Like a makeshift curtain, the fog lifted over Damarakloof farm just as the first Teach the Future SA workshop kicked into full swing on a chilly autumn morning.
Very soon, however, conversations about what the future is and what it could be heated up the air and the minds of thirteen enthusiastic youngsters. As we were contemplating different possible futures, from robots doing homework to the Hyperloop, every participant from age six to thirteen contributed their share of ideas with relentless zeal.
From challenging them with thinking through the potential implications of a complete plastic bag ban, to a flight of fancy into the future, past 2029 all the way to 2049, imaginations ran wild. More than any other generation before them, the little faces we had in front of us are part of an interconnected world, a world where the ripple-effect of decisions can be seen making it way around the globe in many different guises. Seeing how quickly their knowledge-hungry mind grasped how deliberate choices have multitudes of implications, far beyond their immediate surroundings, is undoubtedly cause for celebration.
As much as they entertained us and each other with visions of holographic teachers, brain-computer-interface-enabled learning, tube-travelling, flying cars and jet packs, they also realised that if they want to achieve their own dreams, there are things that they can do themselves already. From the aspiring chef who wants to help cook supper more often to world-traveller who is upping his game in geography class this term, gifting the next generation of South Africans with agency and purpose, made it all worthwhile.