Janwaar Castle is a sandbox project for which the principles are clearly defined (without being taught or said) and inside this sandbox everything is possible. It is up to the children what we take forward. The options are manifold. Our principles are simple:
Systems over objects
We believe in networks and we think in networks. Janwaar Castle is a network based model. Therefore we put systems over objects and constantly ask ourselves how do we responsibly participate in the village and the area around us.
Emergence over authorities
We don’t tell the children what to do. We let them do, observe and then guide them in the things they’ve chosen to do. It’s not on us to decide what will be done or what is right or wrong. And they don’t need to ask for permission. They can simply go ahead and do.
Pull over push
Janwaar Castle pulls from the network as it needs it rather than keep everything in stock. We are agile. Resources one considers as assets actually become liabilities when one wants to be agile.
Resilience over strength
It is not the fittest or strongest who keeps Janwaar Castle running, it’s the one who is ready to go the long distance if needed and to achieve balance within the Janwaar Castle ecosystem.
Disobedience over compliance
This is a tough one for India. You don’t win Nobel prizes for doing what you’re told. We need to create environments that are resilient to the automatization of the world, and that require disobedience and encourage to ask questions. A lot of civics is about disobedience.
Compasses over maps
At Janwaar Castle it’s much more important to navigate and find your own way in life than following a pre-defined path or a standardised curriculum.
Learning over education
Education is something what you do to others. Learning is what you do to yourself. And this is what Janwaar Castle is all about.
Practice over theory
We do. We build stuff. We fail. We do it again differently. We might fail again. Then we do it again. And we learn by doing so. We succeed. This way the kids, for instance, have learnt to fix their skateboards, to use their tablets and to skateboard. Without instruction. What they’ve learnt will stay with them.
We over me
Janwaar Castle is community oriented, it doesn’t focus on the individual. This is a natural outcome of the network and the system thinking we’ve embraced.