Education’s Lost Foundation
As change accelerates, the ways we learn, and adjust to challenges, have lost some of their moorings. Our Spring issue explores how craftsmanship’s principles of creativity and patience can help prepare tomorrow’s workforce, and rehabilitate people who struggle with challenges like drug addiction. On the lighter front, we also profile a remarkable Norwegian who is saving Nordic sweater traditions.
In Providence, Rhode Island, Janice McDonnell started one of the unlikeliest of revolutions. On seven empty lots in the inner city, she set up a new kind of playground—places where kids could build anything they want, break anything they want. Her larger goals? To fight the disappearance of play brought on by the relentless testing that’s become the norm in today’s schools—and to spread playful opportunities beyond rich white families.
By TODD OPPENHEIMER
On the Northeastern coast of Italy, not far from meccas of refinement such as Bologna and Florence, an unusual drug treatment community named San Patrignano has grown and thrived for more than 40 years. The program’s methodology? Teach addicts high-level artisanal skills, and slowly but surely, confidence and pride fill what was once a desperate void.
By LAURA FRASER
While countries like the U.S.—and Italy (outside San Patrignano)—have struggled with drug addiction, Portugal has crafted some of the most effective treatment programs in the world. In some ways, its success begins with appreciating, and rebuilding, the layers in a person’s spirit. And be forewarned, the first step is very controversial: de-criminalizing the drugs.
By ROB WATERS
You’ve read the news: traditional 9-5 jobs are in decline; a patchwork, “gig economy” of contract workers is rushing in to take their place; and colleges can’t keep up with these changes. The resulting chaos creates at least one unaddressed challenge: In a world with fewer shared ladders for advancement, how do tomorrow’s workers build pathways to success?
By TODD OPPENHEIMER
Other Topics In This Issue
In southern Norway, in a small workshop at the bottom of a verdant, postcard-perfect valley, Annemor Sundbø gathers remnants, paintings, and authentic reproductions of traditional Norwegian sweaters. Her collections—along with her six books on the subject—provide a window into the myths and meaning that were long woven into this legendary Nordic craft. Now she’s trying to bring back the sheep that grew Viking Norway’s unusually hardy wool.
Story by SARAH POLLOCK
Photography by MIKKEL AALAND