On the morning of December 31, 2018, I was hospitalised with complications related to cancer — but that’s not important right now. What is important is that I spent nearly a month in a hospital bed, with a lot of time to think, and a lot of that thought was about power. Or rather, lack thereof.

For the first time in my life, I was relying on other people to make sure I survived. And then I realised it wasn’t the first time in my life — just in my life as an adult. As children, we depend first on…


What a mess she’s left! There’s a tumour there that’s too big to take out without busting open my bladder, so the whole gear needs to go: bladder, ovaries, uterus, lymph nodes, the works. That’ll leave me with a stoma, which is a bit inconvenient but manageable — and on the plus side, I’ll have more room for cake.

There’s just one problem, and it’s kind of a biggie: metastases. Not content with taking over my entire groin region, this greedy tumour decided to travel up to my lungs. This means chemo, and quickly, so they can shrink the tumours…


When I was in primary school, I used to wet my pants. That’s shameful, right? Actually, around 5% of early school-aged children have trouble holding in their urine, for a whole host of reasons — and experts all agree that the best way to manage this, if it isn’t caused by underlying medical issues, is with patience and understanding.

Not in the 1980s, I’m afraid. I was an anxious, shy child, and anxiety would make me want to pee. A lot. Asking to go to the toilet would be drawing attention to myself, and that was a terrifying prospect, so…


Image source: Sheroes — Breaking Gender Stereotypes at Home

It seems that everywhere I look these days there’s a gender inclusion policy, a drive to remove gendered barriers, a focus on girls in STEM… and while most of me is cheering the initiatives, there’s another part of me that wonders if we’re not applying labels that risk excluding those who don’t identify as female, in addition to devaluing the “traditional female” job roles.

I’m just going to come right out and say this: I don’t know the answer. …


How many times do we turn on the computer, open the newspaper, or hear on the radio a story about lazy young people, teenagers without direction, selfish technophiles? Well, here’s your daily antidote to all of that negativity, because teenagers are incredible and this one will definitely inspire you.

Ishita Thakur is a 17-year-old from Indore in Central India, and when humankind finally get to explore our universe in person, her feet may well be among the first to touch the ground on another planet.

“My story started out just like any other child who dreams to go out of…


The why of FutureWe

Imagine being at school, spending up to thirteen years preparing for the same future your parents were prepared for, only to emerge into a world in which the job you’ve always (been told you) wanted no longer exists. By popular estimate, around 65% of jobs that exist today will not be an option when current primary students enter the workforce. In addition, the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) indicates that today’s young people will potentially have 17 jobs over 5 careers. …


Community is a concept that is constantly being redefined. It’s been debated by everyone from Aristotle to Zapffe, and the arguments will no doubt go on for as long as there are two humans left to form some sort of cooperative unit.

On 1 July FutureWe, in partnership with online social learning and discussion platform Declara, launched an open discussion inviting minds from all over the globe to come together and begin to shape the communities of the future. Following is a summary of what we’ve heard so far.

User-centred design

Among educators there is an overwhelming tendency toward integrating…


When I was at University many years ago, doing my B.A., the Arts Faculty ran a great initiative for a semester in which the women’s toilets on the first floor were open for graffiti. Women could write whatever they liked, uncensored — and of course there were a few verses in the vein of “here I sit, broken hearted”, but the vast majority of conversation was uplifting, supportive and empowering.

I didn’t understand how important it was then. I hadn’t yet really been tested by my relationships with men. That has changed.

I have collected a series of poems that…


What do Ancient Egypt, a book exchange and a Palo Alto startup have in common?

This guy.

Meet Zak Zielezinksi, CEO of Declara, an online space which Zak describes as “a community-based, content-centric knowledge sharing and collaboration platform for professionals — in particular, teachers and educators — to engage in peer to peer learning, share and discover resources.”

This week on the Edunauts podcast, the team talked with Zak about his background, his vision and why Declara is such an exciting place for the future of learning.

“Declara uses machine learning to actually accelerate the learning collaboration process,” Zak explains…


One of the great challenges facing teachers in today’s classrooms is that of student disengagement. For an increasing number of students, traditional methods of teaching (direct instruction, textbooks/ prepared notes, etc) are simply not enough to keep their attention and provide opportunities for deep learning. …

Leanne Hanson

Poet. Editor. Teacher. Occasional user of swear words. Frequent user of coffee. www.leannehanson.com.au

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