Re-inventing learning
through self organised learning environments
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What is a SOLE?

Popularized by Dr. Sugata Mitra, a self organised learning environment or SOLE allows children to work in groups, collaborate, and find answers to Big Questions.

SOLEs allow children to take control of their learning and develop critical reading, writing, and listening skills. Self Organized Learning Environments (SOLE) are places where children can work in groups, access the internet and other software, follow up on a class activity or project or take them where their interests lead them.

Learning without Books

We set our learners a "Big Question" at each session. SOLEs require no books, no curriculum and no teachers. We use the power of the information available on the internet or in the peoplenet combined with the curiosity of our learners to enable fast paced knowledge buildup.

Learning at Rocket Speeds

Our carefully chosen "Big Question" inspires our learners to quickly research the how and the why's of the challenge. Because we create the conditions for challenge based learning by providing the tools to acquire knowledge, our learners learn to research, learn to present but above all, they learn to learn.

Learning for All Ages

SOLEs are for all ages - we encourage groups of 3-5 persons of all ages to collaborate, research the Big question over a 2 hour research session and then present their findings to the other groups in the SOLE

Our Campaign

Will you help us achieve our goal?



We're raising funds as part of a global campaign with School In The Cloud and SOLE Central based at Newcastle University, to expand our operations throughout Greece. We are raising €12,000 to fund our next phase.

After just finishing our pilot phase where we delivered 12 SOLE sessions to refugee children at The Cube - our next phase will put a SOLE on a bus and will travel from camp to camp to setup and leave behind the concept and the necessary equipment.

SOLE Greece was established in response to the needs of refugee children stranded in Greece. Over 20,000 children and their families are seeking refuge in Europe and elsewhere after being displaced due to conflicts in the Middle East. Most of these children have been out of school for over a year and some have never been to school. We facilitate learning for children ages 6 - 16 in their own language and with content sensitive to their cultural and historical background. After running a 5-week pilot project, we now operate in camps in and around Athens. We will use the funds raised here to expand the SOLE methodology into 5 more camps in central Greece. Our SOLE will be a mobile school bus that travels from camp to camp. Please consider supporting these children as they attempt to rebuild their lives.

Big Questions

We carefully choose broad questions that are non-political and non-religious but are challenging to the groups while also being accessible to all ages. We encourage learners to dig deep into each challenge. We follow up each answer with a "but why?!?", constantly driving our participants inquisitiveness to uncover a new layer of knowledge.

Below are a few examples of "Big Questions"

What makes people happy?

How important are friends? Is a family important? What about society and it's structure? What about school?

Why are bees important to the world?

What do bees produce? How many bees in a hive? What do they eat? Why are they useful?

Where do rainbows come from?

Why are there two rainbows in this picture? Why is the sky blue and why is it sometimes orange?

How did the Giraffe's neck become so long?

Was it born like this or did it grow long over time? What other animals have similar characteristics and why?

Why are there summer, winter, autumn and spring seasons?

What happens to animals and plants when the seasons change? What effect does the sun have on earth?

Where do goosebumps come from?

when do we get them? Do we get them all over our body? Do they have a function?

About SOLE Greece

SOLE Greece was formed in response to the need for educational activities for refugee children. It has the potential to deliver disruptive complimentary educational activites to all parts of society. Right now, it's a voluntary program driven by volunteers from and around The Cube Athens Startup ecosystem.

  • October 2015

    Our Humble Beginnings

    Members of The Cube Athens ecosystem visited Lesvos as part of a hackathon activity called Startup Boat and saw first hand the unfolding humanitarian crisis. Desperate families crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey onto Greek shores to enter Europe. Local authorities stand almost helpless and unable to deal with the influx of people transiting Lesvos. Volunteer groups and NGOs begin arriving to help. There is much to be done.

  • February 2016

    Crisis unfolds in Piraeus

    Thousands of men women and children are left stranded at Piraeus port and Idomeni as borders close with winter and the rainy season upon us. People camp out in a makeshift tent city. Volunteer groups in Piraeus deliver aid and put in significant efforts in organising self organised soup kitchens, tent distribution, washing facilities, personal hygene items as well as sporting and other entertainment activities. Authorities try to distribute people to makeshift camps but conditions are poor and people choose to return to Piraeus because the volunteers are providing such good services.

  • March 2016

    Children are bored and out of control

    The community brainstorm and consider building a makeshift school at Piraeus port but there are no resources, no teachers, no curriculum, no books. We don't speak the terget language and we need to be sensitive to the refugee's cultural needs and other such obstacles. The Cube community and partners such as Lividia, research possible models and discover the School in The Cloud methodology and the SOLE concept. We reach out to SOLE Central at Newcastle University and ask for help. They gladly provide it and facilitate our launch of a pilot program.

  • April 2016

    The Plan and the Promise

    We recruited an number of Arabic and Farsi facilitators who translate the "Big Challenge" questions and help run the sessions. We have since completed a 10 session pilot phase in our location in central Athens for children housed in temporary shelter. Following our 10 session pilot phase we intend to raise funds to extend activities to other camps beyond Piraeus and Athens. There are currently over 50 such camps distributed around Greece. We intend to crowdfund our next phase where we will put SOLE Greece on a bus that will travel from camp to camp setting up SOLEs in each camp.

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Our Volunteer Team

SOLE Greece is staffed by volunteers from The Cube Athens startup community with a view to creating a sustainable social impact enterprise. Our team will grow as we expand activities throughout Greece in the coming months.

Stavros Messinis

Facilitator

Maria Calafatis

Facilitator

Lucie Clech

Facilitator and Scientific Advisor

Stephanie Cisowski

Communications and Marketing

Natasha Patricios

Operations

Xanthippe Lemontzoglou

Facilitator

John Skordas

Facilitator

Patrick Wolohan

Facilitator

Ahmed Ayash

Facilitator Arabic

Our Sponsors

SOLE Greece is delivered with the generous support of the following organisations.

Contact Us

The team would love to hear from you! Please use the form below to communicate with us.