CHAPTER #1: Begining



How did it all start

With enormous resources of imagination and even greater disagreement with the prevailing system and, as a result, a growing sense of rebellion.



But it wasn't until two years ago that I managed to give these emotions the right direction.





Crushed into ground


Exactly two years ago I was dismissed from a stable job in a large corporation. The dream job of every of Economics and Business student (I graduated in philosophy) and the peace of mind of all parents.

Sensing that this could happen, I started to prepare an emergency exit through which I could quietly escape. Volkswagen Future Design Studio in Potsdam, and a full-time position in their self-driving car design team was to open it for me.


I did not foresee, however, that things would go so fast, and Deloitte would fire me the same day I received information from Volkswagen that I had dropped out of the final recruitment stage.


Double fail, which crushes you into the ground very painfully and deeply.

 

What do you do then?
First, you get angry at yourself, then at corporations, you feel that you are losing your ground and sense of safeness.

It also makes you think how badly you do not fit into the system. The usual rules that can be harmful and do not anticipate exceptional situations, but only unify.


What to do next

Using the energy from being massively pissed at corporations I decided to temporarily change the group of recipients of my efforts, turning to children. I've always had good contact with them, and I also saw how badly they were treated in the current education system.



Furthermore, thanks to my work at Deloitte, I had full access to reports on the future of the labor market, and I was aware of the direction in which the world was going and how big problems would the youngest have finding their place in this world. All this is mainly due to short-sightfulness, clinging to how things were done and lack of progress in the education system.


My answer to this problem was to create my own curriculum for children, called 'designing the future'.


A very important inspiration in the process of creating its assumptions was Chris Anderson's lecture "The New Industrial Revolution", in which he talked about how Maker Movement is able to change the world.


The assumptions of this movement are written down in the manifesto, and delving into it I noticed that each of its points perfectly overlaps with the key skills of the future that we should help children develop in order to adapt them to the changing world of the future.


Chris's lecture made me aware that we already have infrastructure and tools ready, all we have to do now is to democratize it.



Makers in the making

The kids started the semester receiving a textbook for empathization, which I also designed myself.

This tool was to help them define the problem in their environment and understand the emotions associated with it. It turned out that the most common problem they were dealing with were the siblings who would beat them, so we were looking for a solution to this problem.


We gave the collected observations and ideas a physical shape by creating prototypes. To teach kids to adapt to changing working conditions, after sketching the concept, I asked them to create a shopping list of articles that they would need to build prototypes. There were various requests on the list.


Kilograms of glitter, two television sets on which you could display holograms, night vision device. In the next class, instead of all these things, the kids got access to tools, raw materials and discards, and their task was to use their imagination and build their projects from scratch.

For most of them it was the first time to hold a hot glue gun, soldering iron or drill. Everything was very clumsy, but the desire to learn and experience more was huge, so right after building prototypes, we started education on the basics of construction.

We sawed, soldered, glued, cut, designed simple integrated circuits, powered motors with solar energy (it never worked, because there was too little light in the room and it was the middle of winter)


When everyone knew what they were good at and what skill gave them the most pleasure we started a group project - a city of the future.

Why a city? Because it was supposed to be a manifestation of how the kids see the future and what are their expectations for it. So a lot of greenery, playgrounds, meeting places, cinemas and a prison appeared on the mock-ups. Why a prison? Because this is how they see the school and how they feel there today.


My classes proved to be a complete success. The kids went crazy during each meeting, to the point where a boy once moved the clock back one hour to make the classes last longer.

I received photos from their parents showing the shopping lists, which grew with new requests after each class, and for Christmas, the most common request in the letters to Saint Claus was for glue guns.


Idea spreads globally

In addition to the joy of the kids, an even stronger proof that the direction I'm going in was the right one was an invitation to a UNESCO conference to India.

As part of the call for proposals, I sent a brief description of the curriculum of the classes that I conducted in Warsaw.

Confrence organizator -  Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development liked concept very much and I was invited to present it to an international audience.




Using as much as possible the fact that I landed in India, I decided to extend my stay there and take a vacation during which I could look at my work from the distance and come back with a ready idea for what to do next.





CHAPTER #2:
Values



Advertising killed my values

While I was starting my professional career at advertising agencies, it seemed to me that it would be the perfect place for me, after all, creative people work there. However, I quickly noticed that these are worthless shells and a factory of promises that make people want to buy more. The advertising market is nothing but creating and generating artificial needs, a promise of a kind of lifestyle that we agree to by buying a product that has nothing to do with it.

I ended my affair with advertising with the conclusion that marketers should not have a legal prohibition on conducting research, because it allows them to gain knowledge about the behavior and motivation of people, and such data should only be used for good purposes.

India

Being in India, what struck me the most was a huge social disproportion. What's more, all trends indicate that they will deepen even more. On the one hand, children playing in the streets, and on the other a diamond market for the richest. I understood then that the only right way was to sustain development.

And that was the moment when I realized that the Sustainable Development Goals should be at the heart of my business.

Australia

The next stage of my trip was Australia. I spent a few days on an island with funny animals - Quakas. They are animals that are not afraid of anything and smile. Why is that? Living on the island, they have never had any contact with any predator, therefore they do not feel threat to anyone.
It opened my mind incredibly, showing how much the ecosystem we live in affects us and forms us.

At this point, I assumed that the solutions that I will introduce to the world will work within entire systems, they will not be fragments detached from the context, because it deprives them of the sense and the possibility of introducing real change.

Hong Kong

The last point of the trip was Hong Kong. There, I experienced a mix of the future with the past.
Big skyscrapers, developed architecture that sticks high up due to the limited area on the island (this city has the average highest population density in the world), on the other hand old temples and culture of China.
Hong Kong as a city was founded on the basis of the treaty ending the first opium war. It became a bridge between the Western world and communist China.

Historically, China during the Tanga dynasty became the world's greatest power, and the patterns created at that time were taken over by neighboring countries (Korea, Japan). Extensive contacts with the world outside of China and the favorable political and economic situation have created favorable conditions for the development of science and cultures.

And it was in Hong Kong, which embodies a cultural mix, that I created the visual language Radicalzz, which is an extremely important element of the culture that I want to build around this revolution.


Give it a name

Why Radicalzz?  It’s a tribute to the Radical Design Movement which was developed from an architectural tradition in Italy and centred on the city of Florence. Its roots began with students who were working with Leonardo Savioli, a professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence. Under his guidance students had the freedom to advocate a departure from the past and their work focussed on proposing radical new ways of living. Their visions represented an overt break from the austerity that characterised the immediate post war years in Italy.



As a result of this work, the Radical Design movement grew to give voice to a new generation of architects who wanted to critique the traditional methods of planning and question the very nature of what cities might become in the future. These architects adopted an explicitly speculative approach to both the critique of architecture and the envisionment of future cities.


You can read more about RDM under this link.

Radical as a word is very common, so it would be hard to find me in Google, that’s why I added double zz at the end to make it unique.

I never had to pay to google for an AdWords campaign to appear in searches.


CHAPTER #3: The first steps forwards

Story will be published tomorrow.