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The Amazings

Classes, courses and wisdom from elders with amazing life experience

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Launched in the UK in 2012, The Amazings is nothing short of – er, amazing! They offer fun and friendly classes on everything from joinery to journalism, quilting to corset-making – all taught by folks over 50. It's a kind of marketplace where retirees can trade their skills.

From The Amazings site: "We see Amazingness everywhere. It's the retired postman who can play the ukulele. It's the grandparent who knows morse code. It's the neighbour who was an opera singer. Maybe society isn't as good at passing down these skills through generations as we used to be. Our little company started because we wanted to fix this.

Our vision is a marketplace and platform for wisdom. We see the potential to change learning; the opportunity to re-think retirement; the possibility of bringing together communities; and the chance to bring back the make-do and mend spirit, so we can at the very least, know how to hem a skirt or fix a bike."

The Amazings blog is also worth swinging by for lots of inspirational stories, pictures and videos.

How might we support intergenerational exchange across age groups? How might we help the elderly feel that their skills, experience and insights are still valued? How might we empower those who are ageing to share what they know?


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I really like this. What also comes to my mind is the growing demand and market of open education. The impact of The Amazings is restricted in terms of space and time. Adding the concept scalability by using e.g. podcasts, iTunes U or Coursera would increase the impact and hence their feeling of importance and value.

Photo of Meena Kadri

Great thoughts, Jan. I know they are experimenting with online classes – you can check more on their blog. Though I also think that part of the goodness of The Amazings is the in-person connections and to that end, I think they also looking at how they might expand their model to more locations. However your point about scale is a valuable one. I imagine a combined model could work well (think TED + TEDx) where both online + offline options are offered.