GameChangers and PeaceKeepers’ Hackathon for Youth: the Future of Education at Hetch/H22

A Game-Changers & Peace-Keepers’ Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education, a skills-based, collaborative action-focused Idea-a-thon, based on the Aha! Future Mindset Playbook (c) for sustainable societies.

This is a hybrid event that is coming to H22 City Expo in collaboration with HETCH AB June 4th.

Age: 13-20 years of age.
In English

In this Hackathon the participants will work with developing key skills to thrive in the world we live in now:

Social – emotional

We will look at how to promote peaceful actions through promoting well-being and inclusion through education:

  • Safety & trust: When there is love and care, aggression will find it difficult to get a grip.
  • Communication skills: When we have excellent & elaborated communication skills we can solve things more easily, one conversation at the time.
  • Self management skills: When we don’t act upon impulse, when we analyse, when we consider different perspectives, when we synthesise information; chances are higher that we can avoid conflict.
  • Team work & Collaboration: Humans are great collaborators when it really matters. That’s one of the skills that made our spieces survive, even though others were physically stronger.
  • Empathy, compassion with others: When we have the capability to put ourselves in other people’s shoes; the risk of conflict is less palpable.
  • Inclusion, a sense of belonging: When we have a sense of belonging, when we are part of a healthy community, the chance for sustainable, peaceful societies is greater.

UNSDGs in particular ( and of course all are important):

3: Health and well-being
4: Education
16: Peace, justice and strong institutions.

The participants will work collaboratively to find solutions that can strengthen education for the 21st century.

Founders: Yvette Larsson and Nanna Spetz MSc. LP of Aha!

Register a team of 3 here:

Photo: the AHA! Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now, Hetch, September 2021.

Please share + spread the word! 🙏

The Future Mindset

The world is changing rapidly. Humans are adaptable. There are some fundamental things we need: love, food, water, roof over our heads, safety, a sense of belonging.

The Future Mindset (c) includes building competencies and skills in these areas:

-Cognitive ( i.e growth mindset, EQ, applied neuroscience, executive functions, creative and analytical thinking skills, problem solving skills, mindfulness)

  • Social-Emotional ( i.e Inter and intrapersonal skills, relationships, connections to others, fun, laughter, togetherness, play, communication, collaboration )
  • Physical ( the body-brain connection, choice, super food aimed for you, proper sleep, daily exercise, nature, outdoor, meditation )
  • Environmental ( regenerative economies, sustainability, inclusion, communities where everyone belongs, cities made for people, combat climate change, action )
  • Digital ( the space where humans and tech co-exist, write a good future, ethics, policies, youth health and social media, democratisation, balance, phygital)

🔹Creator: Aha! Accelerating Education
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The AHA! Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

The world is changing rapidly and learning needs to change too. To do this appropriately, young people now need to become part of the wider discourse around what they want as learners. 

Over a weekend in September, a youth cohort aged 13-19 participated in ‘A Hackathon for Youth’ led by AHA! Accelerating Education to express how they look at learning and education in 2021 and beyond, what they found relevant, what they wanted to keep, develop, and discard.

Youth participants worked through five modules and five challenges based on five AHA! competencies; cognitive, social-emotional, physical-, environmental, and digital. The questions addressed centred around, what does it mean to be human in a global era of technology? and what happens when we educate the heart?

The Hackathon welcomed 5 local teams from The International School of Helsingborg and Thoren Innovation School in Helsingborg, Sweden and 6 global teams from across Europe and Asia including Coconut Thinking in Thailand, Vega Schools in India, Shaftesbury School in the UK, Hammerbrooklyn Youth Innovation Center in Germany, The Roermond Agora School in the Netherlands and a private team from United Arab Emirates.

The Hackathon itself was of course a competition, but the learners inspired each and cheered each other on Instagram . The end product from the weekend was a film where they described their look on learning and education. 

The UAE team won the global prize offered by LearnLife. Thoren Innovation School Team 2 won the local prize offered by Hetch and the IB DP International School of Helsingborg won a local prize offered by the city of Helsingborg combined H22 & Hbg Works Design and Innovation. 

Check out their videos here to learn about their answers:

It was beautiful to see the connectivity of the teams and how they were all looking at the same five challenges from different parts of the world and drew very similar conclusions.

Below is the story of the winning team of the UAE, Aya and Amjad Jzaerli;

“We believe that the current system of education must be reformed due to a sharp decrease in creativity. Based on the background of competencies we learned about in the hackathon process, we have come up with a few ideas on how to make education more suitable for us and the future generation. We think that education must include little to no instructions at all, and depend on exploration. Exploration is a lot more exciting than just sitting down and being lectured and forced to follow only given steps with no choice. Teachers must be role models to children, they should motivate them towards curiosity. Curiosity makes them release their potential to ask and explore further.  We expect teachers to give students more space to express themselves and cope with their negative emotions and become resilient. Educators should not target and judge students, this will decrease the self esteem of the students and they will feel less motivated, thus putting less effort. Students should be allowed to take short breaks whenever they feel like doing so.

AHA! – founded by Yvette Larsson and Nanna Spetz – are driven by the fourth UN sustainable development goal: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” AHA! believe that the starting point in education is to educate the heart, to be able to grow and develop as a human being together with others. Young people should be given opportunities to explore their passions in an entrepreneurial & project-based manner where student agency is in the spotlight. The world is transdisciplinary and not divided into subjects, so should 2021 learning also be.

The Hackathon for Youth was chosen by the Helsingborg city’s Innovation Fund, Visionsfonden, as a new and brave innovation, with a possibility to be very impactful. Please connect with Yvette and Nanna from AHA! Accelerating Education and AHA! Well-Being at to keep in touch with them about future Hackathon events and to register youth from your own community.

Youth voice is the most critical part of the narrative surrounding educational change and we must provide them with a platform from which to voice their wants and needs.

The future of learning is now!

Team Thailand: “Our idea is that if education is play-based, we will learn what we want, when we want, and be as creative as we want. We will be able to manage our own time and get together when we want to. “

“We think that the future of education will be play based. We started asking why it is that students are so uninterested in what they do in school and that led us to ask why we had to do what we were told when it clearly didn’t matter to us and won’t be useful later.

Team Thailand did a very captivating, and beautifully made video, focusing on play-based learning. Find out how they look at learning and education in the 21st century.

“We then thought that learning was so much more when we were little. No one told us what to do, we got to play, and as long as we didn’t hurt anyone with our words or our hands, everything was ok. We got to stack blocks and run around. We learned to share and be kind. That’s really all you need in life! (We were inspired by the famous poster by the way).

Our idea is that if education is play-based, we will learn what we want, when we want, and be as creative as we want. We will be able to manage our own time and get together when we want to. We even thought that it would be great if we set our own hours and times. Why do we have to have a schedule? What if school were open 7 days a week and we could go whenever so long as we got done what we needed to? We would learn self-management and explore our interests.

We would also have a campus that was wide open because we would be in touch with nature and we could experience nature. We though that the best way to make students care about nature is to have them experience it and so we would play outside a lot.

We also thought that technology would change so much that we could communicate with people from all over the world. Education could then connect so many different people with similar interests and just like with games, we could connect when we wanted.”

We were curious to know more about the individual team members.

