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In Sweden math education for children has stagnated, with math often perceived by young students as something alien, difficult, and irrelevant. A downward sloping performance curve in the Swedish school system has resulted in a substantial gap between what skills the working world demands from their employees and what skills children possess.
Marginalization is one of the main factors contributing to the cycles of unemployment, violence, and social unrest in impoverished urban and suburban areas. Allaoui Guenni is using sports as a catalyst to bring down the walls surrounding local populations, build bridges to employment and social integration, facilitate conflict resolution, and ultimately pacify relationships within society.
Through short sessions of playful reading and writing practice, Beatriz Diuk is catching up illiterate children with their peers and alleviating frustrated teachers by providing them with simple tools to address this gap. By approaching the problem of illiteracy as one of the education system, not as an inherent quality of “poor children,” she is changing perspectives and turning those who are furthest behind into successful learners.
Jean-Claude Decalonne is providing struggling French pupils in at-risk neighborhoods with the tools they need to succeed academically and socially. By engaging parents, teachers and the broader community in supporting and developing young people’s potential, he is showing society the value of alternative paths to education and success for children.
François Taddéi is breaking away from the elitist, top-down, and conservative model of the French education system that fails to prepare students to innovate and meet the complex challenges of a changing world. François is reinventing high school and college science education and laying the ground for a renewed, democratized knowledge industry.
Simon Houriez is establishing a common ground for learning for both deaf and hearing members of society, and by doing so, is fostering equal citizenship. He refuses to admit that for the deaf to be educated and recognized in French society they must adjust to the communication paradigms and the education system of the hearing.
Nicolas Metro is redefining forest preservation as a human development issue, one that reaches far beyond environmental conservation. By positioning trees as central actors in creating economic opportunities and addressing social issues, Nicolas develops simple ways for companies and local communities to find common ground where entrepreneurial solutions are encouraged to flourish.
Dennis Lennartsson is elevating sign language to serve a richer purpose in society by addressing the needs of individuals and communities across geographies and sectors.
Gaele is transforming the way France supports children with severe autism by creating tools for mainstreaming behavioral approaches among parents, caregivers and institutions. Her innovative IT-based educational model is very easy to use in order to break down parents’ and professionals’ barriers to change and enable great progress for autistic children to reach their full potential. They also open the door for an unprecedented integration into the school system.
Reconciling the sectors of technology and social economy in France, Frederic Bardeau is developing new mechanisms of social inclusion and full citizenship. Based on the enormous demand for people who have basic digital knowledge such as coding and information technology, he is opening unexplored integration opportunities in the web sector to offer immediate sustainable work for at-risk populations.