The Chicago Wisdom Project was founded in 2009 as a response to the industrial and corporate models of education that were increasingly prevalent in the American educational landscape.
The Chicago Wisdom Project is founded upon the belief that wisdom is an inherent quality of every being. Wisdom is our capacity to find meaning and connection in our world. One of the ways we do this is through the imagination. Today more than ever our culture requires creative approaches to find meaning in our world.
The way a culture understands and teaches its members their relationship to one another and the world is called a cosmology or worldview. A worldview is expressed through a culture’s mythology, its shared creative expression. The values of a culture are determined by the lessons learned from the elders through these myths, and by the novel creative expressions of new generations. It is the particular role of the youth to give expression to this wisdom in novel ways, and the task of the elders to guide them in this process. Our youth clearly possess an abundance of creative energy, but often lack the guidance to steer it in a positive direction and the encouragement to become empowered to pursue their passions.
In response to the dominant cultural paradigm that emphasizes test scores and quantifiable knowledge, the Chicago Wisdom Project seeks to find the particular passion of each student, allowing for the individual’s imagination and creative energy to foster a more meaningful and compassionate culture for the future. This is not a program to “help” or to “save” the youth. While one suspects it may serve this secondary purpose, the primary purpose of the Chicago Wisdom Project is to empower the youth to create a more meaningful and compassionate culture through their creativity.