Growing up in the UK in the 80s under Thatcherism, an era of strikes, hostility, growing inequality and racism – not to mention stone washed denim and dodgy perms – the Soviet Union played an important role in the imagination. It was a land where things were different, it was a whole chunk of the world where society, economy, culture were organised in a completely different way. It opened up an imaginative space, a little crack in the perception of the world that encouraged you to think that what you were living with wasn’t necessarily what you were stuck with.
We need that crack in the imagination today in relation to our universities. We need to know that there are other foundations upon which education can be built, and other forms that it might take. Such a crack exists and is growing.
A couple of years ago, the Ecoversities network held its first gathering, convened by Kelley Teamey and Udi Mandell and bringing together over 50 people from all around the world who are demonstrably building new approaches to education.