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Learning can be a family affair

Steisel family
Monday, 21 January, 2019

SIX members of the same family took a short course together to help their professional development and make time to re-connect with each other.

Pauline Steisel, from Lubeek in Belgium, told her family about Schumacher College while she was studying for her MA Ecological Design Thinking last year. 

Her four uncles and her father all run separate businesses but are in the unique position of living on a large estate within 1km of each other.  However they often found that work commitments meant they were not always able to spend as much time together as they would like.

“It’s very important to me to be close to my daughter and brothers said her father Olivier, who runs an industrial company.  “I lived abroad for some time and so now I want more contact.  We are a very close family.”

The family took the Holistic Business short course led byJenny Mackewn, now in its second year, which is an exploration of holistic economics and shows how it is possible to transform organisations into ethical purpose-led enterprises. 

As well as taking the course to develop their own businesses the family hope to find a way of working together and a means of making their 25 hectare estate fit for the future and also beneficial for the surrounding community.

“We live in a beautiful place and it’s important that we make it sustainable, added Olivier.

Pauline said they all enjoyed the special opportunity to spend time together:  “It was so great to have my family here.  I think what they most loved is the community, everyone is so nice.
“They really like the energy of the place – they found it incredible.  I think it was great for them to follow the course all together.  It’s helping us answer questions of how we can evolve in the 21st century.”

Her family run a range of different businesses; her uncle Nicolas, is co-founder of EXKi a chain of healthy fast food restaurants which has over 80 outlets in six countries including the US which has grown from a handful of staff to over 1,400 people; her uncle Cedric provides IT consultancy for a clothing company.

“Pauline has been so passionate talking about SchumacherCollege that we felt we had to come and see it,” said her uncle Denis Steisel.   “I was interested to know if life can be more than an excel spread sheet.”

Pictured left to right : Denis, Nicolas de Moreau, Nicolas, Pauline, Cedric and Olivier Steisel.