We often speak about empowering our children to better prepare them for the future – the WAY concept postulates that “accelerating wisdom” is one of the most powerful means to achieve that highly laudable goal regardless of their cultural, economic and spiritual backgrounds.
Wisdom means different things to different people, but it is universally admired and can be significantly accelerated via generous sharing of knowledge amongst their own peer group, reinforced by listening to relevant stories told by recognized leaders on a specific topic of interests for their age bracket.
The WAY program focuses on convening a classroom sized group of highly motivated teenagers from around the globe during the Davos WEF week so that they can have fun together to bond as a community, learn from world leaders in fields that they find relevant and produce valuable materials to share with as many teenagers around the world as possible.
We are organizing the WAY pilot event in Davos during the next World Economic Forum week (19-26/01/19). Participants will be staying in a mountain lodge less than ten minutes away by gondola from the main train station, exploring the Davos surroundings during the week and having a series of meaningful conversations around the main topics being proposed.
Learning and Doing should be Fun too
FUN: Bonding with similarly motivated and highly engaged global teens for a whole week in a relaxed Winter Camp environment, doing lots of cool activities hard to experience elsewhere, such as learning about avalanche rescue, how to build an igloo, snowshoe treks, etc.
LEARN: Having fun with new friends establishes a relaxed and open mindset, making the group far better prepared to listen to the experts invited as speakers and of course to one another. We intend to invite WEF participants to come up the mountain to give talks on their areas of specialization, as well as welcome many remote speakers via Skype.
DO: Once the group learns about many subjects highly relevant to their future, they will have to produce specific deliverables too. At least four major topics (Future of Work, Cyberbullying, Fake News, Ecological Challenges) should become structured presentations defining specific action points which teenagers worldwide can strive to achieve.
The WAY to have FUN
We recognize that enjoyment together is key to bonding our classes into strong communities, so every morning of the WAY program is packed full with great activities which are designed to be inclusive even to participants unfamiliar with the practice of harder to learn winter sports (skiing, snowboarding) – while giving all a chance to kickstart or improve those skills.
Depending on weather conditions, the group will learn about igloos and build a snowbank shelter, better understand avalanches, go for snowshoe treks and practice easier to learn winter sports such as skating and cross-country.
In case of poor weather, participants will remain mostly indoors visiting many attractions such as local museums and unique research institutions. Riding a “snowcat” piste groomer and eating fondue outdoors are possible too!
The WAY to LEARN
With an open mind fostered by all the unique outdoors activities, participants are then well positioned to learn about topics relevant to their interests. We have preliminarily selected four major areas during this pilot event:
- Future of Work – including Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, Blockchain and more
- Cyberbullying and Digital Privacy
- Fake News and Fact Checking
- Ecological Challenges – including Plastic Pollution and Climate Change topics
Thought leaders present in Davos for the WEF will be invited up to the mountain lodge to chat with the group and those based elsewhere will be asked to join via Skype chats.
Participants will be asked to share their own “superpower skills” with the whole group as well.
The WAY to DO
It is equally important that participants feel ownership of those key issues and a clear urge to contribute towards their resolution.
Each of the four themes will have as planned output a presentation consolidating consensus action points on how teenagers from around the world can also make a difference individually.
We plan to translate these four presentation from English to eight of the most commonly languages in the world spoken as a native tongue – therefore reaching more than half of the world’s population older than twelve years old (those more likely to be fully literate) with concise information that they can understand.
These presentations will then be distributed to global schools via key channels (UNICEF, etc).
Most common languages in the world by number of native speakers (totalling 3bn+):
1- Mandarin 950m
2- Spanish 400m
3- English 360m
4- Hindi 310m
5- Arabic 300m
6- Portuguese 215m
7- Bangla 205m
8- Russian 155m
9- Japanese 125m
We wish to consolidate the freshest knowledge from the brightest minds seen through the eyes of teenagers and presented in a language that as many people as possible can easily comprehend.
