Whenever we talk about transforming India into an innovation hub (such as this article in Tehelka today), or ask which sectors of society require innovation most, the overwhelming response is usually that we need to transform our education sector. We even conducted a poll some time ago that asked the same question, and the answer, then too, was education. So while most of us can agree that our educational institutions and systems need to be redesigned, there isn’t a lot of consensus, or even many revolutionary propositions, on what the new educational institute would look like and what kind of processes it might follow.
One initiative that could prove to be a successful model, however, is THNK, the Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership, a post-graduate course for creative leaders. THNK is designed as a program to help develop creative leadership powers using settings far from traditional classroom and lecture-style instruction. It is collaborative, creative, playful and hands-on, seeking to develop both left and right brain faculties.
A recent blog from the Stanford Social Innovation Review describes THNK in exhilarating terms. The author writes,
Its response is to fuse innovations from the business, nonprofit, and design worlds into a new way of creative problem-solving that, to paraphrase Einstein, gets us to a level of thinking that matches the problems we face.
Thus, when THNK calls itself a “school”, it means it’s not just a place of learning, but also a “school of thought” (prioritizing creative leadership) and a “school of fish” (where a tribe of creative leaders inspire and learn from each other).
Maybe this model, where learning happens through conversation, and indeed the entire educative process is based in discourse, is something we can start incorporating in India’s education systems, especially in higher education.