Letter From the Editor
by Céline Semaan
Learning is empowering, but educational systems are not necessarily empowering for the learner.
That is why Slow Factory is building a model for open learning environments with programs like Open Edu, an accessible learning framework designed to empower self-organized peer to peer learning, modifying the existing system to communicate information to peers.
As I learned from my friend and colleague Adib Dada: in nature, this phenomenon is called stigmergy, a form of self-organization that produces complex, seemingly intelligent structures, without the need for any planning, control, or even direct communication between the agents. Oftentimes, this process is observed in the world of ants who use stigmergy to release pheromones that convey information to other members of their species.
We are not only part of the natural world, we ARE the natural world. We exist within multiple ecosystems.
The objective of Slow Factory’s first climate school and lab is to codify our design, educational theories, and models that transform systems, oftentimes linear, into ecosystems. What we mean by ecosystems are interdependent and interconnected systems, processes, and interactions with and within one another, that support each other and are deprived of any notion of “waste”. Within this ecosystem, “waste” is used as a resource, an input, into another adjacent ecosystem.
Slow Journal is designed to archive and document our collective resistance, important research we have commissioned, and other findings and recommendations.
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Céline Semaan is a Lebanese-Canadian researcher, designer, public speaker, and entrepreneur. She is the co-founder and executive director of Slow Factory, an institute and lab that transforms socially and environmentally harmful systems by designing models that are good for the Earth and good for people. She currently sits on Progressive International’s Council alongside Noam Chomsky and Arundhati Roy and has published in Elle, the New York Magazine and Teen Vogue. Her inter-disciplinary work at the intersection of fashion, climate, and politics has been covered by numerous news and fashion outlets.