News & Events
ACI organized a 2-day event on Reimagining Univers-city in Auroville on Feb 26th - 27th, 2019. Purpose of Confluence was to bring into focus the emerging future of Auroville as a center of higher education, an international city where life and learning are intertwined in the same fabric, a bold alternative to conventional university campuses with hundreds of diverse learning labs, mentor practitioners, nature, international culture, and the idea of integral living at the center.
We want to bring to focus the higher education aspect so that in the coming years Auroville will have more well-structured higher education programs for youth from all over the world.
The 2-day event led to the initiation of 13 higher education programs. Read the Confluence report here.
A year later, in Feb 2020, we followed it up with a participatory art installation to study patterns as to what enables learning in Auroville.
Curriculum Design Workshops
As a follow up to Confluence, ACI has actively taken up community building around existing as well as aspiring program providers in Auroville. In order to provide training for creating quality programs, so far, we've organised three 2-day curriculum design workshops with Gitanjali JB, founding team member of Himalayan Institute of Alternatives, covering several aspects of program development like structure, teaching and assessment methodologies, addressing infrastructure, funding, and budgeting needs. Many participants from the workshop continue to stay in touch with her to receive guidance on program development, while one has developed a collaborative relationship of student exchange with students from HIAL.
Now we've got a dedicated desk to assist aspiring program development teams. We've also offered assistance to several teams and individuals to offer their content via the online medium as a response to the sudden COVID-19 situation.
ACI was one of the significant organising bodies of the Auroville Retreat, a 2-day event that took place on 12th and 13th March 2015. It brought together 160+ community members, working groups, and the governing board to examine the present state of Auroville and to draft an action plan for the near future focused on the growth of individuals as well as collective growth of Auroville towards the realisation of its dream.
It was a culmination of two months of intense work, involving around 300 Aurovilians and 35 thematic work sessions. Several themes were identified and deliberated upon. The outcome has been documented and made available as a website for reference.
However, one significant byproduct of the Retreat was an immeasurable one. By bringing together people who don’t normally work together, or who have not worked together for years, it provided new opportunities for interconnections and the psychological space for something new to emerge.
Indian Renaissance: Swaraj and Sarvodaya
A 2-day event held on March 7-8th 2020, we looked at what we can learn from Mahatma Gandhi and Sri Aurobindo, both were visionaries acutely concerned with the state of the country and dedicated their lives towards the awakening and liberation and well-being of India. Not only did they give us inspiring visions for the future, but also laid down processes of Sadhana that could lead us towards collective freedom and evolution - Swaraj and Sarvodaya. However, they also had significant differences in how they viewed reality, and hence the praxes they laid out are both convergent and divergent in many aspects. In this 2-day confluence, we looked at what we can learn from both, which could strengthen our own Sadhana going forward and also help serve the progress of Auroville, Indic Regeneration, and Human Unity.
The format was a combination of talks, presentations, and some group dialogues/activities.
ACI has been organising several sharings from prominent individuals in the field of education to inspire and enable dialogue on some of the pressing issues educators can address in novel ways. Talks with eminent speakers like Manish Jain, founder of Swaraj University; Sonam Wangchuk, engineer, innovator, and education reformist, founder of SECMOL and HIAL; Gitanajli JB, social entrepreneur, educationalist, motivational & TEDx speaker; Ram Subramaniyam, director and co-founder of SLI; Lalit Kishore Bhati, sustainable town planner and architect from Auroville (link).
Swadharma Case Study shortlisted in Azim Premji Stories for Change
The top case studies from the Stories for Change initiative from Azim Premji University document innovations in education and social change, and capture best practices for educators. Shortlisted from 100+ submissions in the top 17, the Swadharma program is one of Auroville's flagship programs developed by ACI. With an emphasis on self-discovery for young adults from all over the world, this 5-week residential program has been running for 4+ years with over 100 alumni. The program has a solid foundation based on the integral education framework.
Prerna: A program for social entrepreneurs
ACI organised a 5 days curated program from Dec 16th to 20th, 2019 for a group of social entrepreneurship students from the Vietnamese Community of Independent Learners (VCIL) as part of their exposure visit. It was designed to give a context of how businesses can operate using an integral framework, and using case studies from Auroville. The students got the chance to explore themselves, learn about Auroville's take on money and business, and interact with some of the inspiring entrepreneurs from Auroville to learn from their experience.
Integral Education Faculty Training
Designed and delivered by Auroville Campus Initiative for Auro University faculty from 24th Jun - 2nd Jul 2019. Attended by 11 participants from 7 departments, the aim of the training was to understand and apply the principles of Integral Education for transformational learning in three contexts: Designing curriculum and pedagogy for any subject in the context of AURO University, Designing practices for personal development and excellence, and Designing practices of institutional development and excellence. They benefited from the training and have asked for another training in 2020.