NextEduMap: Epitome of Crowdfunding

A journey of 2000 kms, traversing 6 cities, 100s of 1000s of people, and with one goal – to envision and update the NextEduMap of alternative education initiatives and institutes around the world. With this big picture in mind, a group of backpackers, educators, superheroes, game-changers, call them what you feel like, are taking this once-in-a-lifetime expedition to some of the most creative education hubs across Northern Europe.

The bus tour will begin in Amsterdam on November 23rd at the Knowmads Business School, and later to KaosPilots in Copenhagen, YIP (Youth Initiative Program) in Jarna, followed by a Stockholm surprise, before reaching the venue of the Social Capital World Forum in Gothenburg on November 30th. This week-long journey will involve the active participation of several students, teachers, visionaries, and with the world as its online audience – interacting with and witnessing every step in the growth of the NextEduMap. These new education points added to the next map, will straightaway be in action during the Jelly Week – an annual global-local event of worldwide collaboration, whose 2013 week is being held between 14-20 January.

So why Northern Europe for starters? Well, the first step in the sustenance of this education revolution has to begin somewhere, and where better than a part of the world that hosts some of the most innovative learning environments. And to make these very insights enduring and available for the rest the world.

The tour will involve a series of challenges right from the fun and purposeful ones to those like navigating through the winters of Northern Europe and crowdfunding the mission leading up to the NextEduMap.

In essence this project epitomizes the idea of Crowdfunding, that is to let the crowd sow the seed for the next generation of learning, and enabling its fruits to reach every nook and corner of the world. Find out how you can crowdfund this initiative in the Edu on Tour Indiegogo page.

Fund & Follow ‘Edu on Tour’

Would you like to experience education programs that connect the dots, take into account extraordinary measures from world-over, and deliver these learnings real-time to the gen-next educators? And this isn’t about one place, one organization or one way of doing things but a collective sense-making of the abundance. Promoting and acting on this exciting mission via a mutually-rewarding game is the aim of SCWF’s upcoming Edu on Tour campaign. Be part of this global experiment…

Extraordinary times require extraordinary measures, a statement said in support of the JOBS Act in the US and one that puts a stamp of approval on crowdfunding. While this recession has brought to the fore a whole range of challenges, from financial institutions and their stimulus packages to the need for encouraging entrepreneurship and generating employment, there has been less focus on the education and employment link.

In the below telling animate, Sir Ken Robinson talks about the Changing Education Paradigms and how we are trying to meet the future by doing things we did in the past. His illustrious talk goes on to suggest that the current system of education was designed, conceived and structured for a different age. He believes it was conceived in the intellectual culture of the enlightenment and in the economic circumstances of the industrial revolution. Watch video:

Now we connect the dots, don’t we? While our kids are getting to know stuff from the digital media – computers, smart phones and 100s of Television channels as Sir Robinson says, we are still caught up subscribing them to the boring rote of an education system that has primarily been built for an industrial age.

So how do we evolve with the changing paradigms of education, is something being done about it? Well, a lot’s being done and we all at some point might come across bits and chunks of some great work. By sharing, collaborating and connecting them with each other, we can together revolutionize education. As Bert-Ola Bergstrand, Founder and Manager of the Social Capital Forum, feels we are yet to use even a small part of our knowledge-production – by spreading various examples and learning from them we build the knowledge capacity and get better development ideas.

And as in everything, big things come in small packages. Our initiative, spearheaded by Mr Philippe Greier of Playmakers, seeks to take a step in this direction, via the ‘Edu on Tour’ crowdfunding campaign. The campaign starting September 23rd, aims to bring to light inspiring educators through a fun week-long bus-ride from Amsterdam to Gothenburg Sweden – the venue of the Social Capital World Forum SCWF12. They bus proposed to stop at some exciting venues in Amsterdam, Hamburg, Copenhagen and Jarna Sweden.

For those funders of the campaign they will be some fascinating updates and rewards like personalized postcards, gift boxes, photo books and other surprise souvenirs from the tour. Not not to forget connecting with the participating institutions and even a fee waiver to the SCWF12.

Watch this space for more updates on the campaign or follow us on Facebook. If you have ideas, suggestions, wish to participate or contribute either monetarily or add value through ideas, feel free to let us know. We would also love to hear from you on what you think would be the ideal crowdfunding platform for this project, how to go about promoting it on social media, as well as other thoughts.

Nelson Mandela once said ‘Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.’. Isn’t it time the extraordinary circumstances of today realized this very power?

Crowdfunding for Travel?

Where it Matt-ers

Believe it or not, no wait.. believe it, there’s a crowdfunding site to help you raise money for your travel expenses. When I bumped into Golibre during my research, the excitement of the existence of such a site soon gave way to some sense-making – why would someone fund something that’s usually considered a leisure activity?

When I shared this with Michael, he too sounded bewildered. While it is true travelgasms are often experienced by travelers themselves, in the eye of the beholder that is, but in this case also in the ears of the listener.

It’s just like being there!
Having traveled quite a bit around China, India, SE Asia and Europe, like many other travelers I’ve had the privilege to met some amazing people and exchange exciting stories. Making friends with local cultures and co-travelers, and sharing experiences have been priceless – especially in times where even 20+ years of a way of life, makes other ways of doing things seem so outrageously unimaginable.

Living & re-living experiences!
While I haven’t done much of America, and never been to Africa, Australia or the Middle-East, I’ve had theĀ privilegeĀ of learning about these places by chancing upon those who have been there. It did feel like I was there too, right through their experience sharing. It was equally fun to share experiences of similar places we’d been to.

Seeing is believing!
Like most people, I too read about places before traveling there and at times get carried away reading. For instance prior to the 6-Month stint in China, I’d encountered some media discourse that almost foxed me into not making that trip. Glad I did it for I loved the trip, so much so that I felt there was much more I’d experienced through the travel than what the gamut of information available on the world wide web would have ever told me.

Feeling something – in your hands!
With travel comes souvenirs and pictures. While the latter stays for a lifetime, the souvenirs are usually gifted. I do the same, and often end up feeling ‘if only I bought a few more’. Here is where this crowdfunding idea looks to pitch in. Imagine receiving relics from ancient India, the Machu Picchu, the former Mesopotamia, the Terra Cotta Army in Xi’an China or even something that’s more contemporary, like the Oktober fest mug from Munich – priceless isn’t it.

Share and care, and travel!
I remember asking a friend for some Chinese Tea when she left for her trip, but then she forgot. On the hindsight, I feel maybe I should have given something in return, especially since she was making that big trip for a reason. There are many who travel as part of their book-writing, movie-making, or helping social causes and small businesses. There are few excuses not to travel, besides the expensive flying costs. Crowdfunding may well take care of this final frontier, don’t you think so?