We talk with Camille Souffron, director at Ecosystemic Education European Institute (E3I) about the role of the young people in transforming education and the ecosystem approach to make this transformation a reality. You can find the full transcription of the interview below:

A childhood dedicated to Humanitarian works

“Before living in France I lived 11 years in Madagascar in a humanitarian framework because my mother had a small NGO so I grew up without water, without electricity…

So when I came back in Occident I had to commit because when you grow up in one of the poorest countries in the world you cannot have the same paradigms, same vision of the world. At least you know the value of education, of solidarity, you know how to take some perspectives about your daily problems.”

How to make the learning community emerge

“We say a lot we live in a complex system, but complex, complexus in latin doesn’t meant difficult or hard, it means weaved. There are intrications, interactions between individuals, between groups, between generations, between cultures…

I realized that we had to have can ecosystemic approach, a systemic approach. Of course to put young people in the center with the learner-centered approach. But, then how to identify every influencers of education, like parents and teachers of course, but also decision makers, companies from circular economy.

The challengue is how to create sinergies between them, how to create links and how to make emerging a learning community, I mean a community where each stakeholders of education community and civil society would have complete access to the data, to knowledges, to competences, to actors and social support and tools.”

“Success will be no longer individual, it will be collective success”

“In France we hear the word entrepreneurship as a link to economy. For me it is really far beyond that, it’s the idea of having a concrete action into society.

We are running a national project of a new system of orientation professional and academic orientation for young people based on a digital platform and based on the concept of ikigai.

Ikigai, which is a Japanese model based on the crossed section of four variables: what do you like to do? What do you know how to do? What can you do to get paid for? And what can you do with a positive social impact?

And how to define a new meaning of success to show that success, individual success will be forever linked to social and collective success in our societies.

A change maker is somebody beyond his personal interest had understood of the meaning and value of collective interest. Each time that I have an idea in fact, it was a collective idea. You know, today we need to go from “ego” to “eco”, egoistic to ecosystemic approach and that’s the value of collective.

We live in a complex world and to grasp the complexity of this world we can’t grasp it individually, we need others, we need the collective, we need the confrontation of diverse subjectivities and ideas and that’s the point of empathy. It’s also a critical tool for innovation because it means the ability to articulate the visions and ideas and solutions of others with your owns to develop complex solutions to complex changes.”

“Schools should give tools for students to develop their own vision of the world”

“In France we have I think the most mainstream education system ever because education system was created in France during the French revolution by Condorcet and since pretty all around Europe and the world. And so it’s extremely conservative, hierarchical and vertical and I suffered a lot from it.

I think the challenge of schools and more generally of education system and society is not to give voice to young people. It’s to give young people tools and an environment to develop their own voices to develop their own paradigms, their own vision of the world.

There can be lots of pedagogical innovations like for instance projects based learning based on the project which allow young people to develop some concrete projects with an inductive logic not only into schools with teachers in a collaborative and horizontal relationship but also in the territories with schools, with local NGO’s, with local governances or local companies.

There is also for instance the research based learning. Why do we have to wait until PhD to learn by research, we should do it in primary school and it’s possible in France with the CRI center for interdisciplinary and research of Francois Taddei.

And you know research based learning allows you to develop your own problematics. So it gives you a sense of as young people why should I wake up this morning to go into school.

And finally it gives you critical mind which is critical today with the fake news and digital literacies and the internet because you need to take perspective about your research and your empirical observations to give answers and to create your own knowledge to question it.

And I think this is the most powerful way to empower young people not to take them as representatives but as peers. Because they are not only the future change makers, they are the present.”

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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