The conference/workshop started with a tour of Seoul and an evening drinking the local Saki type fuel called Soju with 3 of the IAA staffers  – clear, inoffensive tasting but with the power to finally catch up with you and make new acquaintances seem like very old friends. Good fun.

Today Michael McQueen gave his opening presentation on Generation Y. An interesting and well delivered overview of generational theory as it applies mainly to those starting with the  baby boomers down to the hyper-wired 10 year olds of Generation Z and focusing particulary on Generation Y. It also formed a great foundation for my presentation on Thursday which will look at the fundamentally different way young people now learn and how technology facilitates  that learning approach whilst the imposition of  most current and traditional  teaching/training methods stifles it (my presentation will be available on this website from the 2nd November and more information on Michael’s work can be found on his website.)

I’ve been very impressed by the enthusiasm of the IAA delegates who’ve come here from around 15 Asia-Pacific countries where the Award is operating. There is a real sense of commitment to youth and to developing and fostering a social, global and personal sense of responsibility and community in them. Far from being locked in what could have been a post-colonial stasis, the organisation’s  finding ways to adapt their programs so that they’re relevant to today’s young people, embrace cultural diversity  and leverage the full range of digital solutions available to them.

They are also very generous and well organised hosts! After today’s sessions there was a Korean tea ceremony demonstration (see photo of me trying to keep up with the Tea Master’s instructions)  which was really rather beautiful. Before it started a Korean ‘tea’ poem was read and I have to include at least a verse of it here for you to recite next time you’re getting ready to fire up the Sunbeam kettle for a brew:

To learn how to love long
Shall we have tea together?
Over the cups of tea
We don’t need loud words
To confess the light-blue, candid story
Long pent-up in our hearts;
To grow ripe inside
And be someone with beautiful
fragrance, Let’s have tea together.

Royal Tea House, Seoul

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