The Future of Education

Edition 14

Accepted Abstracts

Co-innovating the Curriculum for Fashion Business Start-up and Development

Martin Bouette, University of Brighton (United Kingdom)

Mark Wells, University of Brighton (United Kingdom)

Mylinh Nguyen, University of Brighton (United Kingdom)


This paper explores and analyses the findings of a co-innovation lead pilot programme which supported business development learning for Early Career Creatives (ECC) in fashion. The Co-innovate research explores and analyses, if, and how, a participatory led approach using co-creation and co-design can be used to develop relevant and alternative processes for business start-up learning for ECC within hybrid and blended learning environments. The research evaluates how ECC engaged with the digital world to enable them to address complex, multi-faceted problems and how the process both enhanced and complicated the programme. The researchers used a mixed method approach including questionnaires, video feedback, and observation.

The pilot learning programme was designed and undertaken through a co-creation participatory process that explored what ECC considered to be important to their business development under the themes of; engagement, collaboration, education and community.

The cohort represented those who had only just graduated University and those who had graduated University between 2 and 5 years ago.

Each participant completed an application and an initial questionnaire which outlined why they wanted to participate and what they hoped to learn during the programme.

Co-creation was used as a method to identify and agree upon the core business development areas to be explored in each of the subsequent workshops. This process saw the participants lead the design of the programme and areas of learning. During the programme participants could either attend in person or online allowing the opportunity to analyse hybrid learning. Each session was held outside of the University in a workshop space in a dedicated creative hub. The researchers were able to bring creative experts from this hub to participate in the workshop sessions and share their experiences.

A mixed method approach was used to evaluate the progress and experiences of ECC throughout the programme using questionnaires, qualitative feedback and observation with quantitative and qualitative research reflecting Brymans notion that ‘quantitative research can facilitate qualitative research as one of a various number of "multi method' research strategies’ (1).

Although observation allows the researcher to only see ‘a portion in sharp focus’ (2) the use of additional methods of collating data allowed the researchers to explore the interactions and conversations that happened outside of the core leaning that were insightful and useful to understanding the participants experiences. The usefulness of the observations lay in as far as possible, the social world should be studied in its ‘natural state, undisturbed by the researcher’ (3).

The full paper will discuss the findings of the research and explore the findings of the Co innovation process as a positive curriculum tool and method for disrupting curriculum development.




Co-innovation, Hybrid Learning, Early career creatives, Business Start-up, curriculum development, fashion



[1] Bryman A (2003) ‘Quantity and Quality in Social Research’ Routledge

[2] Muller F (2021) ‘Design Ethnography: Epistemology and Methodology’ Springer

[3] Hammersley M and Atkinson P (2019) ‘Ethnography: Principles in Practice’ Taylor & Francis Group


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