AT / Florian Heiler
|Florian will come with us to Dublin to focus on the integration part of the MIR agenda and also because he is involved with the October 2007 workshop on the "Local Educational Institution Of The Future" in Vienna and Kirchbach.
At the moment I am totally infected by the idea of a fundamentally different and open learning infrastructure for rural areas and communities. Two aspects led to this debate especially: frustration about what is happening in big educational and knowledge creating systems (like universities, e.g. not asking and addressing the question about the role and identity of universities and learning infrastructures in the 21st century in deep, etc.; this big, big institutions are still models of the 20th century). And second I am influenced of emerging possibilities and challenges in creating relevant knowledge for developing (rural) areas and communities (e.g. the pattern of global village, knowledge society and life long learning, technological revolution) in a sustainable way. For example I was studying a innovative project with high potential called KB5, Kirchbach 5 in Styria/Austria, which is a prototype of a “house of knowing, culture and education” in a rural area.
Together with friends like Franz (Nahrada) we have the vision to build up -- based on what already showed up in this house -- a smart, flexible, innovation orientated, network orientated, open, local educational and knowledge creating institution of the future. One key point is that learning and knowledge creation is adapted to regional and individual needs and resources and arises from those (regionalisation and modularisation). It is a regional learning institution which uses the emerging potential of life long learning needs, building a infrastructure of learning a as focus for social learning through meeting and working with people from within the territory (face to face contact) and from outside the territory through using informational technologies.
A key point of the learning institution is that people (in former times called students) are as well learners and lecturers. Based on ground courses people initiate and co-create what they want and have to learn in order to achieve the goals the really want (“Individualisation, self-organizing and self-developing learning modules, authentic-generative learning”).
This leads to another major key principle. People are as well “co-creators” of what they want to bring into the world. They organize around emerging and deepened topics and agendas, connect to other knowledge networks (partner-, institutions, experts, pioneers of change, practitioners, etc.) and integrate global knowledge. The third principle is according to that, people do not only finish with a degree, but with a real microcosmic project of the future they intend (as a person and a group). I call this capacity “Prototyping”, which means that people leave with a concrete experimental project or prototype of the future they want to create.
We believe that it is possible and that it is the right time to build a prototype like this. It is at the moment a rough vision with transformative power for activating and linking individual and collective intelligence (and wisdom) in rural areas.