Personal Viability (PV) & GULL

Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre (EDTC) Ltd; The Grassroots University of Life (GUL) and the Global University for Lifelong Learning (GULL), Papua New Guinea | 6-13 November, 2011


The concept and development of ‘Personal Viability’

Entrepreneurial Development Training Centre (EDTC) Ltd was founded in 1994 by Samuel Tam in response to a call for assistance by a church leader. Since then, Sam and his team have trained more than 25,000 people in all 20 provinces of Papua New Guinea and more widely in the Asia-Pacific region.

‘Personal Viability’ (PV) is holistic human development which embraces the physical, mental, spiritual, emotional and financial aspects of human life. Although the PV process is applicable to both community and workplace settings, EDTC’s focus is to help subsistence community participants at ‘grassroots’ level – some 80 per cent of PNG’s population – to achieve self reliance and financial independence. The PV approach enables participants to recognize and use all the natural resources at their disposal as well as knowledge, money and the natural and economic laws.

(Above) Wednesday, 9 November, 2011: PNG Ports Corporation - PV participants on graduation day at their Head Office in Port Moresby.




Extending PV: The Grassroots University for Life

In partnership with the Global University for Lifelong Learning, EDTC is developing and extending its Personal Viability (PV) system in the context of a Grassroots University for Life (GUL) with its own commercial campus located in the PNG Lihir Islands. The rationale for GUL is to enable Papua New Guineans to determine their own economic development by inculcating business class knowledge, mindset and thinking. This cannot be taught in a classroom – these skills can only be acquired through action, reflection and improvement, linked to outcomes that are recognized by GULL and its professional Bachelor (levels 1-5) Master (level 6) and Doctor (level 7) awards.

(Left) Richard Teare with members of the Kumaipana Personal Viability community club, Mount Hagen.

(Right) Open market trading in Mount Hagen (elevation 1,677m) capital of the Western Highlands and Papua New Guinea’s third largest city.




A profile of ‘Papa Sam’ – Founder of Personal Viability

PV’s Founder, Samuel Tam was in born in PNG’s East New Britain and he is the founder of the Stretpasin Stoa scheme that has trained Papua New Guineans to become trade store owners and managers for the past 30 years. Among many other roles, Sam served as a Director of the Papua New Guinea Development Bank for 2 terms from 1982–1988. Sam has been helping grassroots people for 40 years and his ‘Personal Viability’ action learning process offers an innovative solution to poverty alleviation and an alternative, business class ‘live’ education in how to use resources, knowledge, time and money.

(Left) PV Founder, Dr Samuel Tam MBE, CSI, OL – affectionately known as ‘Papa Sam’

(Right) PV-GULL professional Bachelor level 1 (Entry) graduands welcome Papa Sam in song and with a dance sequence incorporating umbrellas!




Celebrating PV-GULL outcomes

The PV-GULL starting point (Professional Bachelor level 1 (Entry)) is termed the ‘Game of Life’ and the process focuses on mind development skills – linear thinking (memory, knowledge); lateral thinking (action) and parabolic and holistic thinking (wisdom). PV’s action learning process helps participants to explore their innate skills, talents and resources and to better organize and use the knowledge and resources available to them. After completing level 1, participants are ready to play the ‘Game of Money’ at PV- GULL level 2. Here, a reality game is used, based on the actual needs of participants, many of whom are not yet able to ‘see’ business outcomes with their mind.

Playing and learning from the game is a practical and useful way to develop business and entrepreneurial skills. Here, participants gain experiential knowledge in using time, money and other resources, working in teams, preparing profit and loss and balance sheet statements and developing lateral thinking skills and the beginnings of a business class mindset as they learn to ‘rollover’ money through micro projects in order to generate an income and surplus for their family.

(Right) Papa Sam with recipients of the PV Founder’s Award for loving service to the needy, 11 Nov, 2011, Mt Hagen.




Progressing with PV-GULL

The PV level 3 course is termed the ‘Game of the Rich’ which involves planning and implementing a micro enterprise over a 12 month period with the objective of meeting the financial needs of the participant’s family and generating a surplus. The PV system provides skilled weekly coaching so as to ensure that these objectives are met and to assist participants to further develop business class knowledge, mindset and thinking. The evidence of corrective action and attainment at PV-GULL level 3 (Diploma) is captured in book format (weekly reports, photographs, outcomes) called ‘Project Me’.

Friday 11 November, 2011: PV-GULL Professional degree graduation ceremony, Bethel Lutheran Church, Baiyer Gate, Mt Hagen, Papua New Guinea. (Left, centre) Samuel Tam, PV Founder and GULL Regional President, Pacific Islands with Richard Teare, GULL President and some of the 98 PV-GULL graduates (Professional Bachelor level 1 (Entry) from communities in the Western Highlands region. Congratulations!

GULL is a not-for-profit foundation registered in California, USA. GULL is recognized by the Government of Papua New Guinea & endorsed by other Governments, Leaders & Institutions.

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