Monday, February 13, 2012

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

William Kamkwamba was a young boy from Malawi with a vision of a better future.  In Malawi, they face a lack of water and drought everyday. Then William read a book - Using Energy - that inspired him to find a way to build a windmill. He believed that a windmill would bring electricity and water to his devastated village.

William eventually did build this windmill - his "magetsi a mphepo" - from discarded things he found. Now, he is a student at Dartmouth University in the USA.

Please read William's book - The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind. It is >now available to read online.

The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind

Labels: , ,

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Your Choices Shape the Future

Every choice you make 
shapes the future.

Wouldn't you like to learn 
how to make better choices 
for the future?

Labels: , ,

Monday, May 25, 2009

Puppets for Learning Programme

I'm going to meet with Gary Friedman from Corporate Creatures when I visit Sydney end of June. He build puppets much like the muppet-style of Jim Henson.

Watch the video here and enjoy just how enchanting it could be to learn something with these puppets leading the way!

Corporate Creatures™ Promo (7 min full version) from Corporate Creatures™ on Vimeo.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Kids 2020 website is now live!

We have opened parts of the Beta 1.0 version of the Kids 2020 website. We appreciate any feedback you would like to share with us. Of course, the site is very limited at this time. We are only a small group of volunteers.

Many, many thanks to Hans, Marcel, Gwyn, Sierd, and Rob. They have shared their expertise and shown their dedication to bringing Kids 2020 alive online.

Labels: ,

Monday, February 11, 2008

Every Child Has a Thinking Style

A friend gave me this book to read because of our work with children. I enjoyed the way the author,
Lanna Nakone, presented the "why and how" of children's learning preferences.

Are you a parent looking for a deeper understanding of how your child approaches life and learning? Are you facing a particular challenge with your child? You might appreciate the insight from Lanna Nakone's 4 basic organizing types on how children face their challenges and reach their potential.

Basic profiles for the 4 organizing types:
Maintainers - mascot "The Penguin" - follow routines and are predictable.
Harmonizers - mascot "The Dog" - love company and harmony, collecting mementos from their experiences
Innovators - mascot "The Horse" - are unpredictable, focused in particular situations, and need freedom to cover wide spaces literally and figuratively
Prioritizers - mascot "The Lion" - are agile, quick to the chase and want to play master of their environment

Buy the book if you want to learn more.

Labels: , , , ,

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Kids’ Well-being Int'l Conference in Belgium

We are excited to participate as speakers at the International Conference - Innovation in Education, Raising the Well-being of our Children - in Leuven, Belgium.

In August 2007, I came across Liesbeth Michiels in Utrecht. Liesbeth is an accomplished professional who wanted to make a difference. She decided to coordinate initiatives to increase the well-being of children. She founded Kids’ Well-being. This December 3rd and 4th, she will bring experts together in a conference to discuss innovation of the educational systems within Belgium, the Netherlands and the UK.

Involvement, participation, and interaction are key drivers for the 21st Century. While our educational systems provide children with knowledge, there are still many questions left unanswered. Each country has different standards for education. And, there is a difference between education and learning. Another big question we have to address is “How do we help our children become citizens instead of consumers?”.

This is a wonderful opportunity for Kids 2020 to contribute to the dialogue and to engage participants in a series of workshops about the role that values play in our lives. During these workshops we hope to learn how to share our different perspectives on values. How do we each identify our own values? And further, how do we each use those values to guide our choices?

This will be very insightful as we continue to develop the learning programme for Kids 2020. What defines the well-being of a child in industrialized nations in the context of the 21st century?

Labels: , , , ,

Saturday, September 15, 2007

King Willem 1st School for the Future

Carola Verschoor and I traveled to Den Bosch in The Netherlands to meet with Coen Free, the Chairman and visionary behind The King Willem 1st College's School for the Future This is actually the English translation from Dutch for Koning Willem 1 College School voor de Toekomst.

Carola is our new Program Director and jumped into her role with a knowingness about how to address one of the challenges facing us - finding a starting place to get the Kids 2020 Learning Program going. We had discussed the rationale behind becoming an ingredient brand inside other organizations focused on children and learning. What we never expected to happen was to run into someone like Coen Free and his exceptional campus of schools.

We are facing the challenge of developing a prototype and getting to "proof of concept" with it. Once we do that, we can test that prototype in a few different cities in different countries to work out the cultural dimensions. Before we can even do that, we need to find a place to develop the training program for the trainers, coaches and guides while developing the Kids 2020 Learning Program itself.

