Manish Jain

Steve Brett

Manish Jain is deeply committed to regenerating our diverse local knowledge systems, cultural imaginations and inter-cultural dialogue. Inspired by MK Gandhi, Rabindranath Tagore, Ivan Illich, his illiterate village grandmother, his unschooled daughter, indigenous communities and Jain spiritual philosophy, he is one of the leading planetary voices for deschooling our lives and reimagining education and development. He has served for the past 25 years as Chief Beaver (ecosystems builder) of Shikshantar: The Peoples’ Institute for Rethinking Education and Development based in Udaipur, India and is co-founder of some of the most innovative educational experiments in the world – the Swaraj University, the Jail University, Complexity University, Tribal Farmversity, the Creativity Adda, the Learning Societies Unconference, the Walkouts-Walk-on network, Udaipur as a Learning City, the Families Learning Together network, Berkana Exchange.  He co-launched the global Ecoversities Alliance with 500+ members in 50 countries. He is a senior advisor to the Economics of Happiness network for localisation. He has worked as a facilitator with Social Labs, Art of Hosting and World Cafe. He has served as guest faculty for Schumacher College (UK), National School of Drama-Theatre in Education (India) and for the Peace Boat (Japan). Manish has been invited to give inspiring public keynote speeches on Reimagining Education in many countries such as USA, England, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, India. He has edited several books on Vimukt Shiksha (liberating learning) on themes such as hacking education, learning societies, unlearning, gift culture, community media, and tools for deep dialogue. Prior to this, Manish worked as one of the principal team members of the UNESCO Learning Without Frontiers global initiative in Paris Headquarters. He has also been a consultant to UNICEF, World Bank, USAID in Africa, South Asia and former Soviet Union. Manish worked as an investment banker with Morgan Stanley. He has been trying to unlearn his Master’s degree in Education from Harvard University and a B.A. in Economics, International Development and Political Philosophy from Brown University. He and his wife Vidhi have been unschooling themselves with their 21 year old daughter, Kanku, in Udaipur, Rajasthan. Manish is passionate about masti yoga, urban organic farming, filmmaking, simulation gaming, bicycling, ultimate frisbee, trekking, compassionate clowning and slow food cooking.