gab travelled down to the surging metropolis of Sao Paulo to meet with Camila Bastila, a member of Presente, a collective that spans the globe, forming international relationships with radical and critical thinkers whose concern is education..
Presente are filled with fun and enthusiasm, and harbour a dream to change the world. They are interested in all forms of education, from childhood to adult learning, and formal to non-formal. They host a series of programmes encouraging the mobilisation of learning communities and engage with a vast network of organisations and individuals. They work collaboratively as part of a non-hierarchical, self-organising process, and aim to transform eduction systems through a mixture of playfulness and pragmatism. .
The collective are part of a process that hopes to create leaders of a new generation that will challenge the status quo, and will be able to identify and promote inspiring initiatives, reinventing education systems that will better the people involved.
gab felt a strong affiliation with their key values, which are:;
Inclusivity and unity
Presente run Edu on Tour. Edu on Tour started with a group of people questioning what the education system is really about; arguing that is should be something that “prepare[s] us for our future life and work, giving us the possibility to discover and fully unfold our own talents, passion and potential. ” This description is quite idealistic when compared to the reality of the education system in the UK today; a model that focuses heavily on factual examinations and requires everyone to strive for the same narrowly defined levels of achievement.
For the Edu on Tour, founders our environment, lifestyle and thoughts are developing more rapidly than ever before. Given these new challenges, adaption within the current framework isn’t enough and so a different approach to education is needed.
Edu on Tour discovered that a new culture of people living, learning and working together innovatively already existed. So they created a platform to link these people and their practices. . . a place for them to connect, to share their knowledge, methods and experiences, and for potential future collaborations; pushing the boundaries of their work further. With this they hope to contribute to the creation of sustainable communities, dialogue, and action concerning the future of education.
They see Edu on Tour as a ‘journey’, a way to access other learning environments, through innovative schools, community initiatives, projects, and activities, to reach people who are already contributing to the transformation of the education system. In return, these people on their ‘journey’, connect and promote their projects over social media.
Ultimately Edu on Tour is a home-base – to support peoples involvement, the base provides a social network, advice, mentorship and challenges for the tour.
Another aspect of Presnte’s Edu on Tour is its 24 hour Hackathon events. These are open sessions where groups from around the world set up meetings to discuss current issues of their choice surrounding the theme of education. The collective sets a date and uses their virtual platform to stream the activities live as they take place in the different time zones. The groups also document their experiences for archiving purposes, in turn contributing to the growing resource that is Presente.
“+ We hack our education system. We ask for more creativity and a stronger participation of diverse and intergenerational groups in decision making processes in order to solve future societal challenges. We therefore organise 24h Education Hackathons all around the world. Within 24 hours a crowd between 60 and 100 people come together and work on collaborative education projects. ”
Whilst we were in Brazil, Presente held a 24 Education Hackathon, 12 countries in 4 different continents took part, including a group in Sao Paulo who held an event. Their intention was to create a playful environment where people could express their relationship to educational processes, providing a space to reflect on education models.
Participants formed interdisciplinary groups, including entrepreneurs, architects, educators and artists, creating an interesting and unusual kaleidoscopic collective to discuss ideas and issues.
Through their activities, they conceptually designed schools and methodologies for teaching, took a trail through the centre to expand their audience, inviting passers-by to reflect on possible new learning environments in public spaces. It was a day to think, talk, and expand horizons …
The event helped to bring together more likeminded people, strengthening the network of agents who fight for a more democratic education system.
For us, Presente’s global network of connections, which incorporates smaller initiatives through the creation of their experiential virtual platforms, embodies the same values relating to learning and thinking that took us to Brazil in the first place. . . . it is akin to what we physically achieved by travelling to Rio; here we found camaraderie, inspiration, shared topical and personal interests, and gained knowledge and experience where the intention was to influence our practice for the benefit of others, including our worn profession and our communities back here in the UK.
This dynamic process of discovery is integral to one’s own learning and development and supports the most important things about experiencing other cultures; exploring and understanding the world and ourselves through others Presente has compelled us to connect with and reach our to a wider range of people in our existing networks, and not just in our same field, because we realise the importance of bringing together diverse opinions in order share and communicate in a way that provides guidance and a more rounded critique of one’s own practice.
gab have joined the Hackathon collective and are in the motion of collaborating and developing future projects. Watch this space.