• Home
  • Login
  • Welcome to the Staff Intranet
YOU ARE HERE: Skip Navigation LinksEdinburgh Napier Staff Intranet > Service Depts > Information Services > IS Scoops > Lean Conference Sept 15

​Lean HE Hub Conference September 2015


On 9, 10 and 11 September 2015, Steve Yorkstone from IS' ABL team represented Edinburgh Napier University at the International Lean in Higher Education conference held in Waterloo, Canada.


As Chair of the organisation that manages the conference series, the Lean HE Hub, Steve was there to undertake a number of roles at the conference: chairing the board meeting before the event started; opening the event at the welcoming reception on day one; presenting the Lean HE Hub's annual report; presiding over the conference handover; formally closing the event; and generally helping out (from stuffing delegate packs to announcing bus departures!).


The conference kindly supported his attendance by covering all expenses.

 Image: Steve Yorkstone closing the conference

The event attracted 176 delegates, with most of them from North America - universities large and small from coast to coast. The UK (and particularly Scotland!) was well represented, and there were delegates from as far afield as Norway, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, and Australia.


The conference focussed on "Driving lean change in Higher Education" and two strong themes emerged: firstly around building a diverse international community that learns through sharing experiences; and secondly that there isn't yet the "one right way" to apply lean in higher education, but rather, lean consists of simple principles (respect for people and continuous improvement) that can be applied in many different ways, to suit an organisations unique circumstances.


Delegate feedback included:

"A great opportunity to be with so many other people, all passionate about using lean to transform their Universities"

"Super well managed, and amazing hospitality from all the team"

"Great workshops, useful tools, I learnt so much"

"A monumental success"


Mainstage presentations are available here: https://uwaterloo.ca/lean-conference/plenary-sessions-and-panel-discussions


Parallel workshop presentations are available here: https://uwaterloo.ca/lean-conference/workshops


Being involved in leading an event like this places Edinburgh Napier University among the institutions leading the application of lean in Higher Education; as a place where we have staff with leading edge knowledge on the application of continuous improvement in Universities.

There's lots of learning that can be applied here to how we improve what we do in the University too. In practice we shall be disseminating this learning through the training we run, and notably through the Continuous Improvement Partners scheme. Of course, if you're interested in finding out more, get in touch with Steve on



And next years' conference is to be held in Stirling... so a smidge easier to get to!


SY 22/09/2015