There was veal and spaghetti, but the people around the table were more interesting than what was on the table. Péter Halácsy, founder and CTO of Prezi, and Linda Roszik, founder of 'Mamakör', parents of two amazing children, were the hosts of said dinner. They invited three other families with similarly impressive children - and parents -, because they had a plan. Although there were some great schools in Budapest, there were simply not enough, and not, well, modern enough. What if they got together and launched their own school to provide a modern education to more children?
The others liked the dinner - and the plan. So two Ádáms, Anita, Gábor, Linda and Saba spent quite a few nights together to design a new school. The team members brought a diverse mind & skill set to the project: you can imagine the post-it heavy meetings of Ádám, co-founder and principle artist of Prezi, "Ádám 2", co-owner, director of Libri Publishing Group, the largest publishing network of Hungary, Gábor, engineering director, expert of scaling systems, Linda, psychologist, and Saba, a cultural anthropologist.
It is a solution for a narrow segment of children to have a new school type. Is it a realistic long term objective to set up a network of schools and complete school system that will have a significant impact on the next generation?
How can we design schools that are diverse in terms of societal, cultural and financial point of view? How can we build up diverse micro communities that are able to focus on individual opportunities, needs and personal involvement?
What are inevitable elements of effective learning and individual development? How can we shape a school that is built on contemporary needs and able to renew and develop itself continuously and rapidly?
They immediately realized that they wanted to design a whole system of schools so that they can provide education for far more children than just the classes of their own.
In the meantime Diana Benya, an ex-invesment banker joined the team. Her dream is to have kindergartens and preschools that provide an emotionally safe environment for the development of social skills. Péter and Linda’s son, Soma previously went to a great daycare launched by Péter within the Prezi office. Soma loved the daycare and the teachers but he was starting to outgrow it. Péter and Linda had to find a new school for him. So in June 2015, after a couple of months of design thinking they went public. That is, they put the question on Facebook: “Who is interested in reimagined schools?”. They got almost 300 hundred positive replies in 4 days.
Because they wanted to validate the idea of a network of micro schools and Flóra, the daughter of Adam and Saba needed a school in an other neighborhood than Soma. (We believe that schools should be close to your home, so you can spend more time with your kids instead of travelling).
The team quickly hired 6 great teachers and that's when the magic happened. They enouraged the teachers design and build their schools on the foundation they gave them. That's exactly what happened: in only 2 months on September 1, 2015 the two schools opened their doors.
Since we have opened our fist micro-school, the team has been working on how to extend the network with other schools, make the system scalable and available for even more students.