Year In Review – Atlas Workshops Redefines Student Travel

2013 HAS BEEN AN AMAZING YEAR HERE AT ATLAS WORKSHOPS.

Here is our year, by the numbers, pictures, and stories that have made it so incredible!

JANUARY

Group at VidigalThe group travels to Rio de Janeiro and Curitiba to investigate urban planning and issues of equality as Brazil prepares for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The group meets with the former mayor of Curitiba, Jaime Lerner, one of the world’s experts on urban issues—and works together with youth from several favelas in Rio to design ideas for inclusion and displaced residents using social media and technology. Read more about the workshop here.

  • Jenny helps organize and lead a delegation of students and faculty from Harvard University to Allahabad, India to study the world’s largest pilgrimage, the Kumbh Mela.

Over the course of the 55 day festival, 80 million pilgrims come to bathe in the confluence of the Ganges and Yamuna Rivers, making this the largest religious gathering on earth.

MARCH

  • We’re official!

Atlas Workshops is legally incorporated. Jenny joins Adam and John to form the Atlas Workshops team. We begin planning amazing summer workshops, where students explore current global challenges through meaningful collaboration with local communities and organizations. On each of our workshops, the group creates a one-of-a-kind storytelling project—and contributes to social impact in the locations we visit. Our goal is to design trips that give students the time of their lives—while creating opportunities for positive global impact.

Atlas Experience

MAY

JUNE

  • Jenny leads a group of 56 youth and 15 adults from First Parish Unitarian Universalist of Arlington to Williamson, West Virginia on a week long service trip.

The group has an incredible time helping to create a community garden in the heart of coal-mining country. Nobody gets lost.

 JULY

this tree is so cool

Elephant BlessingsThrough visits to different schools and educational organizations, the Atlas Workshops group investigates how a country the size of India is working to educate its children to be successful in the new global economy. The group explores big city life in Bangalore, the historic charm of coastal Kochi, the soaring temples of ancient Madurai, and the lush tea plantations in the mountains of Kerala. An overall bright spot is the collaboration with youth from Vidiyal, an educational organization that supports students from disadvantaged communities. Oh yeah – we also all get blessed by the resident temple elephant at the Meenakshi Temple, in Madurai.

Check out the group’s final storytelling project here, and read student blog posts: “Beyond Tourism” and “Ten Game Changers I Learned in India.

AUGUST

SEPTEMBER

  • We announce our six incredible summer 2014 workshops!

Souq in marrakechA Generation of Entrepreneurs: Vietnam – How can Vietnam leverage its youth as a competitive resource? We will traverse Vietnam to learn about the opportunities and ideas energizing this youthful nation.

European Expansion: Croatia & Slovenia – What is the future of the European Union? We will discover some of Europe’s most scenic landscapes as we piece together the future of the EU.

Healthcare for Everyone: South India – How does India balance traditional and western medicine? We will shadow doctors, interview frontline health workers, and learn about natural remedies.

Smarter Cities: Scandinavia – How do we design cities for the 21st century? We will explore Scandinavia’s smartest cities, experience endless summer in Denmark and Sweden, and discuss the future of the world’s urban centers.

Politics of Participation: Morocco – When change does come to Morocco, what will it look like? We will examine Moroccan identity and youth culture through art, media, technology, and innovation.

Informal Innovators: Kenya & Uganda – Who are the innovators of emerging East Africa? We will visit the most stunning vistas the continent has to offer, while exploring a world of creativity and talent.

NOVEMBER

  • Adam and Jenny travel to Haiti.Seguin 21

We will be leading a group to Haiti in March, to study environmental sustainability, and we visit Haiti for a week to prepare for the workshop. Check out our series of blog posts on the trip here.

  • Adam represents his Digital Matatus Project as a delegate to the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona.
  • Adam travels to Sweden, to set up the Smarter Cities: Scandinavia workshop.

DECEMBER

Following his presentation at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona, Adam leads the first hangout, on Navigating the Smart City. Atlas Workshops Hangouts are online discussions about important global topics and innovations, with experts from around the world. Adam discusses his work in Nairobi mapping the city-wide routes of the informal minivan taxis called matatus, and offers insight into our upcoming workshop to Scandinavia to study innovation in urban design. If you missed the hangout – you can see the footage here!

Mahaballipuram jumping

AND WE’RE READY FOR 2014!

  • The workshops we’ve developed for this summer are truly exceptional: we can’t stop talking about them they are so exciting! Please email us or give us a call today (617-475-0141), as we would love to tell you more about what we offer!
  • Stay tuned for more Atlas Workshops Hangouts, which will bring perspectives from global experts on the places we’ll be visiting and the topics we’ll cover this year.
  • We’ll also be representing at a number of different camp/summer fairs – check out the list of where to find us here, and come say hello!

We’re grateful to our friends and families who have been such supports to us, to our students who have been so much fun to travel with, and to all of our different partners around the world.

Cheers to another amazing year!

– Adam and Jenny