Radical Innovation in Unexpected Places

You never know where good ideas will come from, and if you ask Innovation Consultant Charles Leadbeater, some of the best ideas come from the least likely places.

In this TED talk, Leadbeater shares his experiences looking for radical innovation in education in the slums. While many experts turn to Finland as the best example of innovative education, Leadbeater believes we should instead look to places where there is latent demand — where traditional high-cost solutions won’t work. He went to Monkey Hill in Rio de Janiero, Brazil and to Kibera in East Africa. As Leadbeater notes, education in places like these is for one reason: to earn a living in order to stay alive.

Much like Sugata Mitra’sHole in the Wall” experiments demonstrated, Leadbeater believes that children can learn on their own with the help of computers. And, perhaps most important, motivation is a huge component that is missing from our education system today. “Our traditional systems say there is a payoff to education, but you have to wait a long time,” says Leadbeater. “That’s too long if you’re poor.” Leadbeater believes the best education systems for today are highly collaborative, very personalized, and often use pervasive technology. Learning that starts from questions and projects, not knowledge of curriculum.

And, Leadbeater believes, social entrepreneurship – like that from recent interviewee Amruth B R – will take us far in our quest to transform education today.

Take a look at this great TED video from Leadbeater and let me know what you think @anthonysalcito.


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To apply to the Expert Educator Program, and win a free trip to the next Partners in Learning Global Forum, go to www.pil-network.com/expert

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