Gabriel Mario Rodrigues – Chairman of the Advisory Board at Kroton Educacional and Chairman of the Board of Directors of ABMES (The Association of Owners of Private Higher Education Institutions)
Campus Party Brazil has reached its 11th edition, consolidating itself as the largest experience of technology, innovation, creativity and digital universe in Brazil (and one of the most important in Latin America). Between January 30 and February 4, 2018, it brought together 12 thousand campers (the so-called ‘campuseiros’), 870 speakers and about 100 thousand visitors at the Anhembi exhibition pavilion in São Paulo.
Undeniably, the event every year looms large and it was no different in this edition. The largest Latin American technology and culture event in Latin America has definitely won the taste and interest of young people coming from all over the country to live and share the experience, for which each event chooses a theme. This time it was diversity.
During the five days of activities, 900 hours of content were generated, with dozens of lectures on very current subjects offered by hundreds of panelists. Marked with hashtag # CPBR11, the material can be found on twitter.
Everything in the most perfect order, punctuality, cleanliness, no incidents. On the contrary, a lot of fraternization among the “campuseiros”, who already knew each other from the previous ten events, under the maxim of “We Unite Talents. We Create The Future. ”
Several varied initiatives were represented there in stands or through lecturers and working groups of diverse tendencies of thought. The Open Campus, a pavilion open to the public (which brought together whole families and the famous “cosplays”, people who dress up as pop culture characters), was mainly focused on entertainment.
Media and gaming companies, from the energy sector, startups of all sizes, simulators and drone producers presented specific innovations in their respective segments, which they are already putting on the market. In the pavilion reserved for campuses, the density of activities was greater. The young people who paid $350 for the package and got full access to the lectures and work groups, plus the right to a tent for camping for seven days, used such confinements to set in motion the so-called “maker culture”, which is nothing else than the act of producing (material or immaterial), based on principles of sharing and cooperating.
There you could watch the geeks having fun, of course, but also get together to program computers, design partnerships in the creation of startups, participate in discussion groups on crypto-coins and blockchain, debate the future of the cyborg model, develop games, create tools based on the Internet of Things (IoT), among many other activities.
The distance between Campus Party Brazil and higher education institutions
This year’s edition reserved a space for the theme “the education of the future”, with the objective of reflecting on how the technological transformations will be impacting future educational scenarios and the labor market.
Led by MIT Media LAb of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Paula Souza Center of the state government of São Paulo, the environment brought together professionals and students from elementary and middle schools to exchange programming and robotics knowledge and concepts, in order to stimulate a new way of teaching from the earliest stages, projecting the careers of tomorrow.
However, the gap between the scientific / technological vanguard and the work of Brazilian private institutions must be highlighted. Amongst dozens of booths set up at the Open Campus, only one of them belonged to a higher education institution, with a pedagogical perspective focused precisely on ‘creating things’.
The Paulista College of Informatics and Administration (FIAP), the only private institution present, stood out when presenting prototypes of its students, who have been stimulated since the first semester to create transforming contraptions. And in this case, it showed a project developed by young people to create mechanisms that facilitate people’s lives and promote social improvements.
The FIAP course completion requirements are also different from conventional standards and foster entrepreneurship. Startup One is a program where students must set up groups and create an innovative small company to work in an unexplored segment, already with a view to a professional alternative for graduates, based on a “culture maker” premise, already instilled in the minds of any youngster.
At Campus Party, the brainwave-driven wheelchair was shown, a project presented by Alexandra Atolini, a first year student in computer engineering.
Of course, it was possible to observe the presence of lecturers linked to private and public higher education institutions in the area restricted to campuses, but only as individual speakers: recognized by the initiative of their research and not by the higher education institution they belong to.
In short, therefore, a more analytical but necessary reflection on the lack of perception of university higher education institutions is needed in an area that will transform the new ways of teaching and learning, supported by technology, creativity and sharing.