Date: April 18, 2014
Time: 3 pm – 8 pm
Place: Maeser Preparatory Academy, Pleasant Grove, Utah
The Solutionaries Congress tournament is a program of the Institute for Humane Education, an international organization devoted to promoting “most good, least harm” practices in the world via education. In a TEDx talk, Founder and President Zoe Weil presented a fabulous and somewhat earth-shattering speech in which she posited how amazing it would be for schools to create teams of “solutionaries” who would target a problem in the world or in their community, research all about it, and then posit solutions, presenting them at a national event much like debate teams present ideas at their events or Model UN teams do at their events. The difference is that the changes proposed would not be hypothetical, but instead focus on real change and real ways of making change toward more humane ways of living and acting.
Many educational strategists insist that the function of education should be to prepare learners for the world of work and good citizenry. The Institute for Humane Education, however, goes beyond this: the purpose of school in its mind should be to prepare learners to be solutionaries who have the skills, creativity and passion to solve the world’s problems. In so doing, successful learners become effective citizens, leaders, parents, artists, policy-makers, researchers, business owners, teachers and more. Such students continue the pursuit of learning and making a positive impact as a life-long pursuit.
The skills required for such learner success are naturally developed as they research, collaborate, create and communicate solutions that will make our world a more humane, healthy place to live. Using “most good, least harm” practices espoused by the Institute for Human Education, students learn to create a caring, humane world while developing vital skills they will need in all areas of curriculum from arts and biology to zoology, from language arts to math and science and beyond. Personal and professional skills include effective researching, writing, public speaking, problem solving, consensus building, conflict resolution and collaboration, cooperation and others—all in a practical, engaging and authentic context.
As students immerse themselves in solutionary, humane learning, they will have the opportunity to meet annually each spring to do nothing less than solve the world’s most pressing problems. At the annual Solutionaries Congress, they will present their solutions to other attendees, special judges and their own state representatives. It will be a fun, engaging, revolutionary time for each participant.
Utah has been selected as the state in which a pilot event would occur in the Spring of 2013. Under the direction of Dr. David Sidwell, an adjunct professor at Utah State University and a visible nonprofit leader in the state, the event is being organized in the Salt Lake City area.