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Geoff Mulgan and Artur Taevere

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As you know, the theme of the conference is civic education. Maybe we start with talking about current crises. and how that impacts civic education. I think the crises has a quite profound effect on civic education. Much of the 20th century big government were dominant and education was thought of as citizens should obey the law. Do what they're told to do to fit in to larger political structures. After 1989 faith in big government wayned not least in Estonia People look to the market and the businesses having the answers and much of the argument about the education were how to prepare people to become productive members of the economy. Now we've seen rebalancing because of the crises. We've learned that healthy economy has not only to have strong businesses and markets but the most resilliant economies are the ones which have strong civil economies: mutuals, cooperatives, social entreprises and if you only have narrowly-based for-profits narrowly-based commercial profit-maximising finance is less able to deal with change and shocks. Interestingly in US or UK, if you ask employers what they most want out of children leaving education and most not getting is no longer the ability to work with computer or just good maths, but is is also, how do you work in a community. in a society, how are you a member of a team how do you become a part of the bigger goal of a business or an entreprise. Civic education has become almost part of a centerpiece that schooling should be about and around that you put your math, your science, geography, history I can say it's a very different starting point to even where we were 2 years ago before the crises What does it imply for non-profit organisations? And what is there role in improving civic education and civic activism? The shift has big implications for schools and for non-profit organisations. For schools it means, what they have to produce when children leave at 18, is not just teenagers with good qualifications, but also with mindsets of being good members of society. That will not be learned so much from classroom civic education, but through experience of doing projects with others, doing projects in their community. For non-profit world the challenges is almost parallel: what are they doing to inculcate different way of thinking different habits of mind. In some countries in non-profit worlds it has tended to become service provider under contract for governments But in a way we've taken back to the roots of the society So in UK it is the 19th-century-roots which are more focused on what is the role of the civilc society in inculcating character, habits of mind to be collaborative, pro-social. That much more happens people doing things together in their communities. Not as just being service provider under contract, but bringing diverse communities together Which could be as simple as clearing a local park out of rubbish, creating a local food production system or helping isolated older people feel to fit in. There I see the great role of civic organisations and of schools. And when they work together, that makes civic education very real. To my mind the 21st-century challenge the late 20th-century was dominated by the consumerist mindset huge investments of billions of dollars to get people into habit of spending money, buying goods, buying services and making them believe that would make them happy Now we've learned that doesn't make you happy, actually destroys your environment. What can we do to inculcate the mind of cooperation collaboration and civic activity, working with others and through that actually becoming happier human beings And we've learned from the evidence of psychology, sociology, is that the more people collaborate the more they give, the more they do together that will also increase their well-being as human beings. This is part of our nature. This is a truer and deeper nature than selfishness and acquisition of material things. Let me give you some examples: One of the big movements of the recent years have been extended schooling adding more hours to the schoolday. In some places children are sitting in a computer lab from 5-7 o'clock and that's good But what I find interesting in many countries i.e Australia, schools also use these hours to get the children create their own social entreprises. E.g running agriculture businesses which grow fish; through growing fish in a large building next to your school you learn about biology math, but then children go and sell the fish and they learn about dealing with other people they learn about markets but they're doing it as a team project You learn so many things through that about community, work, but also math etc. And this is not traditional civic education at all but you maybe learn more civic skills through doing this than anything else. Another example, we've created an educational website called "School of Everything". which can link anyone who wants to be a teacher and anyone who wants to be a learner of any age. Use of that is mostly how to drive a car or how to fix computers or how to speak Mandarine Chinese But our vision was also that many teenagers would become teachers through this. They need to teach older people how to fix their computers or how to fix things in their community The web has become very powerful platform for different kind of civic activity. Feedback of a teaching society teaching another society and I see that being the future of the civic education. That resonates really well with people at this conference right now If people want to get engaged I know The Young Foundation collaborates with many organisations across the world is it possible for them to do that and how? We host a bottom-up network Social Innovation for Change 6 which links social innovation organisations across the world it is done by the mutual enthusiasm of organisations in China or Korea or America, or Brazil, or Britain. and trying to cool our experiences during the last year. During the last year lot of our work has been on how to use economic recession as a creative energising opportunity. If you see empty shops in the high street, how can young people take them over, turn them into fast colleges. I would urge anyone in Estonia to get involved in this network share your examples, share your experiences in this broad field of how do we speed up innovation to meet social needs. And every single project in that network is about civic education and in its very wider sense because it is all about experiment, and all about learning and all about trying to accelerate the learning process Because none of us know the answers None of us know how to cope with really profound financial crash None fo us can solve problems like climate change or aging society. We learn by doing and by doing we learn And this is what makes the whole field so exciting and to my mind really everything becomes a part of the civic education.

Video Details

Duration: 9 minutes and 20 seconds
Year: 2009
Country: Estonia
Language: English
License: All rights reserved
Producer: NENO
Director: Martin Sookael
Views: 92
Posted by: kivinukk on Nov 17, 2009

Kuues kodanikuühiskonna konverents - kuidas kodanikeühendused toetavad kodanikuks kasvamist?

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