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

“Hi! I’m Nico Freud, an eleventh-grade student studying at PREM in Chiang Mai, Thailand. My main interest is hospitality, more specifically sustainability in hospitality. I’m also interested in a number of other things, such as airplanes and space engineering. “

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

“Being a student, education plays a massive role in my life. The way I am being educated influences everything from my interests to my strength and weaknesses. Unfortunately, I don’t get to chose what I study so most of the time I’m bored in class. By doing this hackathon, I hope to put my ideas out there and hopefully influence, even if it’s in a small way, my teachers teach me.”

What do we need to keep, develop, and trash, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

“Definitely PowerPoint presentations. They are used way too often. If I’m producing less than 3 power points every week, that’s considered a good week. We also need to get rid of teachers choosing what we study. I feel as if student choice should be the leading decision-making tool with which subjects are chosen and HOW they are chosen. This is already a thing to some extent but is nowhere near developed enough.”

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

“Young people will be the educators of the future. Whether teachers like it or not. They are also the students now. Because education is constantly changing they are the people to ask about our current education system. Not people that went to school 30 or 40 years ago. “

Team member two in team Thailand.

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

“Hi, my name is Steve Parfitt. I am half English, half Thai. I enjoy engineering and Formula 1. I currently live in Thailand where I have lived for 14 years of my life. I currently study at Prem Tinsulanonda International School which is an IB school in northern Thailand with a campus and mission statement focused on developing the leaders of our future and sustainable development.”

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

“I enjoy using my brain to solve problems and mould the future to be a better place. One of the things I enjoy the most is MUN and part of MUN is critical thinking. This Hackathon will require me to use a lot of critical thinking and I feel like I will thoroughly enjoy it.”

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

“I think that critical thinking and knowledge assessment is one of the most important things to be taught to anyone. I also believe that classes such as Theory of Knowledge where students study philosophy are very important. I feel like tests, comparative ranking and punishment is something that should be absolutely scrapped as it does not help students develop as people whatsoever.”

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

“I think that young people should be largely part of the development of the education systems around the world as they should be responsible for what they want to learn. Nobody knows the self better than the individual self so why should adults say what young kids want and need.”

Watch their awesome video here:

TEAM2 Thorén Innovation School Wins the Local First Prize Offered by Hetch. “Our Vision is to Invest in Today’s Youth, Since We are the Future.”

Thoren Innovation School Team 2 won the first local prize offered by Hetch at the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now. This team stood out by their excellent skills in design thinking. Take a look here how they used the room.

So what is your vision about learning in the 21st century?

“Our vision is to invest in today’s youth, since we are the future. We want to offer more physical activity and more social exercises, so that people get closer and create social networks.

We believe that if you experience things together as a group, the silence will be broken, it’s a good ice breaker.

If we understand – and get more educated about – the human brain, it may lead to a decrease of mental illnesses. Additionally, we can learn much more, in less time, since out brain have got even more developed.

In this way, young people can gain a place in politics and other important positions at an early age, as the brain develops faster. Then we also get a variation amongst the members of the city council, which can create diversity in society.

Another bigger focus is the climate. We believe that if we educate young people about the fact that their actions can affect the climate negatively, it will create an impact.

We have come up with a service that will be able to detect mental illness in young people at an early stage. With this service, we can detect illness and make youths seek help. Right now, our mission is that this service will be our final project during our Senior year in high school and our UF (JA Worldwide) project.

Get to know the team members:


Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

My name is Tilda and I´m 17 years old. I live here in Helsingborg with my mom, dad and younger brother. Outside of school I compete in dance, and have done that since I was about 10 years old. Besides that, I study and try to make some time to hang out with my friends as well. Right now, I do my senior year at Thoren Innovation School here in Helsingborg. I’m very excited for the senior year and everything that is yet to come.

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

I am a very creative and determined as a person, therefore I believe this Hackathon is something of my taste. I am also very excited to meet new people and visit ”the real world”, otherwise I’m just in school or at dance. I think this will be a wholesome challenge!

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

Both of these questions are very deep and hard for me to answer. But I beliveve that it’s very important to keep on educating young people since we are the future.


“My name is Annie, 18 years old and I´m going to Thoren innovation School. In my spare time, I am playing floor ball (FC Helsingborg), working and hanging out with friends. I also spend a lot of my time thinking and analysing different things. Since I am going to an innovation school, our teachers are trying to connect innovations to our courses, as much as possible. For an example, we have worked with innov8 in mediatech-courses and innovation-processes at the entrepreneurship.”


Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

“Hi, I’m an 18-year-old girl from Thorén Innovation School in Helsingborg. Right now, I’m in my third year at my school’s Technical program. Thorén Innovation is a small private school that focuses on Innovation. I, myself am kind of a creative soul that loves to figure out new solutions and solve problems.

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?
“First off, I feel like my group can come up with some great ideas which give me motivation. I also think that it’s super fun to come up with new solutions, especially now when I can make a difference. I, for example, chose Thorén Innovation School because I want to see opportunities for change and to be a part of forwarding thinking.”

What do we need to keep, develop, and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?
“Keep doing what you are doing by letting younger generations take a bigger part of our society and help the economical growth and our own education.”

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education?

“I already believe that we are a big step forward towards a future where younger people have more say in political matters. Where we can influence our own future. My thought is that we only need to put forward all the positive things that we have to give and that we can make a more positive influence than many might think.”

Watch the video of Thorén Innovation School Team 2. We love their focus on well-being!

“The Education System Hasn’t Changed Much Since the Industrial Revolution.” TEAM IB DP International School of Helsingborg Winning the Second Local Prize Offered by H22 and HbgWorks.

David Bondar and Eleonor Hellborg from IB DP International School of Helsingbirg, won the second local prize, offered by H22 and HbgWorks Design and Innovation.

We wanted to know more about David and Eleonor.

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

We attend the International School of Helsingborg here in Helsingborg Sweden, a school that follows the International Baccalaureate education system, with people from all over the world attending. We are lucky enough to experience a myriad of cultures and meet people from many different places.

David: I’m 17 years old. I’m from Stockholm but lived over a decade in Britain, in Scotland. Many call me a massive nerd, some of my friends have even called me the Swedish Sheldon Cooper (From the Big Bang Theory). I am a lover of all things science and technology, especially Physics and Computer Science. I teach computer science and machine learning at our school and I’m very passionate about Artificial Intelligence, going as far as to have a youtube channel about building ridiculous AI’s.

Eleonor: I’m Eleonor Hellborg. I was born in Uppsala but moved down to Skåne when I was very young. At the moment I live on a farm in the middle of a field, basically surrounded by nature. In my free time I love reading poetry and writing. At the International School of Helsingborg I run the school newspaper called Newsish and work with the Student Union as the president of the Board. 

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

We wanted to help solve the problems that we believe that modern education faces today. We always felt that many principles we experience in our schooling system are antiquated and we wanted change. When we heard about the Hackathon, we were excited to sign up. 

