Becoming a Learning City – Jaipur witnessed the first UNCONFERENCE in town

What would a learning city be like? What is your idea of such a place? Can Jaipur become a learning city, and if so where do we start? How to know where do we have to direct our efforts for making it a reality?

Why not bring everyone together who gets excited about this idea at a common platform and discuss, take suggestions, and maybe design a route-map, while giving everyone just a glimpse of how amazingly vibrant a learning city can be !

The purpose of organizing Jaipur Learning City Unconference was the same. And the way this whole event turned out, we can simply say, the foundation has been a solid one.

Unconference in Jaipur

What an unconference is and what it is not ! Better to know, is it not ?

What Unconference is not – It is not about PowerPoint Presentations and less exciting Keynote Speeches. It is not about those few people who are considered as superior knowledgeable beings for a day. It is not about the procedural drama, suits and ties, and everything that makes us little uncomfortable.

Unconference is more about the genuine conversations on various discipline and making genuine connections with other people. It is more about acceptance. It not about rushing towards an end goal, rather it is about living more in the present moment and appreciating what is going around. It is about opening up more than we usually do, allowing our creative thoughts flow freely, and our actions to consciously increase the positivity around without the fear of being judged.


Unconference Jaipur

Moving forward….the 1st Jaipur Learning City Unconference which took place on 12th March was an example of a beautifully executed Unconference –

Just when you pass the main gate, and enter the lawn, what do you see? You see a bunch of people in a large circle, and doing things which you don’t get to see every other morning ! Then you join them, and soon you are just as weird (or normal) as them.

Unconference started with games. What a fun way to urge people to show their true colors and begin a charismatic event !  More and more people joined. Laughs became louder, followed by more games with weird names and even weirder way they were being played.

Unconference in Jaipur

Anyone could give a talk and people were eager to listen [ YOU LEAD TALKS]; some folks came in pajamas; everyone was at ease, they were smiling, participating, sharing, laughing, and learning; there were dance workshops, laughing workshops, art and craft workshops consisting of bottle decoration, organic color making, etc

At many instances during the day, I felt that environs like this could take you more close to your truer self.  Being around people who are so appreciating and supportive, you can be comfortable in your own skin and do things at your own pace.

For lunch, everyone sat on the ground and ate delicious Organic Food.

Unconference in Jaipur

There were food stalls serving juices, homemade muffins and chocolates, to organizers, visitors, and participants. There were stalls of arts and crafts items ranging from dream catchers to paper earrings.

Events in Jaipur

One of the things that highlighted the essence of the event was the “Dariya Dil ki Dukan ”, where one could buy anything present in the stall with a smile. Yes, a smile. Smile, not money, is the currency of exchange here !

Events in Jaipur/figure>A room was dedicated to DIY Film Festival showing short movies throughout the day.

Everyone was asked to follow “TWO FEET LAW”. Since there was so much at Unconference, all at the same time, people were free to move around and engage in activities where they find good vibes. So if you get bored of one thing, use your two feet ( or Two Feet Law ) and start the search for something that feels like home.

Shikshantar Andolan, Startup Oasis, and Pravah Initiative were the main organizers, apart from many other individuals who ran around gathering everything required, promoted the event on social networks, and gave life to a delicate idea in a fanciest possible way. Samarth School was the host of the Unconference.

This event did something special which most people might still not have realized. It sowed the seeds of an Idea in our minds. An idea so powerful that it won’t let us settle till we make it a reality. The idea of a seeing Jaipur as a learning city. The idea of accepting diversity in human beings. The idea of a community that celebrates learning. This unconference helped us think in this direction ! However crazy it might sound, but people who came for the unconference can now imagine of such a place.

This Unconference was just the beginning. Beginning of Jaipur becoming a Learning City.

Many thanks to Vasundhara for helping with the details for this article.

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