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Festival of Hope, creating spaces for millions of young people to speak up

Festival of Hope Banner

In this interview, meet Jennifer Bahrami and Tim Logan, Festival of Hope co-directors.

Could you please tell us more about you?

Jennifer Bahrami and I have been working for the last 8 months on building the Festival of Hope with the International Baccalaureate (IB). I have been an IB teacher, senior leader in IB schools and am now an educational consultant with schools around the world. I also run the Future Learning Design podcast for anyone interested in how people are rethinking and reshaping educational systems.

Jennifer is a highly accomplished social impact leader having co-founded the Center for Social Impact Communication at Georgetown University and led social impact initiatives and communications and public affairs for many global organisations, including the IB.

The Festival of Hope is a place where millions of young people can come to speak their truth and feel heard in these challenging times. Can you share more about your mission and the Festival itself?

The Festival of Hope is an initiative created by the International Baccalaureate that aims to create spaces for millions of young people to speak up and turn complex challenges into positivity and hope. It is an inquiry led by young people to explore what it will take to inspire and transform humanity and address the complex challenges young people face today. 

In live in-person and virtual spaces, we are bringing together diverse voices and experiences, hosting interviews, workshops, and opportunities for action. We are introducing students in schools today to those of their generation and a little bit older who are driving change and making the world a better place, such as Clover Hogan, Dekila Chungyalpa, Ziad Ahmed, Arifa Nasim, Kate Raworth and many others. 

Our aim is to build bridges and forge bonds between those who might have a different life experience but who want to create a new dynamic of change.

We want the Festival of Hope to channel young people who are their generation’s leaders and energise, support, and build up those who feel hopeless in the face of the world’s challenges.

Who should join and why?

The Festival of Hope is an open invitation to young people everywhere – not just those studying in an IB school. Joining might be as simple as watching one of the videos on our site and being inspired to take their own action locally, or it might mean taking part in one of our pathways to action, such as the HackerEarth ‘Hackathon for Hope’ or attending one of our live events.

Why is it so important for you to place the younger generation at the centre?

Too often, both in education and in wider societal issues, young people are the ones who have the most to gain (or lose) but are least engaged in the discussions and decisions that will affect their future. It is core to our mission at FoH to create spaces where this can happen in authentic and productive ways.

We are seeing over and over again how hungry people are for these kinds of spaces that take them and their perspectives seriously, but also give them the chance to learn from and with others with similar passions but perhaps more life experience or expertise.

You will be participating in the LearningPlanet Festival this year. Can you share more about what you have planned so far and why the Festival of Hope and the LearningPlanet Festival are somehow interconnected?

At the International Baccalaureate, like LearningPlanet, we absolutely feel the urgent need to develop new approaches to our collective challenges too. And as a global education provider, the IB also felt a strong sense of responsibility that the way education gets done has a huge role to play in this. This is why Festival of Hope was started, and why it is so aligned to the mission of the LearningPlanet Festival. 

We will be running various events during the LearningPlanet Festival week and beyond, so we are very happy to be a proud supporter and partner.

Are you optimistic about the future, and why?

We are more hopeful than optimistic about the future! For us, optimism is a feeling or an attitude that things will turn out positively. The idea behind Festival of Hope, is that hope is not just a feeling but something we embody through our actions in the world. As David Orr has said: “Hope is a verb with its sleeves rolled up.” The LearningPlanet Festival and Festival of Hope are working together to inspire us all to act! This gives us hope!

Share what gives you hope by using #festivalofhope across social media

Website: https://www.ibo.org/hope

Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@FestivalofHope

Jennifer Bahrami, Festival of Hope Co-Director

Jennifer is a social impact leader and strategic advisor guiding organisations and leaders through a changing world. As former CCO & CMO she has a clear vision, a deep understanding of stakeholder needs, and an ability to build trusting, collaborative networks.

She has worked on philanthropic and social impact initiatives across the public and private sector from Fortune 500’s such as Bank of America to multilaterals like the World Bank and United Nations.  She volunteers her time on the Board of Learning Undefeated, a nonprofit which is driving race and gender equity in STEM and is always looking for opportunities to elevate voices for a better world.

Tim Logan, Festival of Hope Co-Director

An experienced education leader and curriculum designer, Tim is also an outstanding connector, facilitator and project manager. He is a senior consultant with NoTosh and the host of the hugely popular Future Learning Design podcast.

Tim has worked with schools, education groups and organizations across the globe to get them thinking differently about learning design, curriculum and strategy and put young people’s agency and capacity development at the heart of educational experiences.

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