In 2015 we began working with Di Institute for Social Leadership (Di ISL) in Kingston, Jamaica, in a yearlong partnership to learn from each other about communities and spaces and open learning environments. Di ISL is an experimental space started by the collective behind S((O))UL HQ in Allman Town, Kingston. It is home to a variety of activities ranging from musical practice and performance by local artists, open cultural and political conversations, arduino programming sessions, table tennis tournaments, video game competitions, after school games, homework, tutoring, reading, water fights, and much more. The space was intended to grow organically, and its founders welcomed us to explore together what other possibilities could be realized there. After a few brainstorm sessions, we began holding weekly science sessions for kids, guiding them through simple and fun experiments that we found online and could do with mostly repurposed materials. During the summer, we organized a design thinking workshop with local youth and interns to come up with some prototypes that would benefit the community. This resulted in two pilot projects that took the form of weekly activities in the park across the street. One where volunteers would read with the local kids and then play together on the playground, and the other with a local visual artist guiding kids through an introductory art class. Due to funding and legal constraints, our work there ended after a year, but Di Institute for Social Leadership continues to grow with its community.

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