We are all creative human beings

Hi There,

I’m Dora Belme from the Netherlands, representing the re-storying mindset in the project. I’m excited to be part of LEEN, and sharing my competences and ideas while learning a lot from other partners. Entrepreneurship and entrepreneurial education is something I deeply care about. As a life purpose, I want to help children of the next generation to be able to live a creative life, following their bliss, and making their dreams a reality. My goal is to design training programs and spread my ideas on creative self-expression, giving inspiration with my own life story and showing a sustainable path towards a more contented creative life.

We live in a time when the changes of the economic landscape made it inevitable to adjust the methods we use in the education system. 80% of the jobs that today’s toddlers will occupy do not even exist. We’re training our students to live in an era that we cannot even fully predict ourselves. We need to equip them with skills and tools that will be invaluable in the future, such as creativity, innovative mindset, divergent thinking, risk tolerance, perseverance and many more. It’s also true that we cannot live the story of others and it isn’t an option to use successful recipes from the past anymore. The only way for the new generation to realise their goals and dreams is by discovering their personal path, and unique journey. I believe the education system has to be a facilitator in this process and LEEN is a beautiful project to make it happen.

My life philosophy is that we’re all creative beings. Our ancestors were makers, and it’s in our DNA to create and make something out of our lives. Human beings have been creative since prehistoric times, dating back to 40,000 BC, starting from aboriginal cave paintings. It’s our birthright as human beings to be creative. To a certain extent, it doesn’t even make sense to call someone a creative person, because we’re all creative creatures. It’s a signature of our species. It isn’t correct to say that creativity belongs to a privileged group, and depriving the next generation from this treasure would be a serious attack against humanity.

Our current school system, however, limits generations of people to an obedient life — not a creative, but one that’s based on compliance and authority. We’re scared to go out and be creative. We’re scared to lurch into adventures and grab opportunities. Unconsciously, in our entire lives we’re waiting for permission. Permission from someone to write that specific book, to take drawing classes, to start a business, or to quit a job. Fortunately, this permission economy is slowly shifting into an empowerment one. We’re becoming aware of the fact that we have vast resources available, and limitedness is something created by economy, and our employers. We slowly realize that we can create our own employment, harnessing the power of technological advancements, helping our own global tribe, and sharing ideas on a global scale.

Participating in this European project is a mission for me. It is time to change. It is time to reform the system. It is time for teachers to recognize the old doesn’t work anymore. By spreading knowledge, ideas, memes, with LEEN I have the power to reach hundreds of kids and help them in a way I wasn’t helped.

Based on my experience, I see that we slowly understand that our current school system is somewhat outdated. 150 years ago, child labour was something humans weren’t surprised about. Compulsory education was only introduced around 1910s’. The current system of educating kids in rows to obey rules and instructions is built on the mindset of raising well-behaved and disciplined workers. This education system wasn’t created to motivate or encourage kids to follow their passion or their calling in life. Its aim was to make adults willing to work within the system. We’ve been educating several generations of productive, employable workers.

Seth Godin asks the right question: ‘What is school for?’

“If school’s function is to create the workers we need to fuel our economy, we need to change school, because the workers we need have changed as well. The mission used to be to create homogenized, obedient, satisfied workers and pliant, eager consumers.” (Seth Godin)

The first step in reforming the current system is understanding that we’re able to teach people courage, bravery, creative thinking, while educating them how to overcome fear, limits and their perceived boundaries. Learning shouldn’t stop at the end of school years — it’s a process, a lifelong commitment that enriches our lives in ways we couldn’t even imagine before. Despite this unideal system, I believe everyone is entitled to create, explore, express, and have a vision and voice.

In our connection economy, obedient workers aren’t what we need more of. Our information-based economy is in need of individuals, dreamers, visionaries, creatives, and innovators…

Author: Dora Belme, cultural entrepreneur, project partner in the LEEN project

The LEEN project is funded by the ERASMUS+ programme (Agreement No. : 2015–1-BEO2-KA2O1-O12334).

Project webpage: http://l33n.eu/