This half term in my Agents of Change Programme at Lemania-Verbier International School, my students in Class E and F are focusing on World Water Day 22nd March, to continue their understanding around sustainability and global citizenship.
I have set them the challenge of designing a water carry that they will put to the test on the 22nd March on the mountain, as they walk from Ruinettes to La Chaux and back again.
World Water Day connects to Sustainable Development Goal #6 which sets out targets for all people to have access to water and sanitation. Water poverty is a growing issue globally and with mountains playing a key role in our water ecosystems, we need to take action to protect them.
Additionally, WHO, the UN and other organisations such as WaterAid, indicate the nearly 1 billion people – mainly women and children – still must walk a minimum of 6km daily to collect water for drinking, cleaning and washing. Time spent collecting water also means it is often impossible to school or work, keeping people trapped in the cycle of poverty.
Class E and F’s walk and water carry experience equates to a distance similar to the typical 6km walked and they will collect 20 litres of water per team – although the norm in a developing country is 20 litres per person - and carry this back to the starting point. (They will NOT be expected to drink the water that they have collected.)
I'm delighted that Cherries from Cherries Walks will also accompany us to take the students through a water collection activity which builds their understanding of the mountain and its water systems.
Last week, students started to explore the challenge by coming up with ideas for their water carry. We will be refining these ideas in class, building a miniature prototype from recyclable materials and putting together their full size prototype to be tested on the day.
This way of working with the students, builds their thinking skills as they design within the parameters of the challenge, encouraging them to collaborate. It is also an opportunity for them to raise awareness within the community of World Water Day, giving them a sense of purpose through their own creativity.
I love working in this way to build their resilience and entrepreneurial mind-set. Each group is collaborating to create their prototype and on the day, it is not about a winning concept but about adapting to the challenge in the moment, reframing failure into reorganisation as invariably the prototypes being tested react to the conditions!
#resilience #grit #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurs #adventures #agentsofchange #sdg6 #worldwaterday2018
We dreamed big, in English and French, with ideas for cleaning the oceans of microplastics at the learn to move mountains workshop on 21st February @Soft-Space in Geneva.
From ‘Flamotrash’ to the ‘Clean-o-rator’, ‘Poisson Man’ to ‘The Water Walker’ and ‘Robot Fish’ to ‘Pent-o-Pus’, the ideas from the children at the learn to move mountains® workshop last week were phenomenal.
We took Sustainable Development Goal #14 as our inspiration, valuing each person’s imagination and creativity, as we played with ideas to solve the specific challenge of cleaning up microplastics.
There is an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of microplastics – pieces of 5mm or less - in our oceans and water systems. Explore this sustainability issue for yourself through the links below.
What the experts said
I shared the children’s ideas and prototype descriptions with Prof. Jonathan Rossiter, Professor of Robotics at Bristol University, whose team is doing innovative work on robots cleaning up oil pollutants in the oceans. See his TED talk.
“I am so impressed! They have come up with some amazing ideas which are at the cutting edge of technology.
They have hit upon some pressing questions…please congratulate the children for doing a great job. Stretching the imagination and challenging conventional wisdom like this is what scientists and engineers do every day. It's so enjoyable and that's how the next generation will be able to solve tough scientific challenges like this.”
I also shared the children’s work with Keith Tuffley, Founder of Neuw.com, sustainability advocate, polar explorer, Board Member of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation and environmental entrepreneur.
“Wow these are fantastic. What great ideas - well thought through, inspiring, and exciting. And I love the videos with the explanations and presentations. The best ideas come from young people! Keep them flowing, so we can save our planet.”
All children have the capacity to be agents of change today
It always amazes and inspires me, seeing the enormous capacity of children and young people as they play in this ‘change-maker’ space, using design and innovation thinking to develop resilience, wellbeing and life-skills; and connecting to a sense of purpose and hope about using their creativity to make positive change happen.
Get in touch
We are just working on the dates of our next workshops in partnership with SoftWeb in Geneva. We also deliver on-site in your location, so get in touch to explore how we can work together with an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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#flowinaction #agentsofchange #resilience #grit #wellbeing #sdg3 #perma #innovation #entrepreneurs #children #changemakers #globalcitizens #bethechange
20th March is International Day of Happiness.
With a rise in children’s mental health and wellbeing issues globally, it’s an important day to explore and build skills that promote flourishing lives.
It is a real opportunity, not to do a ‘Disney’ moment of superficial glitteriness, but instead to connect children and young people to thinking about what actually makes them happy.
What is your list of ten everyday things that make you happy?
If you’re not sure, then start making that list right now!
Create this space using the free ideas to innovation activity available in this week’s e-news. Sign up on the home page if you haven’t already.
Why this activity? Focusing on them opens up the space for you to choose to do more of these things. If you don’t know what they are, you won’t know what to do more of. Knowing empowers you to consciously take action.
How does it have impact? It is gender-neutral and creates a level-playing field for everyone to celebrate what makes them happy.
What happens next? When you focus on doing more of what makes you happy, you open up a goal-setting space…but a really cool one that you will feel more and more benefit from each day. Being happy is about flourishing in every day, facing challenges with a more tools to help you adapt.
