First: why is this something to write about? Because this is about education. And education is unfortunately something that almost every country is neglecting to an extend that “dramatic”, “disastrous”, “irresponsible” and the like adjectives describe the situation pretty well.

And that’s why I am very happy to see initiatives like TUMO are expanding. Interestingly TUMO has its roots, not in Germany or the US or UK or any other of the the leading economies. No, its roots are in Armenia, a comparably small nation with a drive for education and tech innovation embedded in a society that makes it an example for people that work in education, make education policies and actually anyone that has own kids in school age.

Ok, back to the question what is TUMO? And here I borrow a quote from the TUMO website, because it is very much on point:

“TUMO is a new kind of educational experience at the intersection of technology and design. At TUMO, teens learn because they want to. They’re given the tools and knowhow they need to reach their maximum potential, and they chart their own learning path through hands-on activities, workshops and projects.”

And make no mistake this is not a backyard initiative. People from Pixar, Nvidia, Uber and Twitter are involved and TUMO has also been recognized internationally, for instance by Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, who has visited TUMO in Yerevan in 2018.

And now, after Paris a new TUMO center will be opening in Berlin. A memorandum of understanding has been signed by TUMO and KfW in Berlin earlier this year.

The KfW website writes: “KfW is stepping up its commitment to promoting education in Germany with an innovative flagship project: by autumn 2020 a learning centre for digital education will be set up in Berlin based on the model of the TUMO Center for Creative Technologies developed in Armenia.” Read the full announcement here: https://www.kfw.de/KfW-Group/Newsroom/Latest-News/Pressemitteilungen-Details_562688.html

More about education and the tech sector in Armenia:

Robin the Robot, via Forbes: https://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffkart/2020/06/17/robin-the-robot-comforts-kids-in-hospitals-can-help-with-covid-19/#2776fbbc74cc, https://abc7.com/robin-emotionally-intelligent-hospital-robot/6356582/

Outsourcing Destination Guide Armenia, via German Outsourcing Association: https://www.outsourcing-destinations.org/outsourcing-guide-armenia/

Startups in Armenia, via EmergingEurope: https://emerging-europe.com/business/with-eu-help-armenian-tech-is-thriving/

Thanks for the insights and resources to Daniel Zurfluh, Business Development Executive for Volo and Member of the Board at Deutsche Wirtschaftvereinigung Armenia (DWV)

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