Back to their future – together!

August 11, 2011 1 comment

This was part of my speech on August 7 at Portland, Oregon during the 8th Annual AERO Conference — Transforming Education & Our World and was originally posted at the TEDxKids@BC website. I hope you will enjoy the video I made for the occasion – bear in mind that this was my first attempt at video editing! ;-) I am looking forward to your feedback on my thoughts around bringing the kids into a partnership with us adults and making a social change and shaping the future together

Try to imagine a future without kids. It hurts to even think about this, right? It’s a nightmare we better never see! How about kids without a future? Unfortunately, the world in which many kids have no future already exists — we live in it every day.

I am not talking runaway climate change roasting the biosphere here — from poverty, to no access to clean drinking water, to diseases, to no basic human rights — examples of this kind abound. But the kids also face problems like outdated school systems, inefficient healthcare, disconnectedness from nature, society that values conformity over authenticity…

In our world, adults decide for the kids: From serving chocolate milk during school lunch to opting out from vaccines… From cutting school budgets and enforcing standardized testing to choosing energy sources and CO2 limits… From what to learn and whom to learn with to when and how to play! Read more…

Be sure of your dreams!

May 19, 2011 Leave a comment

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh,” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw,
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”

NOTE: This was originally posted at the new TEDxKids@BC blog. I invite my readers to check the blog out as we’re trying to bring various authors to share their stories and ideas around empowering kids, nurturing passion, fostering creativity, supporting authentic learning! 

There were many times in my life when I would dream, often with my eyes open, but it wasn’t until sometime last year that some of those dreams popped out of my head and started running in front of me. It wasn’t something I did that brought them to life. Nor could I control them once they were on their own either. All I could do was to touch them to be sure of them. Read more…

Have you ever stopped playing?

April 30, 2011 3 comments

It felt like a very long day today — a failure on one of the servers at work almost led to loosing all our customer data! The fact it happened on a Saturday made things worse. Luckily, it all ended up well, but the day almost wore out by then. Still I felt uneasy — it didn’t feel right to finish with the bitter taste that panic, worry and grave seriousness through the day left in my mouth.

A glance through the window let me see the sun still shining and the evening inviting for a play outside with my older daughter. We both jumped on our bikes and off we went to visit the many playgrounds in our neighbourhood. This is when I realized I’ve been reaching out to play as a way to deal with stress and make me feel better ever since I’ve got my first daughter.

I haven’t thought about it until tonight, but I can’t remember doing many “playful” things since almost I was a child my self. I always led a fairly serious life, with great responsibility for my actions and thought that hard-working discipline is the only requirement for success. Not that I haven’t done things for fun, on the contrary, but play to me is when you have fun by being immersed with all the senses into something you do out of joy and without worrying if you “behave” for your age.
Read more…

What makes you special?

March 22, 2011 6 comments

Image credit: Speak to Children

Tonight, my (almost) 7 years old daughter asked me: Tato*, what makes you special?

… pause …

As you can assume, I didn’t know what to make of it! When I asked her what she means by that, she told me that she thinks she is good at drawing, so that makes her “special” in her mind and she wants to know what is it that I am good at?!

This made me think — I did wiggle out of a straight answer, btw! — Am I so good at something that I feel special about it? What does being special mean, after all?

I know I am a unique person with own behavior, dreams and wishes for the future. I know that if someone looks hard enough they’ll find few things that make me different from the other 7 billion people on this planet — but that makes me as special as a zebra is special because of its pattern being unique among all other zebras and that is not what my daughter really meant!
Read more…

Dale J. Stephens, a 19 years old entrepreneur and unschooler, wants to revolutionize higher education!

March 20, 2011 5 comments

“I have never let school interfere with my education.” — Mark Twain

With the above quote from the great American author, Dale J. Stephens, a 19-year old entrepreneur and unschooler, opens the movement to bring unschooling concepts into higher education — UnCollege!

Dale J. Stephens -- 19 years old entrepreneur and unschooler

After initially following the curriculum in a traditional school setting, Dale began unschooling in 6th grade. As an unschooler he lived in France, started a photography business, worked as a campaign photographer, spent a summer at UCLA, and worked at a venture-backed education technology startup, Zinch.

Last fall, after finishing ‘high school’ in his own unschooling way, he followed the societally-accepted path and enrolled in college. After his frustrations with college compounded recently, he realized how little he appreciated the opportunities to learn from life that he had whilst unschooling.  So he decided to revolutionize higher education by bringing some of the ideas of unschooling to college. Read more…

Amazing kids & amazing dreams!

March 2, 2011 Leave a comment

We at World4Children are passionate about helping kids live their dream and apply their own passions to build a better future for themselves. Luckily, we’re not alone and many organizations around the world share similar values. We’re happy to have one of them as one of our greatest supporters and hopefully partners in the future to help more kids follow their dreams!

Amazing Kids! is a children’s non-profit organization offering fun, challenging, and self-motivating educational enrichment for kids and teens worldwide! Their online magazine is created by kids and highly respected by many kids, parents and educators. Their programs are helping kids with opportunities to improve their skills or get resources to help them launch their own dreams. Read more…

Thank you for taking part in the Amazing Kids! Perrific Oscar Picks Contest!

February 27, 2011 Leave a comment

As the Oscars are unfolding tonight, we’d like to take the time and thank everyone for their participation in the Amazing Kids! Perrific Oscar Picks Contest! World4Children was very happy to join Perry Chen, the 10 years old film critic we interviewed recently and Amazing Kids!, the host of this fun contest.

As you know, the contest invited kids, between the age 6-17, worldwide to predict the Oscar winner for “Best Animated Feature of 2010” for the tonight’s 83rd Academy Awards®. The kids were choosing their own favorite film from the top 3 Oscar®-nominated feature animation films, How To Train Your DragonToy Story 3, and The Illusionist.

We`re excited to see which film did the kids choose as their favorite — and if their choice will agree with the Academy, which voted for Toy Story 3! ;-)

Stay tuned for more information about the prizes and the kids choice! The winners will be announced March 1!

Thank you!!

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