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How Vega is creating purpose through Generation V

 How Vega is creating purpose through Generation V

A unique concept called ‘Generation V’ (or Generation Vega) was dreamed up by a group of students from Vega School, an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE), as they pondered the legacy that their education would leave on them.

The brainwave came during a Vega Brand Challenge. A number of Vega students developed a deep appreciation of the validity of the Challenge as a learning tool and debated the uniqueness of the Vega Way of learning. They decided to form a loose association, Generation V, to symbolise this new form of education as differentiating from how things had been done in the past.

Christy Addy also known as Nella, a graduate from The IIE Vega School of 2015, explains that what the team ultimately came up with was unexpected, though part of the Vega Way is to expect the unexpected. “The campaign speaks not to the external market but to students themselves. It reinforces that our role in education is to push boundaries. After all, we’re a generation of thinkers.  Generation V encourages everything that a Vega education should stand for: out-of-the-box thinking; shunning the status quo or conventional wisdom; and a platform for students to express their unique individuality and creativity. It defines a way of thinking rather than a timeline or age-based generation.

The Vega Brand Challenge mimics projects undertaken in the real world as students work on actual brand assignments for companies. Many of these are major South African and international brands.  Vega students have come to see themselves as a group that in later years will be known as a collective. It will be a generation defined by certain characteristics imbedded in Generation V.

Leah Read, The IIE Vega School graduate of 2015 describes the experience of learning at the tertiary institution as “organic”, which defines learning as exciting and invigorating, all while rooted in practical learning as opposed to theoretic or synthetic.

To the casual observer, it can seem like “playing”, and indeed the Brand Challenge can be a game. It is a game that instils highly practical workplace skills. One student, Chante Ceronio explains how Vega “teaches you to be conceptual and to play a big role in a project. It sets you up for the real world”.

“We come out of Vega as thinkers, and as individuals who are able to conceptualise concepts and projects. As owners of the invaluable skills taught, we’re able to translate a nebulous idea into something tangible and visual.”

Organic education enables students’ natural curiosity to develop and to flower into a high level of creativity. As a result, learning occurs quickly and efficiently.

“At Vega, you experience creative study and develop critical thinking patterns. A characteristic of Generation V is finding solutions to problems big and small. This critical grounding allows you to make a big impact,” continues Ceronio.

This common characteristic binds students together. However, it is not generational in the sense of a timeline or age. “Generation V applies to any generation that has been equipped with the ‘Vega Way’. It is a unique set of problem-solving skills,” adds Ceronio.

One example of this skills set is that students are required to spend a full ten days outside their comfort zone. Read for example spent ten days attending university without talking to anyone or making physical contact. “I came out of it a different person,” she explains.

The Vega Way employs activities which may be fairly normal. The difference lies in the ‘intention’ – nothing is done for form’s sake, but by looking at the impact of the action. The typical result, and what binds together Generation V’ers is that these actions are done differently. They help students find out more about themselves and give greater significance to every aspect of their course.

“I would define Generation V as a group of people having critical minds and a passion for all the goodness in the world,” explains Ceronio.

Vega’s model of education is pivotal to the discovery of purpose. It equips students with the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions and be more conscious of how those choices impact the people and things around them.

Generation V was created to make people question what legacy they will leave behind; to follow their heart and make a difference in the world. It allows them to challenge themselves and grow an open mind through empathy and explore what is hidden between the binary, yet filter a perspective with a critical eye. Generation V encourages students to shun the status quo, to express their unique individuality and creativity.

So important is Vega’s model of education to the success of its students that Generation V was established to enable learners to better understand that their potential is inherent in themselves. The incredible guidance of Vega’s navigators would be wasted on anyone who doesn’t believe in their own potential to shine.

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