The King Willem 1st College in DenBosch offers us the kind of learning environment that focuses on lifelong learning. On this campus, there are schools there for adults, children and teens. Coen Free visited the USA many years ago and was inspired by the community college system there, which offers a learning framework for people who cannot meet the requirements of the traditional university. He has established individually-focused learning programs for all ages and interests so that people can develop themselves and grow from that. Even the rooms are set up to inspire and motivate people. They even had a relica of a 1950's American diner for their cafeteria, complete with juke-box! Have a peek at their photos.

Just being on the campus inspired us. We could see the possibilities - and we think that Coen could see them, too. We'll explore them in collaboration and see if we can get to a working arrangement. Stay tuned...we'll keep you posted.

Labels: , ,

Monday, July 30, 2007

Designing the Website

We're getting the designs ready for the website. Here's a sampling. We're open to feedback.


Our promise:

The 7 Phases of the Learning program:

I met with developers last week here in Amsterdam to discuss building the content management framework and content management system. This seems to be a challenge because we want to use Open Source software. Finding working partners that fit the criteria for this limits our choice and makes the this project much more complex.

If you have any suggestions, please share them.

Labels: , ,

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Kids 2020 is officially a legal foundation

Hooray! On 10 May 2007 at 10:52 am, we signed the charter for the Kids 2020 Foundation in The Netherlands.

This means that we are now committed to putting a potentially world-changing programme for 10 year old children into practice...

to give children the tools and frameworks to constructively think for themselves in a systematic way and make values-based choices.

to research & develop techniques and systems for capturing content, building community, sharing knowledge, and working out a new value system.

to establish governmental relationships that translate our learnings into policy.

Our purpose creates unique value for specific groups:

Children: learning strategic skills and unleashing their ideas with purpose, vision and direction to create value for themselves and others.

Society: helping children learn how to take responsibility as contributing citizens rather than just as consumers.

Business: providing a vehicle for socially responsible investment that demonstrates clear commitment to a values-based, sustainable future.

Public Affairs: putting the health, education and welfare of a child as a sustainability strategy at the heart of every government policy in the world.

Our Guiding Principles:

• establish a movement – mobilising vast networks of expertise
• vision driven rather than goal driven
• sustainability built into strategy, choices, behaviour
• incremental stages and testing
• emerging and evolving – learning feeds development of model
• participation model – Peer-to-Peer
• grow a new value model
• dynamic system

Kids 2020 needs partners and resources to fulfill this.
We're amazed at the groundswell of enthusiam for this project so far.

Labels: , ,

Monday, January 08, 2007

Lifelong Kindergarden from MIT MediaLab

The Lifelong Kindergarden inside the MIT MediaLab believes that is is important that children know how to design, create, and express themselves. Inspired by the ways children learn in kindergarten, so that all ages could continue to learn through a process of designing, creating, experimenting, and exploring.

"Sowing the seeds for a more creative society."
"We develop new technologies that, in the spirit of the blocks and fingerpaint of kindergarten, expand the range of what people can design, create, and learn."

Their ultimate goal is a "world full of playfully creative people who are constantly inventing new opportunities for themselves and their communities."

a couple of their projects:
Scratch is a new programming environment that kids can use to create their own animated stories, video games, and interactive art - and share their creations with one another across the Internet.

With Crickets, kids can create musical sculptures, interactive jewelry, dancing creatures, and other artistic inventions -- and learn important math, science, and engineering ideas in the process. These are crafts for the digital age so that children can create and program their own computerized designs.

photo from Robert Spencer, New York Times News Service


Sunday, October 22, 2006

CyberSchoolBus from the United Nations

CyberSchoolBus is a global teaching and learning project from the United Nations.

CyberSchoolBus offers a selection of programs and activities focused on peace education, human rights, world hunger, poverty, discrimination. Through the site, you can stay up-to-date with statistics and projects around the world. It is also a platform for open discussion on issues.

Look at the Winners of the 9th Annual International Peace Pals Art Competition and Exhibition.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Exploratorium Online Museum

The Exploratorium is the museum of science, art and human perception at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco.

They have an amazing online exhibition site. It has 5 categories: SEEING, MATTER/WORLD, MIND, LIFE SCIENCE, and HEARING.

Each category is full of activities that children can play online.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Thoughtivity for Kids

Thoughtivity for Kids is a book full of activities designed to stimulate and develop the imagination of children ages 3 - 10 and teach them how to analyze situations.

The authors - Tatiana Sidorchuk and Nikolai Khomenko - are an experienced teacher and an experienced TRIZ expert with students. They have based the activities in the book on the TRIZ methodology for systematic innovation.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

The BizWorld Foundation

The BizWorld Foundation helps kids learn through real life experience in business scenarios.