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

Bin – Learning Styles: We are a firm believer that learning styles aren’t real: There are no visual learners, or kinesthetic learners or auditory learners. There is extensive evidence disproving the existence of learning styles. We believe that this is something that needs to be bin. Learning styles are an unnecessary level of complexity that make teacher training more difficult and students’ lives harder. We believe in a system in which all learning styles are combined in one, allowing students to more easily learn more effectively

Develop – Computer Science and Programming skills: It is so important in the age of technology that students have a great understanding of the mechanisms behind our technology. We really believe that knowledge of coding and logic can be invaluable to students in the future. As automation becomes more and more prevalent and jobs in the traditional job market are disappearing, the world needs more bright programmers and thinkers to keep the world going.

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

We think events like these are very important in this process since they allow us to reach the world with our ideas as well as explore them further ourselves. Usually, students will take opportunities to engage and have their voices heard if they are easily accessible to them. Therefore reaching students in the classrooms is probably a good place to start.

Watch their captivating video:

We believe there’s a problem with today’s education system

But what’s the problem?

Well that’s simple, education hasn’t changed much since the industrial revolution, it’s still a system meant to foster workers and obedience. And we think it needs changing.

The first step Cognitive:

Knowledge of neuroscience and the function of the brain can be an invaluable resource for bettering education.

This allows us to perform optimization on our education system – the greater the optimization, the better we can create a system that is more fun and enjoyable and engaging, as well as helping retain knowledge better.

Knowledge of brain function can also reveal that some teaching methods and learning styles aren’t exactly real, for example, there are no such things as learning styles – you are not a visual or auditory learner. Learning styles is something that needs to be thrown out, we should combine all kinds of learning in one, so that the experience is far more accessible and engaging, rather than having teachers focus on only one kind of style.


We currently face a systemic climate crisis, a can kicked down the road to us, students – consumers. For decades we have been taught that it is our responsibility to fix the environment.

In reality this has been a ploy by large corporations to shift blame from them to us. This is heavily reflected in our schooling – schools are quick to tell us to do our part, in reality this has practically zero effect on helping the environment. We as individuals can never truly challenge the status quo as long as we continue to believe that climate change is the responsibility of the consumer and not the producer.

Schools should teach about the harm that business activities have on the environment, and teach them about the inaction and blindsight given to these corporations.

Lessons of accountability are paramount for change, if corporations are not held accountable, nothing will ever change. Imprinting this idea into the mind of young children is a great step towards real and measurable change. Teaching children about recycling, etc is good and is still needed, but it ignores the systemic problems that underpins the climate crisis, the consumerist society. 


Times are changing, that isn’t more true in the cyber world. In the past 30 years artificial intelligence has become a staple of human existence, its ever present in more and more of our lives and as someone with an AI background, their increased involvement scares me

More and more often we find ourselves using and being used by machines that we know less and less about.

It is so important that education today teaches people about logical processes and reasoning, and why programming in schooling is a must learn, we face a merger with machine, the line between human and machine are blurring. It is paramount that students come to learn of these systems so that they can understand the new framework that is underlying their world.

This however raises the question of what is the purpose of Education?

Is it to produce workers for the global workforce, and in turn feeding the infinite consumerist machine? We can only hope that by improving it, we improve the lives of future generations.

UAE, the Global Winner of the AHA! Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now. “Something has to be done”.

Aya and Amjad Jzaerli, 13 years of age, UAE, global winners of the AHA! Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now, that took place in Helsingborg, Sweden, September 10-13, 2021.

“We believe that the current system of education must be reformed due to a sharp decrease in creativity. Based on the background of competencies we learned about in the hackathon process, we have come up with a few ideas on how to make education more suitable for us and the future generation. 

We think that education must include little to no instructions at all, and depend on exploration. Exploration is a lot more exciting than just sitting down and being lectured and forced to follow only given steps with no choice. Teachers must be role models to children, they should motivate them towards curiosity. Curiosity makes them release their potential to ask and explore further. 

We expect teachers to give students more space to express themselves and cope with their negative emotions and become resilient. Educators should not target and judge students, this will decrease the self esteem of the students and they will feel less motivated, thus putting less effort. Students should be allowed to take short breaks whenever they feel like doing so.

We want to collaborate on different levels. When students work together, they discuss and share perspectives, which increases their social skills. 

We need space for creativity in schools. Students can be more creative and innovative if they are allowed to choose their own ways of doing an assignment.

We advocate for promoting physical education and healthy diet. They not only solve mental and physical health issues, but they also build self-confidence and responsibility within the student. Physical education is a vital part of our lives and it shouldn’t be ignored whatsoever.

We also think that we have to change timings, places, and routines throughout the week. We must expose our brain to change, otherwise it could end up in poor self and time management.

We demonstrated that the youth can use mobile in meaningful ways, please trust us. “

This is Aya:

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

My name is Aya Jzaerli, born in Ukraine, Poltava. I moved to the UAE when I was about 6 years old. Currently, I’m studying in Al Durrah International School. 

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

Seeing how knowledge can be used in different ways to study and learn. Since I was in middle school, I was only introduced to the typical type of learning, where the teacher explains and I had to later on do an exam. However, entering this Hackathon, I’m excited to be working with my twin brother and learn in a unique way and at the same time do some activities together.  

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

In 2021, I think we need to keep the interesting resources we found during our struggles in Distance learning. Then we could develop these resources and use them in a way we change the typical teaching way… perhaps the students can explore the answer on their own using a stimulation (if it were Physics class for example). Then, they could figure out the law used in that simulation, later on the students who understood can help out students who struggled. Lastly, I would bin the rule that the teacher should be talking the whole period and all students should do is understand and ace the exam. Plus, I would bin the classic look of classrooms where every individual sits in their own places without having the permission to move around. I believe learning is all about exploring, that’s how it can be interesting and understandable. Therefore, I think teachers should just give out materials and some simple instructions and let students do their job by uncovering the lesson. 

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education? 

Teachers should leave room for students to ask. I, myself, is tired of hearing, “you’re only allowed to talk only when the teachers tell you to” And everytime the teacher points me out to talk, I do get anxiety and start getting nervous with all those eyes looking at me, perhaps judging me, waiting if i’ll either get it right or wrong. For us to get heard, I think the teacher should leave the opportunity for us to talk and ask whenever we have a query. This way, we can express ourselves more, and I think even the teacher can benefit and figure out who got the idea and who didn’t. Since in the rule “you don’t talk unless the teacher asks”, you can’t see which students got it or not since they feel like they aren’t heard in that type of approach. 

This is Amjad:

Tell us about yourselves and the school that you are attending.

My name is Amjad Jzaerli, I am 13 years old. I was born in Poltava, Ukraine. Currently, I live in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates and I study there as well. The school I am attending is called Al Durrah International School which is not far from Dubai, and it is a NEASC candidate as of now.

What is your motivation to be part of this Hackathon?

Changing the education system, allowing people to be more open, and increasing happiness within the education system.

What do we need to keep, develop and bin, within education and learning, as they are 2021?

We have to keep our voices and courage to speak against anything that defies our will. We have to develop group/peer works, foreseeing and forethinking, and develop the strength of the bond created within the school environment.

How shall we make sure that young people are more heard in the context of the reimagining of education?

As mentioned previously, the young people must know how to object, suggest, and implement. Currently we can make sure that all school staff are open minded and can handle different points of view. We can also suggest to them “school management” to open a new position in order to feel more free to express ideas and new suggestions, even if they are bizarre ones.

