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Open source educational innovators Academy of the Impossible launch Dec 16 with 9 faculty

The Academy of the Impossible, a new "open source social enterprise" that aims to provide new educational opportunities will officially open its Junction Triangle office and educational space with a party December 16. The project was created by executive director Emily Pohl-Weary and director Jesse Hirsch using a small grant from the Atkinson Foundation and support from Hirsch's organization Metaviews.

"I've been running this writing group, Parkdale Street Writers, since 2008, and we've been camping out in other people's spaces—the library, the community centre—and we were looking for a home," says Pohl-Weary. "Jesse Hirsch does a lot of talks and workshops on media and technology and he was looking for a place where he could turn two-hour workshops into longer-term learning and action. So the Academy of the Impossible is a space for those, and we're hoping we can incubate ideas and projects for students and members."

Pohl-Weary describes the model for the school as collaborative: "The people who use it will be creators and shapers. It more like a conversation, or a learning network, than a lecture."

The Academy launches with nine faculty members, including Hirsch and Pohl-Weary, but the executive director says that the innovative arts, cultural and social project is a labour of love for all of them. As time goes on, some of the programs will generate revenue, she says, and a fundraising strategy will emerge.

The December 16 opening party runs 5pm to 9pm at 231 Wallace Ave.

Writer: Edward Keenan
Source: Emily Pohl-Weary, executive director, Academy of the Impossible
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