Learning For Holistic Wellbeing

Participants stand in a group, smiling and looking up at the camera

How can we transform education systems and create holistic learning experiences that emphasise personal, communal and planetary wellbeing?

This question was at the core of discussions at the RoundGlass Learning Summit on ‘Learning for Holistic Wellbeing’, which took place in Jaisalmer, India, from 19 to 22 February this year. The three-day event brought together over 120 progressive thinkers and doers in the fields of education and wellbeing, coming from five continents and 46 different countries. The Summit aimed to inspire a movement of changemakers to transform the purpose and practice of education systems everywhere.

Together with RoundGlass and the affiliated Weaving Lab, Ashoka Netherlands conceptualized, planned and coordinated the Summit. The vision and mission of this project aligns closely with that of Ashoka’s, with a focus on connecting changemakers and enabling systemic change. The Summit marks the beginning of a continuing partnership with RoundGlass, a global organisation whose mission is to create a vibrant wellness ecosystem through investing in new technologies, knowledge sharing, and other projects that highlight holistic wellbeing.

The Learning Summit was centered on ten key principles that encouraged all participants to show up for themselves as well as one another. These included practicing deep listening and empathy, bringing your whole authentic self, having a beginner’s mind, taking risks, and expressing gratitude, among others. This set of principles helped lay the foundations for the Summit, creating a space for openness, vulnerability and self-awareness.  Following on from this, Day 1 focused on connecting with the community, Day 2 on aligning the different ideas, and Day 3 on mapping out a plan of action.

Various Ashoka changemakers attended the Summit, and the participants included 17 Ashoka Fellows, 4 Ashoka Young Changemakers, 6 Ashoka Staff (4 present and 2 past), and one participant from Changemaker schools. This approach centres the weaving style of leadership, encouraging collaboration and helping to build a network of people working toward a shared purpose. Education lies at the root of changemaking, and by creating thriving learning ecosystems, the goal of the RoundGlass project is to mobilise education practitioners to build a world where everyone is empowered.

The end of the Summit signals the start of an ongoing collaborative process, and the post-engagement phase of this project involves continuing membership of the online community, implementation of the ideas committed to during the Summit, further events, and working toward a joint pilot project to create an ideal learning ecosystem.

In order to maintain the momentum, 10 Change Teams were formed to implement concrete plans for creating a Learning Framework for Holistic Wellbeing. These Change Teams focus on the following areas: community action, learning frameworks, key stakeholders, school leaders and teacher trainers, learning outcomes and assessment, holistic wellbeing, implementation, nature, arts, and sports. The teams will continue to work on implementing plans and making the collective vision into a reality.