What if we could inspire young people while transforming education?
Last week we made AimHi history. We launched our Inspiring Guest series, and welcomed writer and environmentalist Rob Hopkins as our first guest. We also time travelled to 2030 with Rob, to check out how the world will change (no biggie). You might be wondering what we discovered… well, contrary to Busted’s experience of the year 3000, we saw that extraordinary transformation had taken place! We’d transitioned to a low carbon society. Animals roamed freely around cities. One student reported that earth had become a massive forest, with all homes now located in the sky. Pretty cool. And what’s even cooler is that it only took a bit of imagination to travel in time (thanks for the tip, Rob).
Imagining the future
Rob believes that imagining a better future is necessary to achieve it. If through writing, illustration, or any other creative medium, we could see a city free from cars, then maybe creating carless cities wouldn’t seem so impossible. A quote from poet Rainer Maria Rilke, ‘the future must enter into you a long time before it happens’, captures this idea perfectly.
The future is now
Rob told us that in some places the future has already arrived. His work takes him to villages, towns, and cities around the world where people have achieved incredible things. In Mouans-Sartoux, France, 100% of food in schools is organic, and 70% is grown in a garden on the edge of the town, that’s owned by the local government. One of his most impressive examples was of Liège, a city in Belgium that Rob visited 5 years ago. At the time some citizens had asked a simple ‘what if’ question; ‘What if in a generation’s time, the majority of food eaten in Liège, came from the land close to Liège?’. When he visited last year, 4 years on, he learned that 21 cooperatives had been launched and €5 million investment had been raised from locals to build this imagined future. The city now has its own farm, vineyards, brewery, and multiple supermarkets selling solely local produce. A remarkable example of how an entire city was reimagined and recreated.
Learn about the Liège Food Belt in this snippet from Rob's live
Reflections on imagining a better future
Rob’s live got us reflecting on AimHi and our goal to inspire young learners and revolutionise education. Four months ago AimHi was just an idea. An imagined future where free education ignited curiosity, crossed curricular boundaries, and challenged students to solve real world problems.
When we launched the platform we had Matthew hosting daily science live streams. Not long after we were joined by Nish on Philosophy, Hannah on Geography, and Phil doing English. And last week we welcomed two new teachers, Dr Hannah B, a researcher hosting a series on cancer and biology, and Josh who’s teaching curriculum-linked HiSchool Biology. We’ve reached over 8000 students in 75 countries, connecting them to positive and inspiring role models. AimHi is almost unrecognisable from where we began. And none of this would have been possible if we hadn’t been able to imagine it first.
We are continuing to improve AimHi by developing our tech, growing our pool of incredible teachers, and tailoring classes to suit all our students’ needs. Thank you to everyone who continues to support us.
Rob Hopkins is the founder of the Transition movement and author of ‘From What Is to What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want’. To find out more about him and the Transition movement you can visit his website, which features a short feature he wrote about his AimHi live.