CoCreative Learning

Release date 18th October 2017


CoCreative Learning is a free, open source project, drawing on a wide body of accumulated understanding and practice, to share proven techniques to learn co-creatively – ie. CoCreative Learning isn’t hampered or fettered by the incentives, penalties and limitations of established education practice. CoCreative Learning makes explicit, what is implicit in much human activity. CoCreative Learning removes the shackles and blinkers of orthodox learning to unleash human creative potential.

This project website (CoCreative Learning) is primarily focused on political economy as the area of study but the Principles and Process are applicable to all co-creative learning. CoCreative Learning means learning from and with one another in an openly receptive and responsive way that removes bias and dogma while enhancing the scope and comprehension of any subject of inquiry. Nevertheless, an understanding of political economy is essential context for your learning and life’s decisions. We all need to be polymaths, first and foremost to be able to function as free human beings.

Co-creative learning comes naturally to humans and underpinned thriving preliterate societies within which co-operation was key to survival. Before the establishment of civilisations, co-creative learning was the way we lived. However, as civilisations developed, emerging knowledge became the preserve of the ruling elites in societies and those in their service (priests, scribes. tax collectors etc.). Later, the establishment of compulsory schooling segregated and trained humans to fulfil different roles in the political economy but not to question authority nor what we are taught.

Competition is the founding principle of the current political economy and it starts with compulsory education – standards, testing and grading – and continues throughout our lives.

Intrusion into, and disruption of, family and community life fragments social cohesion and inhibits co-creative learning and development. Control of learning has drifted away from families and communities, into the maw of the state and corporations which dictate what we learn and how we learn. Education has become increasingly specialised and compartmentalised, meaning few have an understanding of how the pieces fit together and how they interact. We are trained to be ignorant of the true nature of the political economy.

Academia and media ensure most humans only learn a subset of skills and never develop their understanding beyond what directly affects or interests them.

We rely on experts to make important decisions on our behalf. These experts are only expert in their field and have little understanding of the political economy as a system; they don’t foresee the consequences of their decisions and actions on others and the system itself. Experts take on trust, information from other experts who are similarly confined. Consequently, we are denied the means to verify whether what we are told is true and supported by all the evidence available.

We need experts to delve into the depths of their specialism but they need to co-create their learning to unleash the power of co-creative learning for themselves and humanity.

Currently, incentives and penalties in the political economy ensure that established “wisdom” remains unassailable until such time as sufficient contrary evidence penetrates public consciousness to overwhelm the previous understanding.

History is littered with trials, tribulations and killing of those who challenged “authorised” beliefs.

In spite of these difficulties, limited co-creative learning occurs, often within orthodox education but it is rarely acknowledged or recognised. All we need to do is remove the incentives, penalties and limitations of institutionalised, hierarchical education and set it free – let go of all our preconceptions and beliefs.

CoCreative Learning is the process by which understanding (of the current political economy and possibilities to co-create something better) can penetrate human consciousness. It is open to anyone and everyone. All that is required is the desire to learn.

CoCreative Learning helps us understand issues and events in an ever changing world. It is fluid, flexible and evolving, like the world we inhabit.

The promise of CoCreative Learning

The power to evolve, unleashing the potential of humanity. In short, freedom.

What do we get from CoCreative Learning?

What we find in co-creative learning is that there is a geometric progression of understanding.

The power of co-creative learning is evident in free, open source software and other examples:

Sugata Mitra has pioneered self-organised learning at Newcastle University . Here he talks about an experiment in India during which illiterate children from the slums adjacent to his office learned about genetics in six months.

Co-creative learning is the foundation of the Critical Thinking project which had a paper published in the Islamic Economics Journal of King Abdulaziz University in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Co-creative learning conceived and implemented the CoCreative Learning Project in less than a month. It has been the foundation of our methodology for 6 years, since the inception of Critical Thinking, but our evolutionary purpose hadn’t crystallised this concept into anything tangible until shortly before the launch of the CoCreative Learning website in October 2017 – the CoCreative Learning Project had been taking shape in discussions and occasional blog posts during the summer of 2017 but not identified or articulated as an objective. Most of the materials and outline for this project had been accumulating during Critical Thinking Sessions and in MindMaps making implementation swift and relatively easy – it created itself, autopoiesis.

There seems to be a magical factor in co-creative learning which is difficult to describe in words. By operating on the same wavelength, ideas and creativity resonate, turbocharging learning. One is barely aware of progress while learning co-creatively but documenting, recording and sharing work as we learn reveals the rapid development of our understanding.

Done right, the results of CoCreative Learning are impressive. We know it works but only by doing it yourself can you appreciate its power.

What can we use CoCreative Learning for?

CoCreative Learning can teach you anything you want to know. All you need is a question.

Everything we do has a context and learning is no different. In order to understand context, we need to look at the political economy and that is what this project website is mainly concerned with. But CoCreative Learning is applicable to any human activity which is learned; in time, we hope to see others sharing their experiences of co-creative learning across a wide spectrum of subjects, issues and ideas.

The nature of CoCreative Learning is such that from wherever you start and whatever your objective, you will quickly find your learning expands beyond its original horizon, creating new possibilities.

Who can participate in CoCreative Learning?

Co-Creative Learning is open to all of us; it comes naturally. Anyone prepared to learn is welcome.

If you’re a student, you face a dilemma. The false promise of a degree is that it is the key to a wonderful future. The reality for most falls way short of their expectations. In return for this promise, you are shackled with debt and trained to be a putative component of the political economy. You’ve already been prepared to accept all this through compulsory schooling. Or you can explore how the world works before deciding what you’d like to do and learn of your true potential and of the expanding opportunities which arise from CoCreative Learning. Alternatively, if you already have a university place, augment your degree with CoCreative Learning – you will find it accelerates learning in your degree subject(s) and gives you a context or framework to help you make important decisions.

If you’re in or out of paid work, CoCreative Learning will transform your life.

If you are an activist/campaigner, it is vital to integrate co-creative learning into your work. Most campaigns focus on symptoms, the injustice, death and destruction wrought by the system. They attack the obvious targets which are fronts to direct fire away from the system itself. So whatever your cause, CoCreative Learning will reveal the real causes of our predicament and show us the way out of this mess we’ve found ourselves in.

If you are old, CoCreative Learning will harvest your lifetime’s experiences, putting them into a new perspective and give new energy and meaning to your life.

If you’re a victim of the system, understanding why is your best means of escape.

If you believe you’re a beneficiary of the system, you’ll learn how much better life could be with real freedom to thrive.

If you are an expert, CoCreative Learning will not only accelerate your learning but will reveal the context of your work both within your field and the wider world.

Given the opportunity, children and adults alike learn co-creatively. Relationships are formed and strengthened though co-creative learning to create a shared understanding, building circles of trust and putting energy and power back into families and communities.