Xskool is an idea by John Thackara that I believe is a good idea.
In March I went to London for a get-together with a mix of designers, artists, social entrepreneurs, educators, academics and more, arranged by John at the Hub Islington where we sat around the table, eating, drinking and chatting for two hours to answer the question ‘is there really a need for such a thing, i.e. an xskool?’ John had sent through an invite a few weeks earlier with the question and his initial thoughts. The round-table gave everyone the opportunity to meet and contribute. While the time was short the feeling was the conversation should continue; there was a need for an ‘xskool’, whatever that would mean. This initial discussion of the xskool idea is outlined here by John. I mentioned the concept briefly in a previous post on skills.
In May I went to West Lexham for a weekend, arranged by John at Edmund Colville’s farm. It is a hub of social enterprises ran with co-director Lucy White and others. John’s aim was to answer two questions: If xskool was to exist 1) what is needed, and for who, that is not already on offer? 2) what should we do next, and who will do it? At West Lexham a predominantly new mix of people (from the first evening) again sat around the table eating, drinking and chatting, this time for 2 days, as well combining it with other stuff like building a pathway (led by Ed), facilitated discussions (led by John and others), playing games (led by Liane Fredericks who also took lots of photos which can be found here), cooking (under Tony the chef’s guidance) and cleaning. It was really enjoyable. I particularly liked working together on the pathway using local flints and cobble stones and reclaimed mosaic tiles. It was great to see so many people getting involved and doing different stuff, with a result at the end, albeit an unfinished path!