We take a deep dive into Aliança Educació 360, based in Barcelona, Catalonia, ahead of the Forge Futures Summit where they will be joining other learning ecosystems from around the world.

Tell us about yourself and the work you’re doing

I am Enric Aragonès Jové, and I am the Director of Aliança Educació 360. This Alliance is an educational, political and social initiative that brings together more than 380 organisations working towards an education that connects times, spaces, learning and agents. We aim to offer more and better opportunities for everyone, without exclusions. We work through political advocacy, promotion of local initiatives, systematisation of knowledge (tools, guidelines, models..) and building and strengthening alliances. Education 360 relies on the support of everyone involved, with local authorities, schools, organisations, families and all the community’s resources working together. 

What motivated your organisation’s start, and how has it grown over time?

This Alliance started in January 2018 by the Bofill Foundation, the Federation of Pedagogical Renewal Movements of Catalonia and the Provincial Council of Barcelona. It began as a public manifesto with about thirty organisations. Since then, it has grown and brought together more and more organisations, from more different areas and more spread over the territory. Since April 2019, the Provincial Council of Girona joined the Alliance and, since 2024, so have all four Catalan Provincial Councils. In November 2023, after a process of more than a year, we presented a proposal for a policy guaranteeing extracurricular and summer activities for all of Catalonia, a need that has also been expressed by the Catalan Parliament, the Government and the Ombudsman.

What are the main challenges your community faces, and how is your organisation working to address them?

The main challenge regarding the right to education beyond school is equity. A survey carried out by our Alliance in 2022 revealed that 1 in 6 children and adolescents do not have access to any extracurricular activities. In addition, among families with a lower socioeconomic level it is 1 in 3. In the case of summer activities, although the overall participation is 60%, it is only 41% among the lowest socioeconomic level. The main reason people don’t participate is the cost, but cultural, geographical and bureaucratic barriers are also significant. Economic aid and free-of-charge policies must be rethought, expanded and reinforced with support strategies, community work and proximity. Aliança Educació 360 has collected several equity policies that Catalan municipalities can implement to combat inequality.

How does thriving look in your community?

Personal, educational, professional and social development has to do with the development of transversal skills. In Aliança Educació 360 we have proposed a 9 skills framework grouped in three areas: the cognitive area (discover: curiosity, problem solving and creativity), the interpersonal area (connecting: communication, teamwork and empathy) and the intrapersonal area (growing: self-regulation, perseverance and autonomy). These are not only learned in the classroom, but in any area, space and time of the daily life of children and young people. This is key for them to be the vanguard not only of individual development (academic or professional), but ‘thriving’ as collective progress, community building and social cohesion.

How does your organisation work like a learning ecosystem?

Aliança Educació 360 is, in fact, an ecosystem of ecosystems. It brings together, on the one hand, many and various organisations from all over the country with a common challenge and values. But, at the same time, it promotes the articulation of local educational ecosystems in each neighbourhood, town or city. At the local level, councils act as articulating agents of networks that count on the school as a hub or node and multiple entities or facilities as resources and agents involved. In 2023 we published a guidebook to consolidate educational ecosystems, with four main axes to guarantee: educational equity beyond school time, the interconnection of agents and learning, the sustainability of the educational network and the quality of educational proposals.

What do you hope to gain from participating in the GELP Forge Futures event in Pittsburgh?

At this event, we hope to be able to find inspiration from other educational ecosystems and international experiences, gain a greater perspective to draw long-term horizons and be able to share our own learnings with colleagues around the world. The very process of explaining to people outside your context what your challenges and reflections are forces you to structure them and helps you identify what is really relevant.

🗞 Read more about other learning ecosystems here!