Worldpeace through education? An Interview with Aron Solomon
I had the pleasure talking with Aron Solomon yesterday. I was very impressed by the new project he is currently leading: the THINK Global School. Although the project is still in its beginnings - the message is simple and powerful: take a bunch of eager & curious students and have them understand the world by living & studying in 12 countries over the course of 12 trimesters. I immediately had to think back to this simple exchange program for children in the post 2nd world war time between France and Germany. The two countries had a deeply rooted hatred for one another at that time - comparable to Israel & Palestine. The visionary exchange program was to shape future society leaders in both countries and make them understand each others culture. It literally had a game changing effect on our world today. Now as the world is growing together and we are challenged with more cultures than just our neighboring country - THINK Global School goes one step further and builds the next generation of global change makers.
Below a quick interview with the CEO Aron Solomon.
1. Aron tell us a little about yourself and why you decided to take the lead at THINK Global School.
Lasse, first, it's great to speak with you. i think that Supercool School is, well, Super Cool :)
I've been involved with independent schools for 25 years and have done global work in education for many of them. I'm an educator, a laywer, a Ford Fellow and a graduate of the nonprofit management program at Kellogg.
As I think happens so frequently, many things bring us to a certain point in our lives. Meeting our Founders in the fall of 2008 was one of those points, as their global vision very clearly intersected with mine. The past year and a half has been an amazing ride :)
2. Why do you believe that THINK Global School change their students lives forever?
Because I believe that there is no substitute in life for experience. We can all get on You Tube (which I love) and watch a video taken at the Great Wall near Beijing. And that's absolutely awesome. Now imagine vlogging from the Great Wall. Taking in the smells and the heat and the crush of people who flock there from all over the world. And sharing your "present sense impressions" of what you're experiencing. That's true learning as it involves all of your senses and it's active. That's what TGS is all about.
3. I almost failed my 5th & 6th grade - could I have become joined THINK Global School?
There are many reasons a child might struggle in school. We're open to examining these. But, the reality is, that it's not going to be easy to travel the world. We're looking for kids who we're confident will succeed in and out of the classroom.
4. Where do you wish to see the participants in 20 years from now?
Everywhere. I want them to make great contributions to their local, national and global communities. I really don't care what this means in practice. If they're going to be doctors or lawyers or diplomats - great, we think the experience will make them that much better in their careers and in their lives. If they're going to be entrepreneurs, great - we'll give them a world-class education that will allow them to be a true social entrepreneur, to understand and appreciate the power of their initiative and creativity.
5. I couldn't imagine a better path to world peace than making THINK Global School obligatory worldwide :) How likely is that to happen?
We think that it's a good start :) I've been in very high-level meetings in my life where thought-leaders and influencers focus only on the problems. The TGS team are a group of talented, global people who focus on solutions.