I had a wonderful hour at the Kids Markets @ Brisbane Festival of Ideas last Saturday, some of which is captured in this dreadfully low-resolution phone-cam video I made. (it's about 5mg of Quicktime, but drag the screen down to a phone-cam size, otherwise it'll look like an insanely pixellated Paul Klee painting. Must. Upgrade.)
I also had a great conversation with Susan Richler, who devised the Kids Markets, and her colleague Judith McLean at Queensland University of Technology. The picture above - expands when you click it - was their statement of intent. As mentioned previously, the market was inspired by ideas from the Play Ethic - particularly the education chapter - which takes a typology of play as the basis for learning, understanding and acquistion of social skills.
I'm particularly excited by their notion that 'playing with' and simulating the experience of a market is a great way to prepare kids for living consciously and critically in a market society - using semiotics, law, philosophy, as well as entrepreneurial theory.
I loved the way they got the kids to experiment with alternative currency systems - my favorite was the stall where a kid would give you something if you "gave them an idea" (well, one that they thought was good enough). Another stall - the one with the red lanterns - sold prayers, which you had to consume on the spot.
Just a small and direct sample of what was, overall, one of the best talk-fests I've ever been to. Made quite a few lasting friends and connections, I think - and my appetite for Australian affairs has certainly increased as a result. When they start posting discussions, I'll link here