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Date 24.09.2015
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George Bouvier


George Bouvier, Executive Director ACADEMIA CEREBRA, London-Manchester-Florence

“Educating the mind without educating the heart is no education at all.”

A comprehensive, responsible and far-reaching system of education caters to the needs of the creative student at a level that goes beyond that of merely transmitting Subject-based material and then assessing its assimilation. This model of education, first established in the 19th century, has benefitted from a number of upgrades and improvements in the past couple of decades, but these largely focused on improvements in the organisation of the taught material and clarity in the articulations of teaching Strategy, Aims and Objectives and the congruent use of assessment methods and never really touching the foundations of that educational model.

Yet the need for a more inspired paradigm, one that feeds the whole student in a manner that is responsive to his needs, the needs of his chosen field and more broadly the needs of the society have never been better. The incidences of creative fashion professionals, including those who experienced great success in their field, but whish nevertheless suffered catastrophic downfalls on a personal level have steadily increased acting as confirmations that something deeper, closer to the foundations of the whole system is amiss.

More than 100 years of technological revolutions, ever-narrowing subject specialisation and a more globalised economy forced us to think about our role –up to now- as conduits to field expertise and skills development. At present, the Web and its increasing volume in terms of Content make it possible to find field-specific material (academic papers, conference presentations, even entire books) online, making them accessible 24/7, convenient and accessible and in way that is no match for classroom-disseminated Content. And just as Fashion brands have to rethink of how Retail spaces are being used with the advent of online shopping, similarly, we must now question what happens in the class since co much Content is increasingly available electronically. Ultimately, we must face the question: what will be the emerging face of non-online education?

Parallel to technological pressures, an ever narrowing trend for subject specialisation and the need to offer “value for money” to students increases pressure on shortening our courses. “To the expense of what?” is the question.
As we scramble hard to maintain our standards, the first thing to be squeezed out is looking after the cognitive capacity of our students and their mental well-being. This presentation shows how science is beginning to finally point out WHY excluding cognitive and emotional training is detrimental to our students and their future careers. It highlights the need to take into account “the whole person” with examples of how this can be done. And how by doing so, it hints at how Education widens its scope to embrace the whole human being once again.

Keywords: sophisticated economic production systems, field specialisation, cognitive management, emotional management, small teams, international students, mental health and creativity.


George BouvierGeorge Bouvier is the Executive Director of Academia Cerebra – a multidisciplinary education consultancy for the creative industries- and a senior academic with nearly 30 years’ experience in the fashion industry.

He has worked with a number of well-known fashion brands (including Yves St. Laurent, Giorgio Armani and Vivienne Westwood) and has been an advisor to the European Commission in Brussels on the luxury fashion industry since 2006.

He has held a number of senior academic posts for universities in Manchester (Director of Programmes), London (Director of Executive Education) and in Florence (International Development Director). He sits on the UK Universities Accreditation Experts panel and splits his time between Italy and England.