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It has been Graduation Week at Canterbury University in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand. It has been a celebration of academic achievement, and many genuine good wishes. It was a 21st Century experience of tradition – the regalia, the music, and ceremony – and a celebration of the value of university education itself.

Outgoing Vice Chancellor Roy Sharp gave a speech about the need for thinking about and developing leadership in these complex times of globalisation, ecology, and economy.

He quoted Scientist Ernest Rutherford saying of his education at Canterbury University, “we didn’t have money so we had to think.”

The university system does allow some people to take time to do some thinking. However, there are increasing pressures on this time just when there is more than ever a need for ‘good thinking.’ Good, in depth thinking, it must be noted, takes time.

In his research on isolating factors for success, Malcolm Gladwell found that to become an expert at something ten thousand hours of practice is needed. Really good, knowledgeable thinking needs at least that

A major aim of Village-Connections is to support new conversations about the places we live in – our villages – in this shared, virtual space.

Space and time are needed for creative new thinking about how villages can thrive amidst the socio-cultural, economic and ecological challenges that come with an all-pervasive globalisation.

However, there is also a need to take time for a break. In Aotearoa/New Zealand, Christmas is a time when many celebrate and most who are able take a summer holiday.

Over this time, Village-Connections is taking a break and will undergo some changes which will make it more user-friendly and welcoming. This is the final Blog for 2008.  Activity on this website will be intermittent over January 09 and weekly Blogs will resume in February.

Thank you to those who have visited. Do leave a comment if you have found anything in particular to be helpful, or could be improved, or if you have any other suggestions as to what we could usefully explore in the coming year.

1 Comment

  1. Neuseeland says:


    Currently I was investigating a subject on Christchurch for our German travel guide to New Zealand (http://neuseeland-journal.de) when I was sent by Google to your website. Actually, I didn’t find exactly what I expected. But, your article has given me inspiration for another article. Insofar: Thanks.

    Kind regards,

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