This is the winning video! Please check it out and share it!

Judith Baeta: “The Future of Education Encourages Learning over Studying.

AHA! met Judith Batea at a Skåne StartUp event for female entrepreneurs, at MindPark, Helsingborg. Judith’s background made her the ultimate Challenge Mentor at our Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now, September 10-13.

Her story is really interesting and captivating.

“Hej, hello, hola! My name is Judith Baeta and I’m born and raised in sunny Barcelona, Spain, but since a few years back I like to consider myself a global citizen. I’m currently completing a Master’s in Innovation and Global Sustainable Development at Lund University in Sweden which I combine with working remotely as a freelance Sustainability Consultant in Barcelona.

Discovering my new passion for hiking this summer in the North of Spain

My “story” as a global citizen started, of course, with my Erasmus International experience during my Bachelor’s studies when I had the opportunity to spend one semester at the University of Pittsburgh in the United States. This was most certainly a life-changing experience that pushed me outside of my comfort zone in many aspects. Academically, it exposed me to a different way of learning in which, compared to the system I was used to in Spain, it encouraged me to think more critically and to use my voice to share my opinions. Personally, it sparked a new sense of curiosity within me, it showed me a world full of possibilities and I started to allow myself to dream big.

Attending an on campus event with Michelle Obama for the 2016 US Presidential Campaign at the University of Pittsburgh

Fast forward, after graduating, I decided to move to Australia searching for new adventures and new career opportunities (talking about dreaming big…). I was fortunate enough to land a job in an EdTech startup in Melbourne called Paddl Co. where I worked as a Customer Success and Community Manager for two years. Something I definitely realised soon is that in “startupland” you have to be ready to wear many different hats and be ready to continuously adapt to changes of plans! Paddl is a community of lifelong learners and part of our mission was to help emerging talent unlock their full potential and for companies to realise that the world is changing fast and so is the way the future of work is gaining “professional” experience. I believe that every life experience, whether it is an internship or the volunteer work you did during a gap year, will matter for whom you become as an individual and as a professional. One alternative way we were able to create valuable experience was through hosting hackathons which connected university students with real businesses to work on real challenges. Students gained real-life work experience, businesses had the opportunity to tap into a pool of amazing talent and everyone benefited from inclusive innovation!

Ready to take on another hackathon weekend with my team at Paddl Co. in Tasmania, Australia

At the same time, living in Australia brought me closer to nature and I not only found my love for surfing but I became increasingly concerned about issues of environmental sustainability and of social justice. I started to get involved in community initiatives such as beach clean-ups, but I also saw the potential for combining my passion for innovation and technology as a tool to accelerate change. As I’m an “actions” kind of person, I started to actively participate in open innovation challenges and hackathons “for purpose”. For example, I collaborated with Random Hacks of Kindness (RHoK), a global community of technologists and changemakers who are ‘hacking for good”. This not only allowed me to help with my skills in a variety of projects — from an NGO working towards women empowerment in Nepal, to a social enterprise using big data to stop gender harassment and an e-commerce platform exclusively focused on local, ethical sustainable products — and learn many new ones, but it connected me to a super diverse network of people who, like me, are willing to challenge the status quo and believe in a better future for humanity and the planet.

Sorting marine plastic debris after a clean up event in Fraser Island, Australia 

Learning coding skills during a hackathon at a RHoK event in Melbourne

Now that I’m back in Academia studying my Master’s, I see first hand how the future of education (still) needs some “shaking”. My main motivation to go back to university was to further my education in sustainability science so that I can better contribute with my skills to contribute to driving the urgent change that is needed, influencing from grassroots movements to perhaps at the higher policy level. However, I sometimes feel that we’re still too hung up on textbooks and we don’t spend enough time looking at (or for) solutions. For me, the future of education encourages “learning” over “studying”, it reflects the complexity of the world we live in by embracing trial-and-error and encourages learners to think critically and ALWAYS ask themselves (or to other people) “WHY?”.


Thank you Judith for all the support you offered, you are truly a multi-talented person!

Vega School’s raison d’être is to discover the star within each child

Vega Schools, India has joined out Hackathon with a team.

We were curious to know more about the core of their activities.

Daniel Curry

Here is what Daniel Curry, Director and Principal at Vega Schools said:

“Vega Schools, rated as one of the top schools in Gurgaon, has been founded by a team of highly qualified, experienced, and motivated educators and professionals. These people have come together to reimagine education to create future-ready schools in this rapidly changing world that will serve as agents of change.

The children need to be prepared for the skills required for the future through the creation of places where learning is a collaborative process built on a deep value-based foundation. Also, a place where a child achieves the greatest potential and becomes not just a successful global citizen but an admirable human being.

Our unique, Problem-based Learning methodology empowers our students with life skills that stay relevant whatever the future may hold.

Vega’s raison d’être is to discover the star within each child – finding, triggering, and nurturing the passion in its students to encourage them to learn.”

We are so happy to have a team from Vega Schools taking part of the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now, 10-13 September, 2021.

Michael Koops, Hammerbrooklyn Youth Innovation Center : We let the students take over the “steering wheel.

From Germany comes a Hamburg-based team studying at the Hammerbrooklyn Youth Innovation Center. Three learners will join our Hackathon for Youth:The Future of Education is Now.

Michael Koops

Michael Koops, Head of Youth Innovation; former Head of GISSV in Silicon Valley, Author, Advisor and Consultant said this about the center:

“The Hammerbrooklyn Youth Innovation Center – based in Hamburg – is empowering students to develop their full potential by providing them with a nurturing, supportive ecosystem and network.

We put students and their ideas first and let them take over the “steering wheel” in all kinds of innovative projects – to finally improve our overall education system and our society.

Our activities are published here:

Hi Yvette, hope this helps:

The Hammerbrooklyn Youth Innovation Center – based in Hamburg – is empowering students to develop their full potential by providing them with a nurturing, supportive ecosystem and network. We put students and their ideas first and let them take over the “steering wheel” in all kinds of innovative projects – to finally improve our overall education system and our society.

Our acitivites are published here:

“We need to support the energy, passion, engagement, drive and will-power of our educational professionals to inspire, motivate and encourage their students.”

Magdalena Simons of The International School of Helsingborg, Sweden is the seventh member of the all-female, trail-blazing jury for the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

We are so happy to introduce you to the readers. Please let them now about your recent education journey.

My name is Magdalena Simons, I come from Austria and since 2018, I’m the IB PYP Coordinator at The International School of Helsingborg (ISH), Sweden, where I have also been teaching since 2007. As a teacher as well as a pedagogical leader, I focus on inquiry-based learning, student action, and most recently, coordination of Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) within our IB continuum school community. My active collaboration with the IB to create teacher support material for the enhanced PYP curriculum and further curriculum development started in 2016.

In addition to my teaching career, I have a master’s degree in nutrition science and I have worked in product development, product management, marketing as well as in public health before I moved to Sweden in 2006.

Magdalena, what do we need to keep, develop and bin to create learning for 21st century learners?

What to keep…

From an educator’s perspective, I think we need to support the energy, passion, engagement, drive and will-power of our educational professionals to inspire, motivate and encourage their students. To educate is a very demanding job! In an environment created for learning, teachers can change into the role of the learners and  learners can become teachers. In this beautiful symbiosis, learning happens collaboratively and stays authentic, regardless of the context.

