Luca Solesin is Ashoka’s Program Manager in Italy. We ask him about how Ashoka is approaching the idea of changing education and growing change makers all around the world with a national, regional and local strategy.

He tells us in this interview that we have to rethink the purpose of education, fostering new competences through a network of educational influencers, not only teachers, but all the society.

Ashoka is trying to achieve this by selecting change leaders, people that have the same vision, mapping them, connecting them and helping them growing as a team.

You can see the full transcription of the interview next:

Fostering new competences to thrive in a changing world

The world is changing and is changing very fast. We think that in this world we need to rethink the very purpose of education and the organisation of learning. We think now that this world is characterised by change and people to flourish should be equipped with the key competences to live in the world for the common good and flourishing in this world.

These competences we call them change maker competences, competences that enable you to make change happen. These competences are empathy, change making, entrepreneurship and creativity and new kind of leadership.

Creating a network of educational influencers to make change maker education the norm

How can we do it? How can we make this change possible and happen in today’s learning ecosystem in the case of Italy for example?

So we start by selecting change leaders, people that have the same vision and we can map them, select them, connect them and help them growing as a team, as a network. Engage them with partners such as enterprises, schools, academia, as well as institutions like the Ministers and so on.

These partners are very important for us because we think that education is not just the business for teachers and educators is a collective social endeavour and we think that everyone should be in charge of deciding together what is the change is education that we would like to see and we would like to make.

Other partners that we would like to engage are for example, education schools, places in where teachers are going to be trained, so training the trainers is one of the methods that we envise to change education.

Another partner can be for example, publishers and Big Media, that can help us bringing this idea of change making education and make them bigger and make them visible to everyone so that everyone can understand what is change maker education and that change maker education became the new norm.

Looking for innovations in education that can be replicated in other contexts

The major difficulties that we are seeing now is trying to select the best one, so the most innovative schools, that are not just innovative persei, but they are able to make the change not only for their school but also for the others.

Another problem that we are seeing is how far this innovation can be brought to scale and this innovative that we are seeing in each school can be contextualised as a model and be replicated in different schools and territories.

Creating a team of teams: the learning ecosystems

If we want to have a change in the way people are growing up and if we want to see people equipped by these change maker competences, we cannot just go and teach these competences to eight million child in the school of Italy.

We have to step back and think of the learning ecosystem that is surrounding the youth and the children so this ecosystem is comprised by teachers and educators, NGOs, enterprises, parents of course, youtubers, TV stars, but these people are also influenced by enterprises or teacher unions as well as academia that they are training the trainers and the teachers. So what we would like to do is taking an ecosystem approach to the way we want to change the education systems.

We have to create team of teams. Teams that are comprised by people that have an influence in the growing up experience of these children and youth. This team of teams are a fluid team and work as a network so we can leverage the power of the network to increase our potential of impact and influence the education of our children.

Author

I am a telecommunications engineer, teacher in innovative education and freelance filmmaker questioning not the "Why?" but the "Why not?" in every aspect of life. Since 2017 I travel the world looking for stories worth telling.

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