We switched up our venue for Day 3, starting off at YMCA’s Papa Hou - Treasure Box. The stadium space has been developed as a stop-gap due to the lack of arts facilities in the city, and it was a perfect location for the day.

Fellows gathered outside before we led them upstairs, where a scrumptious homemade blueberry pancake breakfast awaited them (Pancake breakfasts are an UnSchool tradition – Natasa was our pancake extraordinaire this time, and she did not disappoint!). While devouring the delicious spread, and powering up with some Sherpa Coffee, the fellows showed us the results of the previous evening's dinner challenge.

Fellows had been tasked with discussing a series of questions, which lead to the surprise that they had to pitch themselves as superhero teams, using their individual and collective change-making abilities to make the most dynamic range of super powers. Too much happened to explain it all – but it included rapping and telekinesis.

leyla acaroglu running a workshop

Our first mentor of the day, Raf Manji, shared his take on the iceberg model - while the bit on top highlights the immediacy of the present, there are still so many interconnected systems happening underneath the surface that go unnoticed. Raf suggested we find the achilles heel of the system, to try and get inside and change it.


Leyla then guided us through a whirlwind experience in gamification and game theory, relating it to the way in which we strategize to make change. The fellows asked a few too many excited questions as we packed up and headed off on a little walking adventure to our secret lunch location. 

lunch at gatherings

We were treated to an incredible, well deserved after our sunny day walk through the park to the soon-to-be-opp[ened Gatherings restaurant. We had the honor of being the first group to share an incredible vege-centric lunch in the intimate space. The owner and creative mind behind the Gatherings concept is Alex (who despite not being able to join us, left a beautiful note explaining the concepts of locally sourced vegetable-centric food). His brother Jo, was our host and chef for the day and after being served a warm coffee and reading Alex's note, we were invited to break the bread as a celebration as the first guests, fellows and team tore and heartily shared out the local sourdough before bowls of beautiful fresh summer gazpacho arrived for us to devour. 

gatherings christchurch
lunch.jpg

We all then enjoyed a lovely walk abck to the YMCA along teh park, discussing all manor of fasinating things inspired by our healthy planet-friednly lunch and by the inspiring day so far. 

After lunch, we were joined by Jennifer Whitty, a sustainable fashion researcher from Wellington, who guided the fellows through climate impacts and changes in relation to consumption. Fellows brought along one garment they love and one they don’t wear often, and discussions ensued around ethics (there was some unavoidable style commentary too).

unschoolmelbourne alumna, Fi, unschoolnz

Next up was an interactive experience from Fi (a Melbourne fellow alumni), who explained her alter ego Senorita Awesumo and her experience with sustainable fashion using zero waste techniques. She wowed the fellows with her interpretation of zero waste.


Fi prepared a magic box of textiles, destined for the landfill, for fellows to reimagine. They were challenged to create a series of upcycled products which they presented back to the group after just 45 minutes. Everyone was impressed – despite the long day, creativity flowed and ideas focused on the opportunity, not the problem.

unschoolnz chch park

After the quickest clean up you have ever seen (because the YMCA was booked for a dance group) we progressed to a sunny park experience where Craig led a session on the jam-packed experience, with pairs of fellows sharing their joint top three highlights of the day. Closing out with the tune of bagpipes randomly joining us, we talked about the adventures we had all had.

unschoolnz surprise dinner party game

As the sun set, we made our way over to The Gym, not for fitness, but for a surprise dinner party. The rep from Yealands wine, who is generously covering our wine for the week,  shared amazing things about their business, including stories of regeneration and sustainability, and also told us about babydoll sheep (look ’em up!). As the fellows were learning all about Yealands, the team was working behind the scenes and pulled off a home cooked meal for 30 people, which seemed to just magically appear in front of us.

As we played the secret dinner party game, evilly or brilliantly designed by Leyla, we uncovered the tactics and tools that we covertly use to influence the people around us. The game and the discussion that followed were both hilarious and insightful. As we started to wind up the event, we reflected on the long and deep thinking day.

And yes... it is only day three!