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francis wilson casual2Dear Friends,

My experience of the Carnegie3 Conference and subsequent travels around South Africa over the past three months, have convinced me that the country is alive with potential – crackling with energy.

I am writing this newsletter on the last day of November from the Missionvale Campus of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth. I’ve just spent a fascinating morning with Ivor Baatjes, Director of CIPSET (the Centre for Integrated Post-School Education & Training), set up under the leadership of Vice-Chancellor Derrick Swartz to tackle a problem that lies at the very heart of our search for effective strategies to overcome poverty and inequality. CIPSET has a long agenda, but is focused on undertaking research and thinking to shape the content of training and education needed – in Further Education and Training (FET) Colleges and elsewhere – to transform the lives of people without formal jobs, struggling to make ends meet in neighbouring townships.

Yesterday I spent the morning talking to a local foundation funded by a PE-based company that is doing extraordinary work – not only in literacy and maths education with 100 schools in the city – but also in rethinking the provision of quality housing that begins to bridge the great spatial divide between rich and poor. I spent the afternoon in the company of a young engineer involved in the City’s thrust to develop renewable energy resources. He is convinced that the knowledge and technology is available to develop accessible and affordable energy for cooking by the 50% or more of South Africans for whom electricity is, frankly, too expensive to use. He is excited about the idea of working with others – in universities and elsewhere – to achieve this.

The question facing all us who are – or wish to be – involved in the Carnegie3 process over the next 33 months is how best to harness this energy so as to reach a critical mass which begins visibly to turn around the unnecessary reality of failing schools, massive unemployment and increasing inequality.

Two immediate steps may begin to move us in the right direction. The first is to develop the Carnegie3 website into an effective communications hub to transmit and share information and ideas between those working in different organizational, geographical or subject silos. The second is to facilitate small workshops on critical issues in different parts of the country. Already a number of such workshops involving NGOs, government officials and academics have been proposed to bring people together to share their knowledge and experience in a process of cross-pollination.

The Carnegie3 website is visibly changing. The full list of conference papers has been added, and all the papers for which we have received permission may be accessed with one click. Any authors who would like to add their permissions, please email this information to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will upload your paper as soon as possible. You can also keep in touch by liking us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/towardscarnegie3 and following us on Twitter: @Carnegie_3. We would be glad to receive your news and information about relevant events – conferences, symposia or workshops – to share with others interested in the Carnegie3 process. Links to other web-addresses would also be appreciated and will be posted on a new notice-board on the website. Information about the regional workshops will be shared as they begin to take shape in the new year. For now we wish everybody a very restful, safe holiday with their families and friends. May we all return refreshed in the new year – there is much work to be done.

With warmest good wishes,

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