Participant Selection Criteria for Pilot
Participation in WAY events should most certainly not be concentrated on particular nationalities or on the wealth level of the candidates’ families. The WAY concept is designed to be as inclusive as possible and the main selection criteria is therefore the level of intrinsic motivation that candidates have to make the world a better place in any way they feel they can contribute.
The class size aimed for the Davos pilot will be limited to 10-15 individually referred teenagers between 13-17 years old instead of the maximum number of 36 planned for full events in the future. Exceptions aside, WAY pilot participants will be requested to attend with the presence of a grown up formally responsible for them – these could be either members of their family (parents, siblings, others) or friends authorized to care for their wellbeing.
We have limited dormitory accommodation in gender separated rooms for the grown ups accompanying WAY participants. Alternatively, it is also possible to find lodging in Davos or nearby Klosters, but due to the WEF Annual Meeting taking place that week it is likely to be very challenging to find affordable options. A very attractive nearby location for families and friends of WAY participants is St. Moritz, 1.5 hours away from Davos by train.
The Jschalp Mountain Lodge is a five minutes gondola ride from the Jakobshorn valley station next to the main Davos Platz train terminal. Service runs from 08:15 (first ascent) to 16:45 (last descent). Participants will spend the night up in the lodge in dorms separated by gender and age group. Stakeholders older than 18 (monitors, volunteers) will have their own gender divided dorm rooms. Breakfasts and dinners will be served at the Jschalp restaurant, lunch and snacks/refreshments depend on sites of specific activities.
Alternative plans for inclement weather
Vaillant Ice Skating Arena (Tour + Training)
Swiss Institute for Snow and Avalanche
Winter Sports Museum
Davos Traditional Museum
Train trip to St. Moritz (3hrs roundtrip)
Curling, Davos Hospital visit, Meditating, etc
The WAY Production Team
“Wisdom Accelerator for Youth” (WAY) was conceived by Marcelo Garcia (founder of BroadLights.org) based on his personal family experience and on professional community building skills acquired through the well established CryptoExplorers.org event series, which he also co-founded.
Marcelo has been active in Davos during the WEF since 2011 and was responsible for hosting three large scale events there in January ’18 with more than 20 hours of programming.
He gave a TEDx talk on “Refugee Connectivity” and speaks frequently at major events hosted by private institutions and by International Organizations (UNHCR, WTO, etc).
The WAY pilot program is organized by BroadLights.org, a Swiss non-profit organization which often collaborates with UN agencies and through multiple partnerships:
Altru Institute – Multiple joint activities focusing on event content
Noser Young – Monitors and supervises several Davos activities (www.noseryoung.ch)
Shelley Lewis from Sacred Space NY is our Co-Curator and Event Partner (sacredspaceny.com)
Various Volunteers – Kindly supporting us with multiple tasks
Global WAY Program Locations
Wisdom Accelerator for Youth is designed as a global program to provide a strong platform to teenager participants from different regions of the world. Major gatherings are planned to take place roughly every four months in Davos, Singapore and New York.
- WAY Davos is always held during the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting week in late January
- WAY New York takes place during the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in late September
- WAY Singapore will be organized yearly between these two major events, starting from June 2020
Participation Terms and Conditions
The WAY program is not formally affiliated with either WEF or UNGA – the concurrent timing and location aims at maximizing the availability of top speakers willing to join the conversation with WAY participants.
Participation in the WAY programme is subject to a set of expectations worth clarifying, please contact us to receive the full Terms and Conditions. Suitable winter clothes are required, including (moon) boots and sunglasses.
General online references
WAY related activities during the week
Optional activities possible before or after WAY
This event is not associated with the World Economic Forum or any of its affiliates and is independently organized by a third party at a private location in a Davos hotel
Upcoming "WAY Glacier" edition 3-10 August 2019
© 2017-19 Marcelo Garcia – All Rights Reserved