Rising Sun Energy Center (Rising Sun), a leading workforce development non-profit based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has been selected as one of only fifteen organizations to be featured in Learning a Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work. The book, which was recently published and is now available on Amazon.com, addresses a critical issue occurring around the world: the failure of education systems to equip students adequately for today’s labor market, and consequently, to become productive members of their communities.
Rising Sun was also invited to be one of the select U.S. organizations to attend the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) 2012 in Doha, Qatar. WISE, which published Learning a Living, hosts an annual meeting of education industry leaders, experts, policy-makers and students from over one hundred countries around the world. The main topic of discussion at WISE 2012 paralleled Learning a Living’s focus of connecting education to the workplace. Rising Sun was featured as a pioneer with real-world solutions to modern education problems. “The education quality must meet the need of the society. But the need of society has no limit,” explained Professor Zhou Qifeng, President of Peking University (Beijing, China), stressing the need for constant improvement in education. WISE 2012 convened over one thousand participants from the sectors of education, government, corporate and not-for-profit to discuss and drive the need for constant renewal, reform and access to education all around the globe to keep up with the rapidly changing needs of modern society. “We live in a global world and we cannot isolate ourselves from what is happening outside. So we have to prepare ourselves, to prepare our institutions to participate in this global development of education,” said Ms. Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner of Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth.
Since 1994, Rising Sun has been providing hands-on training, career preparation and employment for youth. Rising Sun hires local Bay Area youth and trains them in energy efficiency, water conservation, climate change and professionalism. These young adults are then sent into their own communities to provide homes with free efficiency assessments, upgrades and education. Learning happens not only in the classroom, but on the job as well, as lessons are put into practice in the field. Rising Sun empowers individuals to be active contributors to their own community, while focusing on environmental stewardship and community engagement. Learning a Living contends, “To become truly adaptable, learners also need to understand where their skills and knowledge fit into a bigger picture, so they can flexibly apply what they know elsewhere. At Rising Sun, educating young people how to do energy upgrades of people’s homes is only one small part of the task at hand; they must also be given a comprehensive sense of why this kind of work is necessary, and be motivated to care.”*
Jodi Pincus, Executive Director of Rising Sun Energy Center, spoke about the organization’s revolutionary education and training model at WISE 2012: “At Rising Sun, we are trying to solve two pressing global issues simultaneously: youth unemployment and climate change. Our approach is to take youth out of the classroom, into the field and equip them with the skills and consciousness to make a positive difference in their lives, their community and the environment. Our goal is to create life-long learners and engaged citizens who will not only make an impact today, but for future generations.”
WISE 2012 was held at the Qatar National Convention Center on November 13-15. WISE was inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the Chairwoman and driving force behind the Qatar Foundation. The Foundation’s mission is to address the challenges facing 21st century education, to expand dialogue around the world and to implement practical and sustainable solutions.
For more information on Rising Sun Energy Center, please visit http://www.risingsunenergy.org
For more information about WISE 2012, please visit http://www.wise-qatar.org
Learning a Living can be purchased on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Living-Hannon-Valerie/dp/1780937547
*Valerie Hannon, Sarah Gillinson, Leonie Shanks, Learning a Living: Radical Innovation in Education for Work (London: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 2013), 65.