What to develop…

In my opinion, we need to develop learning from a holistic point of view, taking health aspects, physical, emotional, psychological, social & mental well-being, individual talents, likes, dislikes, passion, socio-economic factors, family, friends and society in our local and global environment into account. Learning and teaching is a complex construct with the student(s) in the centre. Emotions and curiosity need to be evoked and personal relationships established to truly meet every students’ individual learning needs on their life-long learning journey.

What to bin…

I feel we have to bin the idea that learning is “just” acquiring and retaining knowledge and facts without critical reflection. The recognition of different learning styles of students rather than “one solution fits all” as well as the recognition of different learning needs should guide the critical engagement with a curriculum on what’s expected to be taught. To just “add” facts without giving a context to learning will detach students from local and global issues as they might fail to see how the learning connects to and impacts their lives. 

Twitter: @MagdalenaSimons


Practice Eco-Reciprocity, Stand Up for Justice, Share with Solidarity, and Act with Kindness. Benjamin Freud on a Bio-Centric Approach to Learning.

Benjamin Freud, Thailand has some really inspirational ideas on how learning in the 21st century could be. Read what he has to say:

“Coconut Thinking creates learning experiences where learners have a common purpose; to contribute to the welfare of the bio-collective—any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. In our view, learning is not an end in itself. Learning happens when one experience changes behavior in a future experience, behavior that is expressed in the form of thinking and action. Learning is like potential energy that is converted to kinetic energy through thinking and action. We believe that this energy should be used to contribute to the welfare of the bio-collective.

We are interested in how we move beyond student-centered approaches to provide all learners with a common purpose. We think it’s time to get away as much as possible from the anthropocentric worldviews that perpetuate the big issues of our time: climate disruption, socio-economic injustice, and the precariousness of relations with other living things. We believe we need a more bio-centric approach. We would love to connect with anyone who is open to developing a fluid curriculum of for regeneration, one that opens us all to the futures we can imagine.

We imagine learning ecosystems that extend beyond physical and conceptual walls. They would be inter-generational and collaborative. Alongside future-ready skills, they would teach future-saving ethics such as “practice eco-reciprocity,” “stand up for justice,” “share with solidarity,” and “act with kindness.”

This would give learning a new purpose.

We are firm believers in creating curriculum based on conceptual understanding and providing learners with opportunities to demonstrate their growth through “junior,” real world projects that develop transferable and life-worthy learning. We believe that learning is meaningful and personal and happens through self-discovery, not through material that is imparted in one-size-fits-all fashion.

Why a coconut? Because a coconut is classified as both a seed and a fruit—the beginning and the end of the cycle of life, which continues onward. A coconut is difficult to open but provides a worthwhile reward inside. You just need a bit of persistence and creativity to crack it. Every coconut is unique, exotic (to us at least), and definitely not a low hanging fruit. We believe deeper learning is a lot like a coconut. 

We named one of our cats Coconut because the word resonates so clearly for us… she is the third stray we have picked up.

I was born and grew up in Paris, France and since 1989 have lived in the US, the UK, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, and now Saudi Arabia. I started my career in consulting before moving into education, working with Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, hired by people who were literally changing the world. I continued in consulting in London and Tokyo, expanding into FMCGs and Financial Services. This exposure gave me a unique insight into how schools can prepare learners to be successful in the world that lies beyond school. It also provided me the experience and confidence to innovate to meet learners’ individual needs.

Benjamin Freud, Coconut Thinking

Recently, I have been thinking quite a bit about the challenges we face: climate disaster, socio-economic injustice, an how we treat each other and all other living things. I am increasingly interested in post-humanism, specifically the framework that breaks the binaries of you/me, us/them, and humans/nature. I believe that the binary within ourselves is also false and that we cannot separate the cognitive from the affective, just like we cannot separate the self from the social. This is not a new age woo woo concept, this is the idea that we need to move beyond the humanist dualism if we are to embrace ways of thinking and action that serve all living things.

I believe we should move away from an anthropocentric worldview (where humans are at the center) to a bio-centric worldview (where life is at the center). This means that we should have a set of ethics and purpose that directs thinking and action to maximize the positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective—all living things that have an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Simply put, we need purpose to give our actions meaning and that purpose should be the bio-collective. Otherwise, we’re just doing more of the same.

I want to create and nurture ecosystems where school extends beyond its physical and conceptual walls, where all members of the learning community live the ethics that will re-direct the course of history away from ecological and socio-economic catastrophe. Alongside future-ready skills, we should teach future-saving ethics such as “practice eco-reciprocity,”  “stand up for justice,”  “share with solidarity,” and “act with kindness.’

My pedagogical philosophy rests on the belief that deeper learning can only occur when it is meaningful to the learner. This is a deceptively simple phrase, and is in practice a web of complex processes. Meaning, by definition, is personal. Meaning involves not only relevance to the learner, but also accessibility and interest based on the right level of challenge at the right time. It naturally encompasses purpose and joy. Learning takes place in solitary or social settings, and I believe that the role of a school community is to activate and nurture learning through the cultivation of curiosity, empowerment, and relationships.

I take a constructionist approach to learning, one that, in the words of Seymour Papert, believes that “the best way to learn is to build something tangible—outside of your head—that is personally meaningful” (Papert, 1990). Learning is the result of one’s interactions with the world and the opportunities to apply new competencies and knowledge to different contexts. Learners learn best when they operate independently, guided through sets of challenging and enriching experiences by a more seasoned individual (the teacher, who is just a more experienced learner). Such contexts provide learners with the opportunity to acquire learning and apply it at the (roughly) the same time, cementing understanding and making it transferrable to other contexts, which is evidence of learning. This is the apprenticeship model of learning.

Learning is best activated by a guide when learners engage in projects that explore questions that affect their lives. Schools should not just prepare students for the future, they should prepare them for the students’ present in order for there to be meaning. Open-ended questions, creative possibilities, public performances of outcomes… these are some of the ingredients for creating worthwhile learning experiences. It also speaks to what David Perkins describes as “junior versions of the whole game.” By engaging in authentic projects and activities that are pitched at the appropriate level of challenge, students develop and apply their core skills, work on their soft competencies, and discover and hone their interests, which is the fuel to even more sophisticated levels of learning.

This model can only flourish in a culture where respect, voice, choice, and collaboration. I am honored to have developed strong and deep relationships with students in every school in which I have worked. This has rewarded me by opening them up to learning with me, informed my planning and unit designs, and allowed me to support them when they found themselves in need to speak with someone. Inside and outside the classroom I aspire to cultivate these relationships, which are important if we are to be educators of the whole child.

As a professional and a human, I value kindness, collaboration, and pushing oneself to have new experiences and to grow. I believe leadership comes from modeling attitudes and actions. It should also create a safe environment for everyone to express themselves and take risks, without fear of condemnation. Lastly, everything in a school should be driven by the idea that we need to provide for the needs of each child, whatever these may be, at the right time, the right place, and at the right level of challenge.”

We can’t wait to have the Coconut Thinking team onboard on the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

Thank you Benjamin for the inspiration!

The Future Classroom in Shaftesbury School, UK.

