Announcing Our Guest Speaker and Facilitator
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Learning Reimagined Family Conference 11/12 February 2017

It's Finally Happening!

For two blissful days in 2017, the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens will play host to a very special gathering of some very special people. That's all of us :) that will be attending South Africa's first of its kind family conference dedicated to reimagining learning, self directed learning and building learning societies. We'll be having presentations, co-created small group discussions and funshops.

There is a one word that keeps coming to mind every time I (Zakiyya) think about this conference… Connection. Yes, we will be talking about and interrogating the concept of learning, challenging our assumptions about it, unpacking our fears and brainstorming building learning societies. But, For me the overriding sub theme of the conference is still Connection. Why Connection? Connection is what I remember when I think about the last five annual Unschoolers' Camps. Connection is what I remember most about the Life Without Instruction Unschooling Conference that I attended last year. And connected is always how I feel when I leave the monthly homeschoolers' iceskating. I love that connected feeling. There is something magical about connecting with people that are on a similar path.

I know, without a doubt, that the weekend in February will be magical too. How can it not be? With families dedicated to a new understanding of learning and the inevitable changes that happen in living in the same space?

The conference content and structure is designed with connection in mind.

  • To connect families that have chosen a different path with each other

  • To connect families with projects and offerings that offer a different path

  • To connect the various projects and offerings with each other.

BUT... And this is the most exciting part! I wanted to also connect us with the broader grassroots learning revolution that is happening globally. While we act locally, we connect to the global revolution. I wanted us to feel like our questions, our education and parenting choices and our actions are part of a broader movement to a different kind of society. To a more beautiful society.

Drum Roll Please...

Claire and I are both incredibly honoured and deeply grateful to Manish Jain who has agreed to be a speaker and facilitator at our inaugural 'wisdom' weekend. 
Our excitement has nothing to do with the fact that Manish holds a Master's Degree in Education from Harvard. Nor because of his BA in Economics, International Development and Political Philosophy from Brown University, and certainly not because of his experience as the Principle Architect of UNESCO Education without Frontiers initiative.

We are excited because of the potential for us as a fledgling learning community to learn from Manish due to the numerous hats he wears.
Manish, together with his wife Vidhi, is the parent of a self directed learner/teenager.

Manish is also the co-founder of Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Re-thinking Education and Development in Udaipur, India. Shikshantar's work in Udaipur has culminated in so many exciting and innovative initiatives – The Grandmother's University, Wisdom Weekends, Walk Out – Walk On etc. There is so much we can learn from Manish in transforming our own community.

Manish is also the co-founder of Swaraj University – an innovative immersion/learning space for 18-30 year olds. The focus of the programme is on self-designed learning and green entrepreneurship, including exploration of basic business skills within the context of ecological sustainability and social justice. Swaraj University is part of the Ecoversities Network – a network of over 40 alternative spaces for higher education – and Manish is the convener of this network. Many of us wonder about the world beyond alternative learning, about higher education, about the next step. Well, this is our chance to more than just wonder. With Manish present, we can really interrogate this area of concern for the older kids and young adults in our lives.

Manish is also a founding member of Learning Societies Unconference in India, Creativity Adda – an unschool within a government school in Delhi – and the Giftival Network.  

He is a featured speaker/advisory member of the Economics of Happiness network for localization.  He has edited several books on Vimukt Shiksha (liberating learning) on themes such as learning societies, unlearning, gift culture, community media, and tools for deep dialogue. 

These multiple hats provides us with a rich space to share and discuss our passions and how we express these in the form of self directed learning, building democratic schools, community development initiatives that incorporate learning and skills development, and changing the system from within. That we get to have Manish in our midst, in our discussions for the whole weekend is truly a gift that we are deeply grateful for.

Another world is truly possible if the wholeness of the world once again becomes our class. ~ Manish Jain

In Closing

We are working hard to finalise costs and getting the registration system in place. Registration costs and logistical details will follow very soon. In the meantime, let's keep connected and the conversation going. We've already started talking about the funshops and topics for the roundtable discussions. Please share your thoughts and wish list on the Learning Reimagined Conference Facebook Group.
Looking forward to meeting you all. 


Zakiyya and Claire

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