The South African College of Applied Psychology (SACAP) recently hosted the 7th annual Festival of Learning. If you’re wondering what this is and what went down, we have the full scope for you.
EduConnect was invited to attend this year’s Festival of Learning (oh, yeah!) and heck, did we have the best time. As first-time festival-goers, we were not sure what to expect but from the first greeting to the final talk, we were truly inspired.
3, 2, 1…Festival Time
The Festival of Learning took place in Johannesburg and Cape Town. We were out in full force at the Cape Town event on SACAP’s campus. So, what exactly happened at these events? Well, for starters: the festival ran over two days. Day one involved a short talk and networking while the second day of the festival was broken up into a series of interactive talks, a panel discussion and the genius idea of a Human Library. Yip, it was a proper learning experience.
The festival aimed to generate conversations around this year’s theme: the power to create change. Whether it was through planting a seed or engaging with festival-goers during the talks, the speakers ignited a dialogue.
Think Social Change
On day one of the festival, we were exposed to a series of short talks that each carried their own weight in the context of the learning festival. We got insight into a variety of topics, ranging from transforming schools in South Africa to how one’s mind dwells in one’s body. Social issues embedded in our schools, where the system is failing learners, were brought into the spotlight. While the art of mindfulness and how the simple sense of touch can centre an individual was revealed. Impact for days!
Day two continued to inspire with a series of hour-long talks running throughout the day from 9am to 5pm. At the Cape Town event, there were four talks happening simultaneously in separate rooms. The hardest part of this: to decide which talk to listen to. Each topic was epic! From the value of art therapy in initiating positive change to the power of business in bringing about change and insight into high impact conversations that can change lives. There is no doubt about it – these talks set the tone for becoming a catalyst.
The second day of the festival also brought with it a panel-driven discussion on Feminism, Sexuality and Mental Health. These individual topics tie together to create one discussion that highlighted gender as a social construct in our society and how this impacts individuals trying to conform to social norms.
No talk outweighed another; each ignited movement towards change in some shape or form. The challenge is to take the lessons learned and start planting into our society.
If you have not heard of the concept of a Human Library, get ready to be blown away. This idea is built on creating a positive framework for challenging stereotypes and prejudices through dialogue. The Human Library is where individuals, who have been labelled with a title in society, have the opportunity to share their story.
The ‘books’ were people, ‘reading’ was a conversation and difficult questions were encouraged and appreciated. Imagine learning by dialogue and truly engaging with a human being through a real conversation. The reality was as great as the vision. It was a really awesome platform to explore a person’s story beyond their title and get insight into authentic topics, ranging from social status, sexuality, health, religion and politics.
Change in society is not only an ideal, it is a necessity. The value of this cannot be emphasised enough in a democratic South Africa.
“Be the change you want to see in the world”
– Mahatma Gandhi