Kids learn math by learning about the role that counting, money, or formulas play in the context of finance or evaluation. These are "hands-on" programs for kids that teachers can build into their learning program.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Tux Paint

Tux Paint is a free drawing program designed for young children. It has a simple, easy-to-use interface, fun sound effects, and an encouraging cartoon mascot who helps guide children as they use the program. It provides a blank canvas and a variety of drawing tools to help your child be creative."

Tux Paint is an open-source drawing software for children. You can download this program and use it on your own computer.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Storynory - iPod ready stories for kids

Storynory offers children's stories that you can download to your iPod.

There are enough stories to enjoy for a very long time.

The downloads are free, but they would appreciate a donation.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Online Coloring Book

Just click on one of the cartoon images in this Coloring Book. You go directly to pages that you can print and color.

Who can resist great pages to color!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

10 Step Guide to Living with your Monster

This is a really fun book with some great instructions. It includes simple and clever things to remember to do when caring for your monster.

When it comes to dealing with scary things in your life, this is the book for you!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Kids Design the Future

Kids Design the Future creates the space for children to participate in making technology for their future. They see children as design partners.

Children begin by cooperating and exploring the context of the project together. Adults guide them through this process using questions that help them understand how to engage with the process. There's a lot of drawing and illustrating what they're doing together.

Check out the projects that kids have created. I loved the Classroom of the Future.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Habbo Hotel Online Communities for Teens

"Habbo Hotel is one of the largest teen online communities with online hotels in 16 different countries. Each hotel is a virtual world for young people, a massively multiplayer online game where teenagers create their own virtual character and interact with other characters in the hotel."

Not only online...but soon on DVD. Once again, we have Finland paving the way for new ways of communicating, sharing and collaborating.

Habbo Hotel's will animate webisodes in a program called "Habbosodes". Sulake - producer and creator of Habbo - has challenged a selection of studios from around the world to create 15 of these 3-minute webisodes. These commissioned Habbosodes will be put on a DVD and distributed internationally.

What's fun is that members of these Habbo online communities will vote for the most popular vignettes. This new way of collaborating will get other media applications rolling.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Philosophy for Children in New Zealand

Schools in New Zealand are now beginning to include philosophy in their educational programs.

"Philosophy for Children is often described as a thinking skills programme or a course in critical and creative thinking.

The subject matter of Philosophy for Children is those common, central and contestable concepts that underpin both our experience of human life and all academic disciplines. Examples of such concepts are:

Truth, reality, knowledge, evidence, freedom, justice, goodness, rights, mind, identity, love, friendship, rules, responsibility, action, logic, language, fairness, reason, existence, possibility, beauty, meaning, self, time, God, infinity, human nature, thought."

Monday, August 29, 2005

Kids at Sail 2005 Amsterdam

Sail 2005 @ deKoning Studio party 7, originally uploaded by Colby.

John de Koning - photographer - set up a play area for kids outside his studio during Sail 2005 in Amsterdam.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Magic House at The St. Louis Children's Museum

The St. Louis Children's Museum Magic House is teaching kids how to build sand castles as this summer's project. They have dedicated a large area outside in the gardens where they use this huge sand castle as an example of what kids could build. It's so fun!

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Global Kids Project

Global Kids : Young people becoming active agents of change in their communities and in the world!
• Leadership Development
• Academic Enrichment and Support
• Global Education
• Peer Education
• Social Action
• Teacher Training

What I really liked about this group is that they are focused on the personal development of young people by uniting them in projects.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Kids Drawing Programs

This is a great resource for kids. I particularly enjoyed the choices for the drawing programs for a range of ages.

Let us know if you experiment with these.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

KIT Tropical Museum in Amsterdam

KIT mural listening, originally uploaded by Colby.

The KIT (Konnicklijke Instituut de Tropen) Tropical Museum in Amsterdam has a unique directive for bringing world culture into the lives of Dutch children. They do it in a research grounded, highly creative, interactive and experiental exhibition that requires the full participation of the children involved.

Yesterday, Jonathan Marks and I had the pleasure and opportunity (adults are not generally permitted to interfere) to sneak a peak into one of the children's performance experiences. The KIT children's team has invested 2 years in research, set and costume design, to bring the world of Iranian culture into a scenario where children learn about the depth of the culture through music, food, costumes, stories and art.

A visit to the museum is a must if you're in Amsterdam. They're also having an exhibition on Evil for adults.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Afrikids Project

A contact on Ecademy says this group, Afrikids, is worth looking up. Based in London, but I like the style of their website. They are focussed and I like their slogan..bringing big smiles to little kids.


