Win-win is not the solution nor for the education

Enthusiastic students are a win-win. That’s true. Whenever a young person has an idea, there are many people to whom he or she can turn for some kind of support. This is how it works, and it’s great and unbelievably important. It works the same way at schools. Young, talented, enthusiastic students bring their ideas to other students, principals or whomever, in order to get support and to pursue their dreams. These students are increasingly welcomed. That’s a great point, but is it really what society needs? Yeah, definitely. We need to support young, active, enthusiastic people to give them the power to change the issues they care about, to become the drivers of global changes. We need to continue with this. It’s the right thing to do, and, moreover, it’s essential.

But what if there’s also a dark side? There’s always a dark side. And that dark side is my point — the most important reality to me, the big challenge for us.

Enthusiastic and resourceful people will find a way to succeed. Society’s mind-set is to help them, but who helps those who aren’t so exuberant? Who helps those who don’t yet care about their future? Schools are full of sleeping talent, and this is a very important issue that should be of concern to us. The students outside of that start-up system — they don’t yet know that they have to change their mind-set in order to launch their career or at least to have a chance. If we don’t help them, they will end up among the grey average of the workforce. And to be honest, no one goes to university to end up among the grey and boring average, right?

The world is so fragile that we need world leaders. We need youth leaders. We need to work hard to put everyone on an ambitious and satisfying life path. Each time a talented person fails to realise his or her potential, we lose — our society loses. And losses aren’t good for anyone.

I’ve met a few students who had resigned themselves to simply following the path along which the school had led them, and this has always been very disappointing for me. We also have experience with this at Mladý Atelier, and I’m proud to say that we’ve had a number of significant successes. A few of the students were introverts; they were shy and lacked self-confidence. They would say “Hey, I’m not going to work during my studies because I’m not good enough. I haven’t graduated yet.” This is very dangerous, but these guys changed their mind-set as the group pushed them forward, and they began to take on every new challenge that they came across.

In my view, to solve this problem you need a platform, a platform which co-exists with the school and provides a place for natural leaders as well as for sleeping talent — for the good and excellent students, but also for average students. Because in every young student, deep inside, there’s great talent and potential. And a school’s main mission should be to awaken this potential. To me, this is a modern school. Schools should be mentors and leaders for these talented young people.