Being there, Sao Paolo


Carpe mañana

It’s 9:35 am. We were scheduled to kick off at 9:00 am. The locals explain we’re not behind schedule. Rather, we’re on Brazilian time. The expectation here is that nothing happens on schedule.


Security guards
Private homes here are guarded by security forces. Everywhere one sees men in uniforms with ominous expressions and tiny receivers in their ears. This has to be the most boring job in the world, hanging out waiting for non-existent bad guys to attack. The boys at the shopping center are ready for armed assault: they are wearing body armor.

Celebrity
No one is a prophet in his own land. This never happens in Berkeley. A dozen or more people have come up in the last hour to say they loved Informal Learning. Could they get a photo with me?


Informal Learning in Action
Yesterday I engaged in dialog with training managers of call centers for Vivo, a major telecommunications firm. They recently replaced formal training with learning through conversations. I expected to hear some of the usual griping about people not getting with the program. Happily, this was not the case. The workers love the new approach. New hires are getting up to speed more rapidly. If I’m reading the situation correctly, I expect learning conversation frameworks like this to go viral: the results are too good.


Conference presentations
If Ivan Illich were alive today, what would he recommend?

    If you are thinking a year ahead, sow seed.
    If you are thinking ten years ahead, plant a tree.
    If you are thing one hundreds years ahead, educate the people. Kuan Tzu

Ivan Illich wrote, “Computers are doing to communication what fences did to pastures and cars did to streets.” Illich was not a fan of IT. Mass personalization was not part of the deal in 1971. Were he alive today, he’d probably dig DIY like

  • Edupunk
  • instructables.com
  • khanacademy.com
  • shredacademy.com
  • escoladeredes.ning.com
  • objectos micearth.org

This is giving people access, precisely what Illich called for. Learning webs. Easily available learning objects. Illich also calls for skill exchanges, like these

  • tradeschool.ourgoods.org
  • thepublicschool.org
  • p2pu.org (Peer to peer university)


If Illich were alive today, he would not be here. Illich was utopian but he would want to spend time with people in the streets, not thinkers in a classroom.

Amazing food
Out friend Volnay Faustini treated us to lunch at a fantastic churrascaria, Haragana Wind.

The salad bar was enough for a normal person’s full lunch. (Plus, Wednesday is feijao day, so naturally it’s offered among the salads.) The house specializes in barbecued meat.

They provide a job aid for explaining where each cut of meat comes from (they will bring different cuts of beef, lamb, or boar to the table until you tell them to stop.)

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