HacKIDemia – Innovation and Social Change Through Play

image from workshop organized by Hackidemia

image from workshop organized by Hackidemia

Ever wanted to be a kid again, even for just one day? HacKIDemia is a ground breaking organisation that offers that chance to some degree, by helping you to encourage your kids to use play to generate change. Highly interactive in nature, the HacKIDemia website offers workshops that allow the ability to learn by playing with robotics and electronics. There are videos that show the change and experience that the company is driving throughout the world, and in addition to this there are eve events where parents can come along with their children and meet like minded people. And why would they? Well, HacKIDemia claims to: “Design workshops and kits that help kids use curiosity, empathy and play to change the world.”

It has already achieved some considerable degree of success with HacKIDemia activities taking place globally. From the United States, to France, India and parts of Africa, to name just a few, HacKIDemia might be described as an organisation that is really taking off. Given that children love to play, the concept seems sound. Indeed, HacKIDemia states that:

“Learning by doing and playing comes natural to children as they have an innate curiosity. With HacKIDemia hands-on workshops we try to encourage and develop that curiosity and give them tools to transform their dreams into reality.”

As HacKIDemia puts it, the sooner they start the better. There is also no age limit so the fun can be had by “kids” of all ages. There is the possibility for children to order a HacKIDemia “Maker Box” to help with the creative process and drive learning forward. The kit includes electronic sensor guides as well as booklets that help with encouraging children to take part in science and telecommunication projects that stimulate their learning through the creative process. An array of wires, circuit boards and other gadgets are also included.

AfriMakers

Stefania Druga founded HacKIDemia convinced of the idea that change can be achieved by generating learning that is supported through doing and playing. Druga’s other enterprise is AfriMakers, a project that provides makers in the developing world the opportunity to be able to come up with solutions to their issues through creativity and collaboration. In this latter endeavour she has been to eight African nations, helping them to create and design prototypes for solutions that deal with local issues like access to clean water, information and electricity. She achieves this through training local teams of makers, and the solution is touted to “succeed where larger top-down schemes fail.”

One way that HacKIDemia achieves its goals is through speaking at specific conferences in the developed world to inspire change. Stafania Druga will speak soon at an event named “Meaning Conference”. Meaning is a annual event that started in 2012,  that addresses the challenges of 21st century economics, looking at ways in which debt free prosperity can be achieved, as well as social innovation through technology (or not). The conferences provide a chance to consider important development concepts such as conscious business, organisational democracy, purpose and vision and business that is genuinely driven by values. This conferences address the values that HacKIDemia believe are essential in 21st century leadership. According to HacKIDemia these include mindfulness, compassion, resilience and empathy. The conferences achieve their goals through driving inspiration, allowing people to make helpful connections and offering workshops that allow the time and space for the creativity needed to drive real change in organisations. Such conferences provide Druga a platform for her visionary views.

As the song goes, children are our future, and generating the depth of creativity to try to solve difficult problems that the world faces from an early age is admirable. It will be interesting to see if events like the recent Maker Camp in Berlin really do prompt an interest and desire in children to start to look at the world in a new way, perhaps leading to them growing into adults that are less profit focused as a hard and fast rule and who are more creative and considerably more aligned with the goals and ideals of social entrepreneurship. One thing is for sure – Stefania Druga is having considerable success in extending the HacKIDemia concept on a global scale. Maybe this can drive the change the world needs to really start to become more equitable for all.

 

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