We asked Alex More, Lead Teacher of Innovation in Teaching and Learning at Shaftesbury School, one of the participating schools of the Hackathon, to tell us more about their “Future Classroom”.

This is what he said.

“We saw the potential to create a space where knowledge and skills could co-exist, a space where technology supports the teachers and doesn’t try to replace them. We have designed a learning environment that is engaging and practical. Through progressive teaching and warm technology, we encourage young people to be brilliant owners of knowledge, not just consumers of it.

Lessons are taught through interdisciplinary learning with content that overlaps subject disciplines. We tackle contemporary and challenging concepts such as climate change, knife crime, and future food and explore the ‘what if?’ alongside the ‘what is?’

The impact of our work to date has been transformative with students highly engaged in lessons, working in teams to solve complex problems. Each team has a leader, a scribe, a researcher, and a presenter. The room is equipped with 13 whiteboards fixed to the walls and a motherboard. Teams create their ideas then present them to a captive and critical audience; their peers.

The future classroom is being used by our school and other local schools to support teaching, learning, innovation, teacher training, staff development, STEAM Lab, parent engagement, and coaching. We have recently partnered with schools in Ghana and Sweden to teach lessons in real-time to learners via hybrid learning.

To fund phase 1, we reached out to EdTech companies to help sponsor the future classroom. Epson, CatchBox, Gratnells, Biotecture, and SatComs innovation came onboard which allowed us to create an amazing space at no cost to the school. Word spread and press releases helped us share our work whilst connecting us to a global audience of educators and innovators.

Shaftesbury School trained 42 of its 62 teachers to use the room and opened the doors to local primary schools and community groups. Projects to date are fully scalable to all contexts and focus on the STEAM disciplines and intergenerational learning. Our work with super concepts has been adapted to other settings locally and now globally. Other teachers are adopting our agile learning styles, thinking teaching methods, and ideas.”

We can’t wait to have Shaftesbury School onboard for the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now, September 10-13, 2021, at Hetch, Helsingborg, Sweden.

An All-Female Jury for the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

We, AHA! decided to have an all female jury for the Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

Our reasons are: we believe there are so many all-male juries and innovation needs more female role models.

We are very excited to introduce our local and global jury. Stay tuned for individual blogpost about each of them.

Meet this amazing and inspiring group of female trailblazers and game changers!

Emilie Nilsson Sträng Noboto Innovation AB, Moodi Rocks, Techella

Nannah Hallberg Chair of the Student Council in Helsingborg Stad

Magdalena Simons, PYP Co-ordinator at the International School of Helsingborg, with a long experience in the IB.

Aayesha Fazal Migration Youth and Children Platform

Fabienne Vailes Flourishing education 

Jenny Finn Springhouse, Sourced Design Labs

Raheen Fatima 13 year old vlogger, peace and SDGs activist

Jenny Finn has a Calling for a Whole-System Design Change When it Comes to Education.

Dr. Jenny Finn of Springhouse and Sourced Design is one of the seven jury members of the Hackathon.

Jenny, so happy to have you onboard as one of the seven jury members. Please tell us a bit about your background when it comes to learning and education.

“In my early 20s (I am now 50), I had an experience that changed the course of my life forever. I was knee deep in alcohol addiction at a young age, causing damage mostly to myself, but also to those around me. I was at a fraternity party, very intoxicated, and heard something within me say “Put the drinks down, you will never drink again.” At 20 years old, I listened; which is frankly, a miracle. It has been 30 years, and I have not had a drink since that night. I have dedicated my whole life to that voice. I have taken care of this relationship with something deeper and wider than my own will and I have listened to that intuitive voice that has led me all over the world into very interesting paths including directing a nonprofit that brought people of different backgrounds together around the dinner table; leading dance with hundreds people on a study abroad program aboard a ship; working in spiritual care in a trauma department and hospice; mentoring hundreds of people and organizations who wish to return to a greater sense of vitality in their lives and places; and finally, to founding a school, the last thing I ever thought I would do.

Fostering life in places where it is lacking has been my primary vocation since the day I woke up to something much deeper within me. Orienting around something that I ultimately can’t explain, has led me into work that demands courage, creativity, clarity, and compassion. For the past three decades, I have moved towards places in our society that are in need of revitalization. Eight years ago I co-founded a school that is leading the way in regenerative educational and cultural design. The industrial model of education no longer serves the needs of this time. Education is a leverage point to disrupt and redirect culture. Education is the place where adults in power determine what is most important to pass down to our young people. What we are passing down to our young people today in education perpetuates an individualistic culture, one where the currency of the community and the connection to this Earth is often ignored. To build life giving culture we must shift the way we define and practice education. At Springhouse, we are disrupting education as it stands, and are now a strong example of a design that is giving hope to others around the world. The Sourced Design is composed of five principles including:

Take care of vulnerability.

Cultivate personhood.

Build beloved community.

Respect the wisdom of the Earth.

Love and serve others.

We now support those who wish to put vitality at the front and center of their design through the Sourced Design Network where we offer Sourced Design Labs for participants to work with the design principles in their communities; monthly meetings to support disruptors globally in their vitality-centered design work; an annual gathering that spotlights whole-system design changes; and an 8-month immersive experience for those interested in diving even more deeply into the cultural change work that Springhouse is up to.”

What do you think we need to keep, develop and bin to create learning for 21st century learners?

My calling is to experiment with whole-system design change when it comes to education. We need examples of what is possible when we orient the design around something ancient, like vitality itself. Education, or intergenerational relationships in community, is how we create culture. It is where adults in power decide what is most important to pass down when it comes to values, knowledge, skills, and ways of being. We can perpetuate an unsustainable culture with our current conventional ways of educating, or we can reorient the design and create a culture that is awake, connected, and alive.

The evidence is clear, we need something new. I am grateful to those working within the system to care for those in it, and who are leading the way with brilliant educational innovations. My call is to midwife new structures to support new ways of relating to one another and the Earth. Springhouse is a long-term, place-based, example of what is possible, not what is perfect, and certainly not the only way. It is a living example of whole-system design change. We have weathered many storms, and will continue to do so. From this long-term experiment, we have a lot to share, and a lot to learn. Through the Sourced Design Network, I am grateful to now support others called to midwife new structures that take care of and foster vitality in ways that respect who they are, and their communities and place. The truth is, vitality is at the center of all that is living. I know first hand that orienting around what we could never fully explain makes a huge difference and leads to a different kind of life. This redesign can, and has, led to a different kind of community and culture as well.

This is where you can get in touch with Jenny:





Raheen Fatima, a Multi-Talented 14- year old Global Leader

Raheen Fatima is a multi-talented young global leader, a role model for her peers and with a strong will to create change in the communities which she belongs. I met this 14 year old girl when she interviewed me for her vlog and we spoke about learning and education. Raheen is one of our seven jury members for the Hackathon,

Raheen, please let us know a bit about your background when it comes to learning and education.

“My education is  very unique, as I was a curious student and keen to learn not just for grades but for understanding.  I was mocked and  punished for asking logical questions like ” why are we studying this “. I realised that being an innovative and curious individual in the orthodox educational institution will ruin my inquisitive nature and thirst to learn. By the age of 12 I had learned how to express myself innovatively through projects in an environment where only grades matter. Now that I have explored my learning style and studied different educational models across the globe, I have learned that the one size fits all approach in education doesn’t work anymore. So now I am pursuing my education through various unorthodox schools.”