Thursday, March 03, 2005

Spaghetti Book Club - Reviews by Kids for Kids

The Spaghetti Book Club has kids reviewing and sharing what they read.
-- Titles
-- Reviewers
-- Authors
-- School Groups - Started in USA, it also includes 12 other countries so far.
-- ClubHouse - They can start "conferences" here and hold online discussions. Looks like this is done within a school class. Nice for kids to learn about one another through sharing their interest in books.
-- Literacy Links - not yet up and running, but I expect that to lead to partnerships for them.
-- About
" During the program, students:
* read books
* engage in book talks
* discuss the elements of a book review
* read and discuss reviews from the Spaghetti Book Club web site
* write group reviews to practice writing summaries,
opinions and recommendations
* work on their own reviews
* read their reviews for feedback from their peers
* publish their reviews on the Spaghetti Book Club website
The Spaghetti Book Club helps students develop critical reading and writing skills by providing them with a meaningful context in which they learn how to think critically about the books they read; engage in reflective dialogue with teachers and peers; express their opinions and reactions in conversation and writing; and write for an intended audience. At the end of the project, it is quite a thrill for the students to see their work published on the web! "

If you're interested in knowing more, contact Julie Rosemarin, the Founder and Executive Director:

Monday, February 28, 2005

Kids with Cameras

"By teaching the art and skills of photography, Kids with Cameras empowers children growing up in difficult circumstances and allows them to appreciate the beauty and dignity of their own expression. We send exceptional photographers to communities around the world to lead the workshops, which emphasize artistic excellence and individualized attention, and which encourage a holistic approach to art and education. We present the kids' photos to the world through exhibits, books and film.

Kids with Cameras works beyond photography to strengthen the children's general education as well as their communities, linking with other organizations to work most effectively. Armed with self-respect, discipline and creativity, Kids with Cameras joins our kids to a global community that values them as artists, individuals and citizens."

Kids with Cameras empowers children growing up in difficult circumstances and allows them to appreciate the beauty and dignity of their own expression.

Friday, August 20, 2004

Kids 2020 & the Summit for The Future

It’s not often that a project comes into our lives that inspires and feeds our business, personal and community worlds at the same time. This is the case with Kids 2020 , which will make its debut at the Club of Amsterdam's Summit for the Future – Vision & Strategies for 2020 . During January 26-28th 2005, The Summit will gather thought leaders from throughout Europe and other parts of the world in Amsterdam to discuss and explore the potential visions and strategies for the year 2020.

Kids 2020 will provide the backdrop and context for
Summit for the Future as a multi-media exhibition. The first results of interviews and workshops with children from different cultures and different countries between ages 9 - 11 will shape this exhibition. The top 10 visions and strategies created by these children will run as filmed interviews, hang as framed points of reference, and draw attention to the world illustrated by these children as they envision their role in it. They will represent an insight into future society for the participants in the Summit. The first results of this project will be packaged as a book, DVD, and reproduced as a mini-exhibition for private display, available for the conference and later through online distribution.

Kids 2020 provokes children to take a look at their future world and asks them to play specific leadership roles in these discussions. Those 3 leadership roles - material, relationship, or conceptual based – focuses their thinking as they engage with questions and processes to guide them in their mini-forums. Their output is how they develop their ideas about the future 16 years from now and determine how to move those ideas into action.

We are using social media as access platforms for reaching children from many different places in the world. The same methodology is used, but we have created the room for cultural adaptation. Children can access the methodology, make their contributions and share their visions and strategies using this weblog. We hope to create the opportunity and space as well for them to share their maps, drawings, films, photography and music related to this project. Their collective intelligence should help inform the world by giving children a channel for their voice, and build wisdom and a higher sense of awareness in our society, locally and globally. Over time, we hope that these children will build a global network of their own, exploring a shared future together.

Now our task becomes finding financial partners to underpin the resources to continue the research and produce and deliver Kids 2020 into diverse exhibitions throughout the world with the book, film cuts and other merchanidising materials. We hope these partners may want to play an extended role because the exhibition could also travel to different countries, augmented by contributions from local children to make the exhibition particularly relevant for each location.

Colby Stuart and Adriaan Wagenaar are the concept developers behind this project. We are both consultants on innovation and branding, and decided to partner our talents to build a business model based on the contribution of children to inform an adult world and its political, organizational and business processes. Stuart published Kids Club Magazine for 12 years for one of her clients, PBS (Public Broadcasting System) in the USA. Wagenaar has worked with the philosophy of children to build wisdom for brands like Robeco and Centre Parcs in The Netherlands. We live in Amsterdam and work with many cultures. Earlier this year, we established
The Dutch Connection, a multi-cultural club with members from around the world focused on collaboration, sharing culture and building creativity into our lives. Through this community of 189 members from 26 countries, we have begun to establish the network for the Kids 2020 research.

Club of Amsterdam develops forums for generating platforms of interest to shape your future in the Knowledge Society, the world we live in today.