Building Skills, Strengthening Communities

A new report, co-published with WISE, studies the impact of learning festivals.

Remake Learning is pleased to share the release of a new joint publication with WISE studying the impact of learning festivals.

To develop this report, we drew on interviews with more than 20 festival organizers and youth participants, who shared their insights and perspectives into what makes learning festivals unique. The festivals we studied are taking place around the world – in the Global North and the Global South, with festivals taking place in Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, North America, and Oceania. The earliest learning festival we studied began in 1989 (Edinburgh Science Festival) while the festivals in other regions tended to originate in the 2010s and 2020s. These festivals are:

  • Remake Learning Days – a celebration of innovative experiences and opportunities for youth to develop their sense of creativity, perseverance, and curiosity. The festival originated in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania region of the U.S. and currently takes place across the U.S. and internationally, including in New Zealand, the UK, and Uruguay.
  • Doha Learning Days – a learning festival in Doha, Qatar that aims to increase access to meaningful, hands-on learning opportunities, broaden the definitions of learning and learning providers, and nurture a vibrant local learning ecosystem.
  • Limerick Lifelong Learning Festival – a festival in Limerick, Ireland that offers family-friendly activities and activities for all ages while collectively exploring what it means to be a “Learning City.”
  • Generation Amazing Foundation Youth Festival – a festival designed around meaningful youth representation and engagement at major sporting events, including the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
  • Edinburgh Science Festival – a pioneering celebration of science and technology that harnesses familiar formats like theater and the arts to teach and inspire young people and people of all ages about the sciences.
  • The Weekender Festival – a music festival aimed at building community and raising awareness about the services and resources available to families and communities in public housing in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in the U.S.
  • Qatar Sustainability Week – a national campaign to educate and engage citizens about sustainability principles through activities and events held across Qatar.

This report explores how these learning festivals catalyze innovation and foster community, specifically by looking at:

  • How learning festivals build 21st century skills;
  • The underpinning factors that lead to festivals’ sustainability; and
  • How public-private partnerships help festivals achieve their aims.