A valuable alternative

Updated: Oct 11, 2019, 07:46 IST | Dhara Vora Sabhnani |

Attend an event that brings together innovators from various fields to bond over the importance of alternate learning spaces

Participants at an earlier workshop
Participants at an earlier workshop

From learning how to make a coffee table or mastering gourmet-style pasta, alternative learning spaces have become haven for those keen to hone their professional skills or an outlet for creativity. If research and data by several organisations are anything to go by, we are standing at a point where the economic, environmental and social crisis can cumulatively lead to catastrophic results.

To combat these issues and give a directive to different nations, the United Nations (UN) announced 17 goals that must be met for a sustainable future. However, a major hurdle in achieving these goals and preparing our governments and people is that traditional learning institutions don't always prepare us to solve real-world problems. In order to change this perception, UNESCO believes in the power of alternative learning spaces that attract several idea incubators who collectively come up with newer business models and products that can help solve world problems in a non-conformist way.

Participants at an earlier workshop

With the intent to promote alternative learning spaces, and to spread the word about their relevance, UNESCO New Delhi, the UN's specialised agency for education's regional office for South Asia, along with community space Maker's Asylum (MA) has organised a multi-city discussion on The Future of Learning through Alternative Spaces. Through this task, which will be moderated by Vaibhav Chhabra, the founder of MA and Richa Shrivastava, its managing partner, they will focus on goal four from the 17 sustainable goals, which is quality education, and discuss the possibilities of alternative spaces partnering with traditional institutions too.

The global body and MA first started working together in 2018 for their annual flagship programme. "We are an alternative learning space, so it's an exciting opportunity to talk about the future of learning. We both believe that the future is changing drastically because of technology coming in and taking away jobs, figures suggest that in the next 15 years, 89 per cent of jobs will be based on algorithms. Traditional methods of learning, which have focused on more homogenous ways of thinking about things won't be able to cope with this," says Shrivastava.

Richa Shrivastava
Richa Shrivastava

She adds that what alternative spaces such as MA do is offer purpose-based and passion-driven learning. The discussion will also include why creative leadership matters for tomorrow and will discuss what the future of learning should look like for everyone. This aligns with UNESCO's global initiative called the Future of Education that talks about different futures of education for every individual by 2050. MA will hold this discussion in Delhi too with Eric Falt, the regional director for UNESCO, and will also present a report next year based on this.

"Bigger institutions and their manner of functioning has not been sustainable for a decade now. There is no robust mechanism to measure their impact on learning. People are turning more towards alternative means of learning as learning in an alternative space is deeper, intimate, appeals to a single demographic and allows one to form better connections since smaller interventions and spaces go a long way," says Karan Talwar, co-founder and curator of Harkat Studios, the venue for the Mumbai discussion.

On October 13, 4 pm
At Harkat Studios, Bungalow No 94, Aram Nagar 2, Versova.
Call 8104752001
Log on to www.insider.in

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