After a fun day on 25 March, reported above, we had a free night, so I went to the theatre with 7 of the other fellows. Good to see me moving outside my comfort zone, n’est-ce pas??!! We had a later start on Wednesday and had a great session with Viveca Novak of factcheck.org, which bascially checks what candidates are saying during the campaign and highlights the inaccurate, the misleading and the downright wrong. It really got the group going and we had some heated discussions. She seemed to enjoy it, but the Eisenhower people seemed a little taken aback!
After lunch we went on site visits to 3 different places and I was on the team that went to the Enterprise Center, a business incubator and entrepreneurship training centre in West Philadelphia, an area with high poverty and a large African-American community. It was great to see what they’re doing and hear about this community involvement – plus they’re based in the original American Bandstand studio! Having said that, there was a more social/community element than would be the case for the kind of start-ups or incubators we’d be looking at in science and research. One very interesting idea came out of it. The Enterprise Center has teamed up with local schools to design business studies curricula and to help deliver those to a certain extent. How much more people would get into science if doing chemistry included working with research scientists in a company, or at a university?
After the site visits, we had another reception, which was our first chance to meet the Fellows going from the US around the world, and that was continued this morning, when they officially introduced themselves. 2 will be going to the EU, one from the Mass. office of refugees and immigrants and one from Boeing. So be warned, people, you may have me approaching you to talk to these people later in the year!
Our last session this morning was with Michael Useem of the Wharton School at Penn U, looking at leadership. Very inspiring, well-run session, and well-designed for such a diverse range of backgrounds as we have. I still can’t get my head round this idea of being an “emerging leader” but who am I to argue??!!
Forgot to mention that I also did a podcast for the 2007 Fellows’ website. You can come and listen if you fancy a laugh!
I should mention why this is called Marmite. I contacted Tiffany, my Programme Officer before I came over, because two months without Marmite seemed impossible – and she found me some! Had it on my bagel this morning and it was a lovely little taste of home. As I said in my last post, EF teaches you about yourself and where you come from and it’s amazing how comforting as Marmite on toast can be!