What do we need to keep, develop and bin to create learning for 21st century learners?

“We need to bin the standardized syllabus based on the so-called ” average learner” . We should focus on learning rather than grades and forgo the orthodox assessments. The teacher should be a facilitator and peer learning should be encouraged. PBL is the best way to learn. We need to create an inclusive environment for learners of all socioeconomic backgrounds.”

You can find Raheen here: LinkedIn

Fabienne Vailes – on a Mission to Change the Face of Education.

Fabienne Vailes  of Flourishing Education, you are doing a lot of inspiring things with regards to education and learning. Please let us know more about you!

“With 24 years experience in education, I am on a mission to change the face of education  – embedding well-being into the curriculum to create an environment where both students and staff flourish and develop the mental agility and resilience to succeed both academically and in the workplace.

Author of The Flourishing Student – Every Tutors’ Guide to Promoting Mental Health, Well-being and Resilience in HE,  I present my ground-breaking Flourishing Student Model, which was also the focus of further research under a Bristol Institute for Learning and Teaching Fellowship awarded by the University of Bristol.

I have extensive experience of teaching across all age groups (from nursery to primary, secondary, FE and HE as well as adult learners) including French Language Director at the University of Bristol, specialising in Intercultural Competence and Communication, and Associate of BILT. I therefore have an unusually wide appreciation of the issues facing learner (and teachers) at all levels and a great understanding of pedagogy and what enhances student learning through innovative scholarship.”

What do we need to keep, develop and bin to create learning for 21st century learners?

“The current schooling system focuses on grades and attainment. It tells young people that they need to focus on high stake exams such as GCSEs or A-levels to achieve the holy grail that is university.

We also tend to pigeon hole young people and value more academic students and make those who struggle feel inadequate.

I want to see a system which empowers ALL young people to flourish. Our children are born with innate abilities and capacities, they are curious and the 21st century learner would be an open, curious, flexible life long learner with a passion for learning new things, an intrinsic motivation and all the skills required to flourish.

We all want our young people to be happy and to live a fulfilled life.

In fact that’s the common thread and what all parents I have interviewed for book 3 have told me.

In our current schooling system, we tell our young people that they have to work hard now to be happy when they get the grades, when they get the GCSEs, the A-levels, the degree, etc. 

If we are honest, we adults also do this. I will be happy when I get this or do that…

We are focused mainly on the past or the future and not often on the here and now, the present moment and the only guarantee we have.

Before I went on hols and whilst they were waiting for their degree results one of my Year 4 tutees told me that they were hoping they would get ‘their first’ otherwise the last 4 years of misery would have been for nothing. 😱

It made me sooooo sad! 

I am not saying that qualifications are not useful or necessary for specific careers or that all students are like this particular individual but if studying for something turns out to be ‘a misery’, then I would argue we need to reconsider and do something about it.

What if we approached it differently? What if we said to our children and young people that there is not one way but one’s way. Not a set path but one’s path so that they can lead a fulfilled life.

And that they matter and so does their wellbeing. More than anything else!!

I would also want our children to think about success.

Success is defined as “the accomplishment of an aim or purpose”

Success can look very different for one individual compared to another.

That’s because we are all unique individuals with different aims and purposes. 

We are all unique threads which make up the beauty of the tapestry called life…without our thread, the tapestry wouldn’t be as beautiful.

Because of the above, I feel strongly that we should stop suggesting to our young people that there is such a thing as “destination” and that there is a straight path to success through academic success starting with sats, GCSEs, A-levels and a degree and now even a postgraduate qualifications so that we can get a good job, then the house, the car, the partner, the first child, the second child, etc… 

We should stop suggesting that without those high-stake qualifications, one will not be successful.

Yes, depending on our aspirations having a degree is important and required (to become a surgeon, an engineer or a teacher for example).

But success can also be running one’s own plumbing business or becoming a hairdresser, a personal trainer or even deciding to stay at home with one’s children.

It’s not about anybody else’s path but OUR path.

And one path is not better than another.

Success is achieving one’s goals even if it takes several attempts. It’s picking oneself up when we fall down and trying over again, again and again.

Success to me is finding what we enjoy doing so that we can: 

– be a well and flourishing individual who can contribute to one’s community (local and global),

– find one’s financial stability as a result and

– be able to cope with the normal stresses of life.”

This is where you will find Fabienne:


Twitter: @FlourishingHE

Instagram: @Flourishingedu


Young Leader: Nannah Hallberg, Head of the Youth Council in Helsingborg

Nannah Hallberg, Head of the Youth Council in Helsingborg is one of the seven all-female jury members for the Hackathon.

We asked her to tell us about her innovation and education journey in brief. This is what she said.

“I am currently studying the international social science program with specialization in behavioral science at ProCivitas Helsingborg. 

I have been dreaming about making a change since as long as I can remember. When I was 6 years old I was glued in front of the TV, watching the election. So when my other classmates talked about growing up being princesses and superheroes, I wanted to be in Sweden’s first female Prime Minister. 

It took long time before I was brave enough to get in to politics but when I finally did, it was like I was meant to do it. So said and done – I joined a youth party and became a part of the youth council in Helsingborg at the age of 16. Today, I am the President of the youth council in Helsingborg. I started because I wanted to make a change and I can not thank myself enough for starting to engage. Everyone should do something to make a difference in their life – because democracy is a privilege! “

We are so happy to have you onboard the Hackathon journey!

You can find her here:



Aayesha Fazal focuses on Social Emotional Learning

Aayesha Fazal focuses on a Migration, Youth and Children Platform. She is one of our seven jury members of the Hackathon. We were curious about her learning journey. Find out what she said.

“I started my journey as an educator in early childhood settings. Young children can teach us so much about the human condition in their unabashed authenticity, but inevitably you see this wane as they are taught to practice behaviour that allows them to be ‘manageable’ in the classroom. Being a part of this structure gave me the opportunity to really reflect on my school experiences, how my environment responded to me and how it moulded me. 

I grew up as an international school student in Singapore and was provided with an extremely privileged education. For a long time I perceived it to be an idyllic space for people of different backgrounds to exist together, but inevitably I had to come to terms with the pressure of cultural homogenisation and the judgement that came with not conforming. While understood as progressive, the system of these schools came from cultures and mindsets that did not reflect their local context, and in a post-colonial world this isn’t generally seen as a problem. My disillusionment with the idea of ‘school’ heavily informed where my passion for education (as I chose to perceive it) took me. 

I now work outside of traditional school structures, in spaces where learning and community building go hand in hand. Across contexts of privilege and access, from refugee youth to international school students, I appreciate the opportunity to work with young people that are most confronted with the pressure to reject their identity in order to be successful. I’ve learnt that empowerment is a key not just to academic potential, but also to well-being, healthy aspiration and fulfilment.”

Aayesha, what do you think we need to keep, develop and bin to create learning for 21st century learners?

I appreciate the growing focus on social emotional learning, individualized learning, and inclusivity. I believe that the most important skills that learners develop are the ones role-modelled in the environment around them. I think an important development that is happening in education is the shift away from change exclusively through curricula, and instead an emphasis on the learning culture and the importance of empathy and mutually respectful relationships.

