“Tikkun Olam (‘repairing the world’)
– begins with education”
For over a generation, the State of Israel has been leading the world of innovation and technological entrepreneurship. However its education systems seem to be unaffected by the principles that lie at the basis of the same technological and social revolution.
The paradigm shift brought on by the world of entrepreneurship and innovation views ‘sharing’ as an asset rather than a means. The world of traditional knowledge, and its necessity for introductory knowledge, has transitioned to a world in which such introductory knowledge has become a multi-disciplinary domain that is essential for the development of complex thinking.
‘Innovation’ and ‘entrepreneurship’, in contrast with the widespread notion, are not reserved for the domains of technology and hi-tech; rather, they are becoming a lifestyle. The role of the education system is to serve as an agent of the modern revolution and become a hi-tech savvy system. Such a system embraces continual change as a path in learning.
This educational model will seek to connect learning groups with the world of entrepreneurship and innovation through SouthUp. This model will support a learning process oriented to values and culture that incorporates ‘sharing’ and critically receives each idea with the question ‘why’?
Education’s entry to the world of innovation can be compared to a journey. And like any journey, we need a map and a compass to guide us. However unlike a regular journey, we have no specific destination but rather a broad vision to fulfill. This journey will not be a linear one, but rather a dynamic endeavor.
The gathering point for participants in the educational space will change from meeting to meeting and develop on the move. This is a challenging journey that requires constant cooperation between participants in the different spaces. This will hold true for all disciplines and all levels of subject matter.
The educational space is a platform for continuous meetings and growing relations supported by three methods:
Bringing people together, observation and critical judgement.
These three processes serve as the backbone for active social cooperation, emotional and intellectual cohesiveness, and social activism.
The value at the basis of the entire process is ‘responsibility’, which we refer to in two senses:
These two connotations of ‘responsibility’ are at the basis of this value we seek to uphold. This transition of responsibility – from a concept to a declared value – brings us to an ethical consideration of ‘control’. Who controls our lives? Is it us? Is it the environment? A sacred culture or the reality of the street? All these can be regarded as coercive forces that limit our choices and severely narrow the range of our freedom of choice.
If responsibility is a matter of thought, of choice and of commitment, then it is not an inborn value but an acquired one. Therefore, the backbone of the learning process in the educational space must be based on developing the skills of complex thinking, choosing from multiple possibilities, and an understanding of personal and group commitment.
The learning group will take it upon itself to build its own worldview, an ethical compass to guide the educational space. Building such a worldview necessitates continually dealing with value-based dilemmas, being exposed to world culture, and a program of meetings aided by thinking models and creative thought.
This phase constitutes the basis for a shared experience and lays the groundwork for bringing people together, commitment, and responsibility.
At this point of learning, we choose the arenas we wish to improve or repair, in accordance with the hierarchy of values derived from the process. Once this is done it is rather a straightforward task to assess the feasibility of our goals and convert a conceptual idea to a concrete one—all the while checking our actions against our stated values in order to confirm that we remain true to our basic worldview. The next step is to establish a team to develop the idea while searching for mentors.