Prof. Mustafa Zülküf Altan is a full time professor in ELT at the Department of Foreign Languages Education at Erciyes University, Turkey. He has published both in Turkey and abroad. He is the author of four books including 2015 best educational research award winning book “Educational Gridlock of Turkey: Entrepreneurial Teaching Entrepreneurial Teacher”. His research interests include teacher education, teacher development, individual differences in foreign language learning, alternative assessment, intercultural communication entrepreneurial teaching and innovation & education.


How to Create a Culture of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

We live in a time of unrivaled social, economic, technological and environmental problems and desperately are in need of change and improvement in many different areas on a global scale. These concerns and ever increasing need of change are placing pressure on education systems and calling into question many of the traditional models, content and processes of education leading to new thinking about the nature of education, what learners should know and what they should be able to do as a result of their education in order to be able to come up with innovative solutions to these concerns and meet the needs of nations and the globe in general.

With the above picture in mind, educating young people becomes the key to future innovation and entrepreneurship. So it is a good and critical idea to ask ourselves if we are on the right track. Innovation and entrepreneurial initiatives start with the power of human thought. Ideas, inspiration and creativity all come from humans, not machines. Since the technology is the product of human innovation, the greatest technology cannot reproduce what the human mind can do.

It is obvious that current educational models, assumptions about learning and approaches to learning and teaching are unable to equip individuals for these new and unexpected challenges since present education systems all over the world are almost exclusively based on a world of yesterday! Therefore, as educators we need to create alternatives. That is, we desperately need for an educational paradigm shift to educate more individuals with entrepreneurial mindset to create innovation in each and every area of life.

Entrepreneurship and Innovation are usually thought as a notion of business, capital, commerce and growth and this way of thinking usually misleads us drastically to understand the real power of entrepreneurship and innovation and their vital relationship with education.

The globe needs individuals who are more creative, innovative, and able to come up with solutions to both present and future concerns in every sector of the societies they live in. What is education for? What kind of people do we wish to develop? Why do we need more innovation and innovative individuals? How can this vision be accomplished? Who can bring this vision to come true? This keynote speech will highlight the importance of implementing an entrepreneurial education carried out by entrepreneurial teachers to foster the right mindset to create a real entrepreneurial culture in order to live in a better and peaceful world.