You can find Aayesha on LinkedIN

Emilie Nilsson Sträng – Paving the way for more women in tech.

Emelie Nilsson Sträng, founder of Techella, Noboto Innovation AB, Moodi Rocks and Della8 is one of seven jury members for the Hackathon.

Tell us about your tech and entrepreneur businesses.

“I have founded Techella, Techella is a tech initiative that works to make an impact on the tech scene. I have worked in the industry for twelve years and I have always struggled and wondered where all the girls are. Late 2018 I created Techella as a platform for all of us in the business and today we are more than 400 women in the network. We are having events and workshops in Helsingborg, Halmstad and Stockholm

Parallel with Techella I’m at Noboto, Noboto is a creative company with cutting edge technology, design and business competence. We are creating digital products and services through our API Platform Techla that drive companies to the next level. We´re both helping customers to create new value through software and innovation and we’re building our own brands Moodi Rocks and Della8. “

You can find Emilie here:

Instagram @techellas


The Balance Between Routine and Holiday

In Sweden the holidays are coming to an end and many people started to go back to work this week. What about you? Do you long for the routines a bit or do you want to prolong the holidays? I learned something about myself this summer. How much I love being busy and doing things that I find meaningful. I will reflect over being and doing because we need both. I love my job, I love the projects I am developing with the aim of becoming an entrepreneur soon. I love my sports and of course being with my family and friends. All in all, I’d say that I’m quite happy with my life right now.

As a teacher I have 7 weeks of summer holiday. This summer I spent 3 of them on my AHA! projects. People were asking me how I could waste my holiday on work.

I don’t look at it that way, at all, I look at it as creating something meaningful that I love! It gives me a lot of fulfilment! It’s not a waste. The contrary. It’s something that puts a smile on my face, something I learn from and something that brings me to meet inspiring people!

Ever since I was a kid I was quite a busy person, with many projects, and a big lust for life, trying different things. Today I realised that my restlessness of too much free time ( and this will probably sound very strange for some ) comes from a feeling of “I am enough rested.” I thrive when I can create things!

I need to add something more, in order to paint a correct picture. I live in a costal town, so if I want, I can create a life where everyday would be like holiday. Living here means that I can enjoy a good quality of life, with a beach in the city center and just a very relaxed vibe. Here people dress more relaxed than in bigger cities, and the tempo is slower. This add to the possibilities of being able to take more regular mini-breaks by the seaside, after work hours and during weekends.

I need my breaks and my holidays too. During the past two years I worked a lot on ’ deep focus’ , paying a lot of attention to what I prioritise in life; specifically to whom and to what do I give my time, and why? The pandemic enhanced that thinking.

Since 3 years back I implemented a walk outside during my pauses at work. This gives me a completely different flow of the day. Should I sit in the teachers lounge every pause, I think I would become very sleepy and tired. A 25 minutes walk every day keeps stress away.

I’m focusing on micro moments too. My life is busy and I need efficient time management to manage work, new company, and above all being my children’s mum.

During the micro moments I focus on awe. I absorb the good and beautiful things around me. I try to listen inwards “what do I need now”. I don’t succeed all the time, but it gets better with practice.

The past 18 months were of course extra challenging with the pandemic. Us primary years teachers in Sweden continued to go to work. This made us experience a lot of stress , as we were risking our own health every day,

I needed to balance that situation. It was difficult. I had to consciously choosing how to deal with it. I became a bit less sociable.

With every choice there is a consequence. Not making a choice creates consequences too. During the pandemic it became even more important to think of my own health, as I was risking it every day at school, with over 400 people under the same roof every day.

I’m fully vaccinated now, and it makes a big difference on how I feel about going back to work next week.

With regards to just being, I have some structures. I listen to music a lot, I read a lot. In the morning I have some calming rituals and I love ending the day calmly with lavender oil.

I do a lot but I also let myself be and use the micro moments in awe.

What about you? What are your structures to create balance?

The Olympic Mindset – the Most Beautiful Stories from Tokyo

What do you think of when you see these pictures of those amazing people? Momiji Nishiya, 13 years old winning the skateboard gold medal, The Norwegian female handball team refusing to wear a bikini when competing, American gymnast Simone Biles taking a decision to prioritize her mental health in the midst of the competitions and Italian Gianmarco Tamberi sharing the high jump gold medal with Muta Essa Barshim of Qatar.  

What springs to my mind is a high level of consciousness and presence. A defined moment of being in the now and making good decisions. Also, getting into the flow of what is right. Sportsmanship. Focus.

Maybe what I think of the most is warmth, love, and what it authentically mean to be a vulnerable human.

What shall we keep, develop and bin? The Future of Education is Now: A Hackathon for Youth

A Hackathon for Youth: The Future of Education is Now.

It is happening September 10-13, 2021! Even though a Hackathon has an element of competition, we see it as a global, creative collaboration and a chance for school leaders and learners of progressive, cutting-edge schools to connect and possibly develop things together, paving the way for changing the game of learning and education 2021 and beyond.

The stories that come after the Hackathon are important. The narrative that they will create will be transformative. They will inspire to an acceleration of change, of new stories within learning and education.

All of the participating teams are already in the forefront of learning in the 21st century, coming from schools that puts innovation in education in the spotlight for the benefit of the learners, and our earth. We can all learn from each other and have fun!

The teams are from Helsingborg/ Sweden, New York/USA Avenues: The World School Barcelona / Spain Learnlife UK, Netherlands Agora Roermond, Germany, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, India/ Vega schools, Thailand Coconut Thinking
Afghanistan and Uzbekistan.

What is it that young people around the globe are talking about? What do they want to keep, develop and bin when it comes to education for 21st-century people?

This weekend is for them. We want to co-create with them, to find learning processes that serves 21st century learners. Young people are so seldom heard. It is us adults who talk, participate in conferences and so forth. Young people needs to be part of the discourse.

We are happy to collaborate with Learnlife on this one and have had great support from Bryan Gibson and Stefany Bogatan.

Helsingborgs stad #visionsfonden believes in this idea and also support us.
Idea coach Alexandra Hvalgren has given us valuable insights on how to write an application. Thank you!

Tommy Boije intrapreneur at #hbgworks has offered to film the event and we are so thankful for this.

We are humbly appreciative for the personal learning that goes into a project like this and can’t wait for September to come and we will be at awesome HETCH AB in Helsingborg. Ever so grateful for being able to be there! Thank you Aliya Sabir


What happens in a community, in societies when we educate the heart?

Aha! WellBeing is Selected to the Second Round of the Hundred and Lego Social and Emotional Learning Spotlight

Woho! So fun! HundrEDorg + The LEGO Foundation have a spotlight on innovative programs that support social and emotional learning.

🙏Please keep 🤞🏻fingers crossed🤞🏻 as our Aha! WellBeing program, including JustMove + The Athlete’s Mindset has just been selected to the second round as an innovation in education 😃😃

🌊🏄‍♀️Read about the program here : HundredAha WellBeing Innovation for Hundred and Lego Social and Emotional Spotlight

📩Email us ( the worlds maybe longest email address ? )