Hacking Education, Hacking Impact

Posted on 09-06-2015

“Mobile School has committed to doubling its social impact on street kids by 2019. In the process it may change the world.” 


From 9 am Thursday morning until late in the evening Friday night, Mobile School is participating in a hackathon led by AE, digital architects for business and IT. Mobile School StreetwiZe teamAround the table are five developers huddled in front of screens, in the background is the hum of computers, the click-click of keyboard typing and the crackle of paper on flip charts. During a hackathon you get a limited amount of time, in our case 36 hours, to create the first version of a digital product. The developers spend the day and night coding information to create this product. The Mobile School and StreetwiZe team will spend day and night brainstorming on the product, it’s goals and the final output. There are lot’s of mock ups, status updates, rapid fire questions and of course, coding. 

This is high energy and high impact. But why are we doing this?

The Leadership Expedition

Imagine you are on a plane. Seat 13A, on your way to Iasi, Romania. You are the head of a medium sized company or maybe an executive at a large company and you have chosen to take part in the StreetwiZe Leadership Expedition. You will spend a week learning about leadership skills, purpose, group dynamics and more. All this will be translated to your business environment and help you become a better leader, more productive manager and more conscious person. There may be others that offer what seems like a similar leadership training, but there are few that do it like StreetwiZe — Mobile School.

The mission of Mobile School is to support the sustainable development of individuals, organisations and society through the power of street kids. During the Leadership Expedition participants work with a Mobile School in Romania. They connect with street kids that play at the school, identify a need and create an educational game that focuses on the development of the kids self esteem. All of this is led by StreetwiZe Partners who have experience at all levels in the private sector as well as experience working with Mobile School on the street.

What makes this expedition different is that you not only have impact on your self and the street kids in Romania, but you positively impact street kids around the globe. The educational game that is developed can be used by street educators in any city, people who spend everyday with these kids on the streets. Mobile School RomaniaThey will have access to a huge selection of games that focus on themes that range from math, to sports to entrepreneurship and health. The Mobile School Partners around the world already have access to over 300+ educational panels created by Mobile School. But these are static, they have to be designed, printed and shipped across he globe. The future is digital, the future is quick and the future is about doing it yourself. We want to give street educators access to the educational games as soon as they are created. And we want the co creation to go beyond the combination of StreetwiZe and its corporate clients. We want the co creation to involve teachers, managers and street educators that know these kids through and through.

The App — The Impact 

That’s why we are working on this application, or ‘app’. The app lets you pitch your game idea. Making it attractive and easy to play. And once you’ve convinced the street worker that your game is the best, you then tell them the story of how to play. The games are presented in an attractive and user friendly interface with videos and other visuals. No more long boring texts that are meticulously written, but never read. The presentation is visual, attractive and simple. Take the street worker through the journey of creating and playing hackingthe game. Get them to feel the excitement and advantages of your game and make sure they go out and play! The games created on the Leadership Expedition will then be available for our partner organisations or anyone that is looking for an educational game.

In this way we have impact on multiple levels. We impact the business participants who develop leadership and group dynamics skills and with their work during the week they have direct impact on the street kids in Romania. The games they develop are uploaded via the app and can used by street educators, school teachers and every that cares about education. Not only this but these same people can be contributors themselves; by opening the tool to the public we take the impact to a whole new level!
Hackathon teamMobile School has looked to digital as a strategy to scale its social impact for some time now. We have experimented with different ways of capturing new educational games, created prototype platforms that Mobile School partners could access and learned an immense amount about the digital world of street educators. Through our partnership with AE, Mobile School is able create a prototype of another level. Something that can be used to gather momentum and propel our work forward. Something that has the potential to change the way education is brought to kids on the streets and also in the classroom. Get excited.
Thanks to a great team. 

The whole Mobile School — StreetwiZe team has been involved in the development process from the beginning. The star team from AE that have been working with us are: Johan Merckx, Roman Verraest, Michael Mertens Els Dessin and Pieter Herroelen. They have rarely left their computer screen and spend every moment improving an app which will eventually have huge impact on street kids in Kenya, Peru, Philippines, Ethiopia, Mexico and so many others!


Check out StreetwiZe and the Leadership Expedition