Education, whether formal or informal learning, is the key driver of the social change we would all like to see in South Africa. SACAP (the South African College of Applied Psychology) has announced that this will be the dynamic theme of the 2019 Festival of Learning which will be held in Cape Town on 23rd and 24th of May and in Johannesburg on 30th and 31st of May 2019.
A celebration of ongoing adult education, the 8th annual Festival of Learning offers an intimate space for festival-goers and presenters to engage in authentic conversations and meaningful dialogues during one-hour interactive sessions and 15 minute short, sharp talks. An inspiring programme, bringing together a spectrum of researchers, academics and experts; thought leaders, practitioners and authors to showcase a broad range of leading-edge ideas, stories and initiatives; models, projects and programmes that are empowering individuals, families, schools, organisations and communities, to ignite social change. For the first time, and an exciting addition to the festival, selected presentations at the Festival of Learning will be accredited with Continuing Professional Development (CPD) points.
“This year, we are taking a broad and inclusive view of education for social change,” says Managing Director of SACAP, Zerina Royeppen. “Social change starts with an education that empowers the individual; and the change agents facilitating that learning are not just teachers and lecturers, but also coaches and mentors, counsellors and psychologists. The 2019 presentations will include raising awareness and consciousness; learning that impacts on individual behavioural change strengthens families and inspires community action; as well as the accounts of ground-breaking educational initiatives in formal settings.”
The critical role that leadership plays on making social change happen will be explored from various perspectives ranging from personal development to gender issues; and also, from school to organisational environments. The power of story, and how our narratives, from the personal to our historical cultural meta-narratives either support or block change will also be a highlight on the programme. Mindfulness, conversational intelligence and latest sciences such as epigenetics and psychoneuroimmunology all feature on the 2019 Festival of Learning programme as avenues that can lead to valuable transformations from the individual to societal levels.
“In essence, the two-day Festival is in itself, an Education for Social Change event. It’s not just the theme, it’s also the impact,” remarks Royeppen. “For students and professionals; those in the formal education sector; those working for organisational change or in the coaching and adult learning spaces, there’s a substantial offering of insights, information and inspirations that they won’t find in any other one place, at any one time.”
Last year, the Festival of Learning successfully introduced The Human Library to festival-goers, and in 2019 a new selection of ‘human books’ will be presented in Cape Town and Johannesburg. This innovative concept involves volunteers who face real-life prejudice, stereotyping and stigma; or who have endured life-changing experiences that are hard to talk about. They courageously reveal their stories in a safe and interactive library space. As the ‘readers’ of their challenging narratives, the audience is encouraged to pose difficult questions and commentary so that authentic dialogues are unlocked about ‘the titles’, which may include racial, religious, gender or sexual discrimination; as well as the impacts of mental and physical health issues.
The 2019 Festival of Learning hosted by SACAP:
Cape Town: 23-24 May
Venue: SACAP Campus, Claremont
Times: 23 May from 17h30 to 20h30 and 24 May from 09h00 to 17h00
Human Library: 24 May from 11h00 to 15h00
Johannesburg: 30-31 May
Venue: SACAP Campus, Rosebank
Times: 30 May from 17h30 to 20h30 and 31 May from 09h00 to 17h00
Human Library: 30 May from 11h00 to 15h00
Tickets for the 2019 Festival of Learning are available through Webtickets