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Why I want to help Rising Stars
By Ivan Baldwin, Business Development Manager, Nuvia Ltd.

Ivan Baldwin, Emma Pape, Geoff Hubbard, and Sarah Glass

STARS OF THE FUTURE: Ivan Baldwin from Nuvia Limited, which sponsors Rising Stars, higher level with teaching assistant Emma Pape, learning mentor Geoff Hubbard, and Sarah Glass from the Centre for Leadership Performance which has organised the Rising Stars competition. And some of the rising stars!

WHEN I heard that the Centre for Leadership Performance were looking for partners to support the Rising Stars programme in 2014 following its success in 2013, I practically fell over myself to get the company I work for on board.

The idea took me back to being seven years old, growing up in a small village in Lancashire, when I was convinced that I was going to set up my own version of Blackpool Pleasure Beach behind my house.

I even drew up a map and plan of the key attractions and tried to get my class mates to agree to run the ticket booth and attractions. You won't be surprised to learn that this idea didn't exactly take off and put my village on the map, but it did represent the wild-eyed imagination and enthusiasm that only young people can possess, where anything seems possible.

Or in my case it may have represented a few issues that needed to be addressed by a professional.

In West Cumbria it is no secret that we are the patrons of a nuclear legacy, a legacy which requires world class solutions and world class people to sort it out.

Recent investment by Toshiba in the proposed Moorside nuclear power plant is evidence that we are making progress however, the legacy is a challenge that will last a number of generations.

Capturing the imagination and encouraging the business flair of local young people, therefore, is a vital ingredient in ensuring that the industry is served by people who are made of the right stuff and who are able to think outside of the box.

While touring some of the local schools participating, I was reassured to see that our young people have business flair in spades.

They were excited and proud to share their novel ideas for making money which included bespoke jewellery design, tasty cupcakes, creating Faberge-style Easter eggs and even one who turned their school into a museum for paying visitors.

As well as making money for a great cause, seeing their business ideas become a reality gave the opportunity of the young people to develop an understanding of leadership and engage in discussion.

My abiding memory of the day was when my colleague from the Centre asked one group what they thought made a good leader and a young girl of nine years old replied: "Being tactful and sensitive".

To me this was remarkably insightful and made me confident in the quality of our future leaders. With this kind of emotional intelligence I'm hopeful that the young girl in question might be my boss one day.

West Cumbria Learning, May 2014

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