In Positive Education, there is a proven correlation between increased wellbeing and better academic results for young people. If you care about equipping them with the skills to be the change-makers of the 21st Century then make International Happiness Day a watershed moment in empowering young people.
#resilience #wellbeing #grit #sdg3 #creativity #mindfulness #happiness #flowinaction
It takes courage to share ideas, these bubbles of creativity that are someone's expression of who they are and what they wonder.
My workshops for children and youth, are an invitation to dream big in a space where it's safe to think incredible thoughts, knowing that it is valued and valuable - they have a sense of relief that the purpose is to play with ideas, taking risks on the seemingly impossible, collaborating to take the solutions further.
In turn, that builds their confidence and capacity to adapt to the challenge.
Next workshop is Wednesday 21st Feb Soft-Space in Geneva
Sign up via www.flowinaction.org/events
#resilience #grit #wellbeing #sdg3 #senseofpurpose #agentsofchange #kidsmatter
8th March is International Women’s Day.
This year’s theme is #pressforprogress and focuses on whole communities coming together to be gender inclusive.
It is an incredible opportunity to create a level-playing for all children, youth and the community around them to play with ideas, to think about ways to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) #5 – Gender Equality – Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
Create a new normal using the free disruptive innovation activity available in this week's e-news (Sign up on the home page if you haven't already.)
This Ideas to Innovation Practice guides you – or give it direct to young people - through an Innovation Forecast.
The activity is set in 2030 and is based on the assumption that we have achieved all of the SDG#5 targets on gender equality.
Given that is only 12 years away, already a fresh set of perspectives start to disrupt our current status quo thinking.
Then, when you ask for ideas on how we get there, how we achieve those targets without harm to people or planet, you open the space for solutions.
Why this way? It is a gender-neutral space: all ideas count, all voices count, listening respectfully to each other matters – women, girls, men and boys are all part of the solution.
How does it have positive impact? By playing with ideas from this strategic perspective of ‘a problem solved’ each person is in a safe space to empathise with the bigger issues through the reverse engineering.
What happens next? When you connect to empathy points, you’re opening up awareness and exploration. It gives young people breathing room to be researchers within themselves and what they care about, as well as to connect to turning their solutions into reality. Often, they start with big statements – some of which have positive intent but are based on ill-informed opinions.
With this Women’s Day Innovation Forecast, you will stir up people’s thinking, whether you do it for 5 minutes or over a period of days. The more often you do it though, the better the iterative effect of refining solutions and lasering in from a high-level to what can be done in the here-and-now of a community.
This article from Anna Leach on the SDGs in 2015 is excellent, and a specific line stands out for me, “Girls should be viewed as agents of change and not as beneficiaries…”
Use the Innovation Forecast activity to empower all children as agents of change in your community, give each one of them the space to be part of the solution.
You will be building their wellbeing, as well as equipping them with the communication, collaborative and thinking skills that they need to flourish in everyday life.
#resilience #grit #wellbeing #innovators #entrepreneurs
I love making a 'change-maker space' for kids to play with ideas, where all ideas counts as long as there is no harm to people or planet.
They love the fact that it's not about being right or wrong and all about freestyling with their imagination and creativity, inventing and reinventing so that they are the leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs making change happen.
Next workshop in Geneva this Wednesday 21st February, 2-5pm Soft-Space 40chf per child.
Find out more and sign up www.flowinaction.org/events
#agentsofchange #hope #sdg3 #wellbeing #ideas #innovation #superheroes #senseofpurpose #resilience #grit
This feedback from a child attending a previous learn to move mountains workshop thrills me.
I love that moment when a child or young person 'gets' that change can happen because of THEIR creativity and ideas, that their perspective really can contribute to finding solutions.
It's such a privilege to be part of it, to believe in them and see that moment when they believe in themselves #happiness #senseofpurpose #sdg3
My favourite feedback from an 11 yr old attending one of my previous workshops #apicturepaintsa1000words Next wshop is 21st Feb in Geneva for kids 8-12 years old.
Sign up here https://www.flowinaction.org/events #ideas #innovation #agentsofchange
Delighted to be included in this article by SoftWeb Founder, Aurore Bui, in Bilan.ch
The article explores the importance of children and youth having spaces to explore how they can make positive social change happen, as well as equipping them with the skills to do that.
Click here to read the article: 365 jours pour changer le monde: les enfants au coeur de la transition sociétale
When I get children and youth to play with ideas to solve sustainability challenges using their problem-solving creativity, it builds their wellbeing and academic skills.
Sign your children up for my learn to move mountains workshop on 21st Feb in Geneva and empower them to be happy agents of change - making their world a better place.
#resilience #grit #wellbeing #innovation #entrepreneurship #leaders #happiness #sdg3
Sign up your children today!
This interactive, fun and inclusive workshop connects them to their creativity and inspires them as global citizens.
Our workshop theme is Protecting Our Oceans: Clean & Cool.
The participants will play with ideas to come up with innovative solutions for real-world challenges.
They will build their problem-solving, communication and teamwork skills - as well as a sense of purpose and wellbeing that from their ideas, they can take action as 'agents of change' and make positive change happen.
Places are limited so sign up in advance at https://soft-space.agenda.ch/