If you were stranded on a desert island with ten other people, what would you bring to the group?
That’s the question that started this challenge.
If we were stripped of technology, what could we do? Would we be able to build a shelter without watching a tutorial online first? Would we be able to fix the broken radio that eventually washes up on the shore, or even know how to use it to send a mayday call if we could? Could we catch and cook our own food, or save a fellow islander from drowning? What stories could we tell? What games could we play to save ourselves from boredom? How long could we survive?
We’re the products of a society that has taught us how to pass exams in order to secure comfortable lives, rather than equipping us with the skills required to tackle every problem that life might throw at us. If our car breaks down, or our tap springs a leak, we pay someone to fix it for us, because it makes more economic sense than devoting time to learning how to fix it ourselves.
We’re sure we’re not only speaking for ourselves when we say that we wish we were more skilled. It’s common to hear “I wish I knew how to do that” but much less common to hear about people who’ve actually taken steps to gain that knowledge. That’s why we’re making a conscious effort to learn more by asking the UK’s most skilled people to come forward and teach us something.
We hope to learn at least one lesson in every county of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland over the course of the next year. These lessons will be personal, one to one, interactions because this is how we believe skills are learned best. In addition to gaining new skills, we want to meet interesting people, visit new places, and learn more about the place we call home.
We’re also using this opportunity to raise money for Alzheimer’s Society. We’ve chosen this charity because we’ve all watched grandparents suffer with the disease, and some research suggests that keeping the brain active by learning new things may help to delay its onset. We’re donating £10 to the charity for every lesson we receive, which will be used to support current and future sufferers.
If you’re a skilled person, no matter what your skill is, we’d love you to teach us! Register your interest at www.teach-us.uk and if we choose to learn your lesson we'll donate £10 on your behalf.