be with family and friends. This period can be an opportunity for growth, recovery, and rejuvenation. With this in mind, we wanted to focus on a few tools that can improve our well-being; whether that is hearing a time of rest or during our day-to-day lives.

We'll start with Martin Seligman's model of well-being, the PERMA+ Model. The model has five core areas: Positive emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, and Accomplishments. "The PERMA model makes up WBT, where each dimension works in concert to give rise to a higher-order construct that predicts the flourishing of groups, communities, organizations, and nations."

Check out this comprehensive blog piece that covers each concept that makes up the model, as well as ways you can adopt methods to improve your own well-being using the PERMA+ Model.

Engage with the Model



"Entrepreneurship, Self Organization, and Eudaimonic Well-Being: A Dynamic Approach"

We move onto a recent paper published by Nadav Shir and Carol D. Ryff emphasizing how entrepreneurial activity can increase our well-being.

With a focus on the self-directed nature of entrepreneurship, Shir and Ryff expand on our learning from the PERMA+ Model. 

"[They] define self-organization in entrepreneurship as the autonomous act of organizing goals, activities, and behaviors in pursuit of a personal vision, and further as the process of translating that vision (i.e., one’s vision of an ideal life and self, the way one wishes to live and exist in the world) into specific entrepreneurial goals and actions."

Therefore, the value-driven agency that we find among entrepreneurs is encouraging when considering fostering these skills in ourselves and others. Moreover, it would seem that the self-directed nature of pursuing our goals opens a sort of "spiritual freedom." This freedom elicits positive emotion, a sense of accomplishment, and meaning that are cornerstones of the PERMA+ Model.

So, Shir and Ryff's work shows us a brighter and more engaging way to view entrepreneurship. 

Get the Paper



"The U.S. Education System Isn’t Giving Students What Employers Need"

When we think about well-being in 2021, employment is likely high on the list for most of us. However, the pandemic has exposed various holes in our economic structures. Employers and workers feel short-changed from wage stagnation, health and safety concerns, infrastructure, and lack of talent. Some believe a significant factor to this is an education system (at least in the US) that has not kept pace. 

In this HBR article, we see statistics showing graduating students that feel underprepared. These statistics tell a story of an increasingly disenfranchised workforce; coupled with an education system that may not be able to pivot fast enough to meet new demands. 

While refocusing on vocational training prepares more students to enter the workforce quickly, it may not answer a more profound question. Once students enter the workforce, they will likely find that the skills they develop in school will not last long. But, bearing in mind the concepts we learned about in the PERMA+ Model and how they relate to the self-organized nature of entrepreneurship, we can see some possible solutions.

So, what can we do to create agile workers who are self-directed and resilient? Perhaps shifting our focus towards entrepreneurial skills is the answer. With this new emphasis, students can see gaps in their qualifications as growth opportunities rather than reasons not to apply.

What Do You Think?

"Pandemic-To-Permanent: 11 Lasting Changes To Higher Education"

Now let's turn to some predictions for the future of education due to the pandemic. While these are just that, predictions, we found some important things to reflect on in this piece.

Be it a push to all things virtual, non-degree learning, or pricing models that are severely out of date; the pandemic has brought the future of education forward in many ways. Moreover, as employment and employability concerns continue to rise, it seems that market shifts will force innovation and adaptation in education.

Gone may be the days of Ivy league schools dictating what quality education looks like. Yet, even these elite universities are not keeping pace in all areas. So, with new opportunities to innovate, when has there been a better time to prepare workers, learners, educators, and employers with the 21st-century skills we find in entrepreneurs?

Take a Look


Top of Mind  


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