When Adam Halmos, owner of the largest book publishing companies in Hungary, along with a small circle of influential friends found themselves with the question of where to place their children in the current Budapest school system, they discovered a unified passion: education and its reform.
Though all of them had the resources to place their children into great schools, they knew that the real answer was to change the fate of an entire generation. For fun, they started to talk about building an entirely new school system from scratch, recognizing the current system was outdated and would be too difficult to change quickly.
Soon after, their visions and conversations turned into actions. They launched two pre-schools for children 3 through 6 in locations that are very similar to a home setting, one in an apartment and one in a house. They are currently designing their first school launching in September for kids aged 6 – 10.
The principles their school is built upon include: allowing kids of mixed ages to learn together (which breeds responsibility and leadership), personalized education with a focus on the whole child, closely knit teacher collaborations, providing an emotionally safe environment, being radically inclusive and more.
In our conversation, we discuss the challenges they faced in building a new school, how to make it economically sustainable and how Adam and his co-founders plan to take their vision of a happy Hungarian community in 2040 out into the world.
He shares his view on why enabling children to face the future matters. He also addresses the skills we need to cultivate in our children and how a change in education can maximally support our kids.
I found our conversation refreshing in the sense that anyone including a group of friends, neighbors, or like-minded people can come together and actualize real change.
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