In a world that has seemingly become content with micro-managing and planning; Learning Societies Un Conference ( LSuC) is a forum that dares to bring about a change we’ve all wanted at some point in time — in terms of learning, building, innovating and empowering ourselves and those around us. Simply put, the society’s intent is lucid: To ‘un’learn (i.e. break away from conventions, popular perceptions, mental conditioning and stigmas) and facilitate alternative forms of learning and experimenting. This platform is more of a leeway that sees the convergence of people who are passionate and focused about learning and consciousness — expanding experiments to share and build their imagination, courage and friendship. The 10th edition of the LSuC, which was held in December at the Bhoomi College in Bengaluru, saw takers by the hordes. In a candid chat, the core members of the initiative share their inside track...
“The idea was to initiate a much-needed change in the society — moving it from schooling to a learning society. We’ve had a group of us comprising varied age groups working towards bringing together new models of learning, working on sustainability, entrepreneurship, spirituality, holistic development, organic farming and the like. Gandhiji and Tagore spoke about education for head, heart, hands and home. That’s what we need to work on. In a nutshell, the focus is on bringing forth the kind of learning everyone needs to survive in the 21st century,” begins Manish Jain, an alternative educator and one of the founders of the initiative.
Bhoomi College in Bengaluru, an alternative educational space that is committed to addressing challenges in sustainability and education hosted the 10th edition of LSuC. More then 1,200 people involved in sustainability, education, social entrepreneurship shared their stories, talents and gifts with each other. “More than 25 open spaces were provided for the 150 workshops, sessions, performances and dialogues. The gathering engaged hearts, hands, head and home for rejuvenating our present lifestyles and systems,” shares Adil Basha, media head at Bhoomi Network.
Spearheading the movement since the year 2002, when LSUC was formed, Manish adds how it was the ‘boring education reform format that focused on only schools’ which inspired him to take a detour from the norm. “I used to be a part of UNESCO, and have also attended several conferences. From what I observed, they were all centred around an age-old format. There are so many things we are all unaware about, which can’t be discovered if you stick by the rulebook,” the co-founder opines. There are two arrangements or rather batches through how these sessions are conducted. First, Previous unConferences have been held in Sardarshahar (Raj), Pune, Himachal Pradesh, Udaipur, Mumbai, Brazil, Jordan, Pakistan and Iran. Harsh, a 22-year-old organiser believes the arrangement promotes tolerance. “The biggest takeway is the relations I’ve built over time during the organising bit. I think it’s important to build a connect with people from various walks of life, with a different perspective and that’s a crucial thing to learn.”
LSUC focuses on collective intelligence, and comprises people from varied ages experimenting and sharing their ideas — from young students to senior citizens in their 70s. “We want to create an inter-generational space. Because there are very few forums that have something which can engage individuals from different age groups. Pretty much like boxes, even groups and clubs have been categorised for children, adolescents, teens, adults and the old. The intent is to break that, and integrate passionate individuals to come forward and involve and evolve in the pursuit of what they love doing and sharing,” signs Manish off.