What a strange place!

I have never seen so many colours and surreal forms in my whole life!

Slowly, the party of six, young men and women approach the great hall of knowledge, the temple of modern creativity and innovation, where so many great minds of the past have done their education.

Above its entrance, on a large transparent wall, stands an old inscription, as a lesson and a message to all the new generations:

“If a man wants freedom, he must lose everything else.”

Such a strange message, but what does it really mean?

An hour later, in a large holographic classroom, six people are sitting and waiting for their teacher to arrive.

Suddenly, holographic doors are opening, and a strange human-like creature of low stature enters the room. It slowly walks to the central place of the circular classroom, moving so gracefull that it produced no sound, dressed in a colorful long tunic made of pure silk, wearing strange bright shining clock-like device on its right arm.

Good morning, students!

I welcome you to our great temple of knowledge, and wish you all the best during your stay this summer class in the New Liberal Academy.

My name is Shri and I will be your teacher, your guide and above all your adviser during the time we will spend together this summer.

Here we don´t use titles, so you don´t have to address me with Teacher, Master or any other title, that is not necessary, you can all call me Shri, just Shri. And I will address you in the same way.

But before we start with the introduction to the classes, the main reason you are all here, I would like you to introduce yourselves, one by one. Say your name, where do you come from, what is your occupation or what do you study, if you´re still a student, and what is the main reason why you came here.

Why don´t we start with the man that is sitting in the rightmost seat, you seem to look like you´re the oldest in this group?

No, by all means, I hope I´m not.

Well, what is your name and where do you come from?

Well, my name is Kaito and I come from the Province of Fuji. I´m only 31 years old and currently I work as an engineer of new nanobots generation at the Univerity of Tokyo. And yes, I am a dr.sc. of robotics and cybernetics. As far as why am I here, I´m not so sure, but I guess I want to understand the world of science from some other point of view. 

Now, you in that fancy colorful dress. By the way, I really like your fashion style.

Everybody laughs.

Thank you!

Yes, that is the traditional dress of my people. I am a member of the Xhosa tribe that resides in the Kalahari province, which is where I was born. I never left my homeland, and I don´t have a formal education. I´m a craftsman and I like to experiment with different styles when I make my crafts, which consists mostly of pottery and ceremonial masks. In that way I preserve the heritage of my tribe. And yes, my name is George, George Fundani.

Hi! I am a fighter against pollution and the enemies of the environment. And yes, I am an environmental engineer born in Iqaluit, capital of Nunavut, but currently living in Vancouver where I work. My name is Auka and I´m 33. I would like to learn more about the spiritual side of the wild nature, so I hope I will learn something new in here.

As an admirer of everything that is beautiful, I must say that I like this place, even do I would like that there were more paintings and sculptures in here. And yes, my name is Lucretia, I´m a painter and sculptor at the prestige Fine Arts Academy of Florence. I was born and raised in Assisi, in the province of Umbria. I don´t know why am I here really, but I hope I will not waste my precious time.

Oh, you are from Assisi, my favourite place! How I wish I could go there!

Uh, excuse me, how unpolite from me to jump in like that, but I couldn´t manage not to make a comment.

Yes, I´m Arami from the province of Missiones in Latin America. I´m a member of the Guarani tribe, one of the ancestors of today´s Native Americans in my land. I assume I´m probably the oldest in here, being 34. And I work, if that could be said, as a monk of St Francis order, in a monastery near Buenos Aires.

And finally, we have a girl that seems to be hiding from us. Don´t be shy, we don´t byte, at least not yet!

Everybody laughs.

Can you tell us something about yourself?

Well, I´m a bit of an introverted character, and mostly like to spend my time alone, so for me, this is a bit an awkward situation. My name is Lowanna, and I come from Tasmania. I´m an autodidact, or in other words, a self-taught person. I love spending time in the outdoor, in the wilderness. I´m a sort of a local spiritual teacher, a shaman, and I like to study practices of my Aboriginal tribe.

Well, you seem to be quite an interesting group. I think I will enjoy spending time to teach you and discuss with you on various topics in the next period.

By the way, teacher… I apologize, Shri, where do you come from?


(continued in Let´s Walk Around and Explore the Future!…)

(Cover Image & Source: Classrooms of the e-future @ The Conversation)