Posted by Leanna S, December 5 2019
There is a transformative energy, sometimes unspoken but largely felt when we are about to enter into a new decade. A new decade means a welcome beginning, a vital change - and change is always invigorating. Just a few months before the calendars switch to year 2020, on 2nd November 2019, TeachSurfing, a global knowledge-sharing community, based in Berlin, launched a dynamic effort that marks the humble beginnings of a knowledge-sharing revolution – the TeachSurfing Festival. Set in the savvy bUm Berlin, the TeachSurfing Festival brought together a community of 180 people including 24 volunteers, 12 speakers, and 6 hosts to celebrate a shared passion for knowledge.
As the clock strikes to 3, and the space was slowly filling - the energy of the festival was set. Smiling and eager faces of attendees full of drive and curiosity made the event a success from beginning to end. At every corner, the experience was invigorating – from the set-up, to the collaterals, the food, and the program, everything was effortlessly created to express the singular feeling of authenticity.
Miganoush Magarian, co-founder and CEO sparked the beginning by opening the festival with a warm welcome and an enthusiastic introduction to the TeachSurfing community. An inspiring key-note speech by education maven, Ashoka Fellow, and special guest, Margret Rasfeld followed as she unveiled her motivations and her work towards radically transforming the system of education – one from teaching to learning.
The heart of the festival were its workshops, especially chosen to be relevant and encompass a diverse range of interests. The workshops included: Turning a Summer Course Concept into Reality (Eszter Boros), The Ecological Footprint (Daniel Witt), Introduction to Artificial Intelligence (Matt Buccelli), How to Do TeachSurfing in Tanzania (Erick Morro), Technology and Its Effects on Our Relationships (Nina del Marr), Become a TeachSurfer Crashcourse (Gretta Hohl), Yoga – Health, Strength, and Inner Freedom (Dr. Wiebke Mohme), and Introduction to Design/Innovation Thinking (Khaled Khudr).
Each workshop was an interactive learning experience for both participants and TeachSurfers. Everyone came together in a single room with an openness to experience and knowledge-sharing, that made the workshops more than just a class, but an engaging dialogue. There is a feeling of familiarity but also a strong energy of diversity, not in the traditional sense, but of a merging of individual differences, ideas, and views that expressed the community’s inclusivity.
This openness and enthusiasm made the TeachSurfers Panel – An Exchange of Ideas a great inspiration for those who were eager to begin their TeachSurfing journey. The Host Marketplace, became the perfect opportunity for Host Organisations to present the work that they do to an engaged community eager to create impact. To end the program, the festival would not be complete without TeachSurfing recognising the dedication of TeachSurfers through the TSRP Award Ceremony for their amazing work and for being a continued source of inspiration. Finally, the night introduced a live jazz-electro performance giving the festival a more casual mood.
As the doors of the TeachSurfing Festival closed, a new one opens. Dramatic changes have been happening in the last decade, shifting the world we know to an innovation society. One of the main impacts of the TeachSurfing Festival is to be a source of inspiration and of connection. In a highly-globalised world, opportunities and access to knowledge has not yet been made equal. The awareness that the TeachSurfing Festival cultivates is a step towards igniting an emerging community’s passion in promoting global knowledge-sharing – and this community is exactly the fuel that will propel the movement forward into the new decade.