Help to write the code for tomorrow – Part 3

Almost 2 weeks ago I’ve had a workshop with 10 friends talking and discussing the school project I am just about to start in Khajuraho, India. We did some brainstorming on how our “dream school” would look like … here are the results …. and here are more details!

When you are reading the following please keep think about what Steve Jobs said 1985 in a Playboy Interview, when he came back from India

“When I came back from India, I found myself asking, What was the one most important thing that had struck me? And I think it was that Western rational thought is not an innate human characteristic. It is a learned ability. It had never occurred to me that if no one taught us how to think this way, we would not think this way. And yet, that’s the way it is. Obviously, one of the great challenges of an education is to teach us how to think. What we’re finding is that computers are actually going to affect the quality of thinking as more and more of our children have these tools available to them. Humans are tool users…”

Up-run campaigning

  • why is education important >>> parents >>> “Aufklärung”
  • benefits of “learning”
  • why is educating kids better than sending them to work from early age on
  • identify local needs and problems
  • diversity is key for a community to flourish >>> our goal is not (only) to “produce” academics but much more students who are able to solve local problems and by doing so leverage the community standards longterm.
  • clear definition of target group


  • preschool – keep the kids close to education >>> keep them curious and creative
  • grade 1-12
  • certificate which enables the graduates to study
  • boarding school
  • education for each and everybody, no focus on “girls” or “poor” or “casts”
  • focus: to make the Khajaraho community a better place for kids, citizens, seniors, businesses, guests
  • school as an open-source-project (what is meant by this? examples?)
  • solution-based learning >>> educate the kids to solve local problems
    don’t do reverse planning with the certificate in mind >>> start solving local needs first
  • education must be visible, must make benefits obvious >>> overcome hurdles that people say: “school is NOT for me!”
  • understand learning/teaching as an organic process, it’s NOT linear
  • democratizing the process, leadership within the projects
  • educate the kids to become “whole” human beings
  • create an environment which allows the kids to flourish the way they choose to flourish!

The School Team (teacher, scholars, educators ….)

  • teachers should teach children, not “subjects”
  • teachers are like gardeners, they know under which “conditions” students will grow
  • their job is to build the environment to let the students grow
  • teacher has to inhale the idea and concept of the school
  • teacher has to be more than an expert in his topic
  • goal: students of Explorer School will become teachers at Explorer School
    huge commitment
  • recruitment-process – where to get the teachers and how to make them “stay” with the school


Of course all the students should learn the basics which are necessary to graduate and allow them to study (international) – but beyond this Explorer School will include additional disciplines which primarily focus on the local needs >>> project- and solution-based learning such as:

  • Clean Khajaraho – Make Khajaraho a proper place!
  • WASH – Water, Sanitary ,Hygiene
  • “family” learning, enabling others >>> kids should become able to teach at home what they’ve learnt at school
  • tourism >>> e.g. students run a hotel, students as tour guides
  • Explorer Store – store in which students sell what was produced at Explorer School
  • jewelery
  • the use of ICT, access to education, distributing/sharing/open knowledge


  • Gautam-family & friends program >>> connect with kids, students who work in the hotel
  • No child labour campaign at Gautam mines
  • Community-gardens >>> school becomes in various formats part of the village
    school is part of the village and its community, not “just” another building
  • parents should be involved
  • students and parents can help to build the school, literally
  • and they can discuss the curriculum with Explorer School
  • self-supporting school


  • barter deals
  • tourist charge >>> hotel guest pay 2 USD per night on a voluntary basis for teh school!
  • sponsorships, scholarships, government funding
  • crowdfunding
  • Explorer-Dollars (school-own currency): The idea behind is to introduce a regional currency step by step. If people help building/ teaching/ aso they might (in part) get paid with “Explorers”. With this alternative currency they might do things like to buy school grown food, use the schools infrastructure or buy in partner-shops in the city, that also accept “Explorers”. The reason behind: keep the money that is made inside the region. Develop sustainable food/ service/ aso circles in the region to become more and more independant of the overall economic situation and expensive transportation of goods from the outside.


  • the schools belongs everybody – literally (stakeholder model)
  • the longer a kid stays at school, the higher the stakes
  • Alumni idea – commitment beyond graduation


  • green school (bamboo)
  • transparent, open and local architecture
  • depending upon the needs of the locals
  • “labs” – practical for everyday life
  • sports field
  • open kitchen
  • performance place, theatre and dance
  • multifunctional furniture
  • check: Wikihouse, Open Source Ecology, Earth ships, Michael Reynolds
    Edubox – School in a box (what is meant by this? examples?)
    include local value added chain
  • check “desaster relief” model – Basic School Tent (THW, Hans Jürgen Hirsch, DHL, Henrik Maedler, Achytha Sharma, Bangalore, Sulochana Development Trust)

Ideas fo near future

  • Summer Camp (pilot) in Khajuraho
  • Design Thinking Workshop at Riverside School with kids from Khajaraho
  • Workshops in Khajaraho with kids and parents, potential investors, companies

3 thoughts on “Help to write the code for tomorrow – Part 3”

  1. A very wise man once said – “We don’t need a list of rights and wrongs, a table of do’s and don’ts; What we need is Books, Time and Silence. “Thou shalt not…” is soon forgotten, but “Once upon a time…” lasts forever.” – Philip Pullman
    What to think is easier taught… How to think is the tough bit! Best wishes for the School:)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *