Sarah Longbottom, Founder of the Creative Arts Initiative Nga Rangatahi Toa talks about the need for us to reframe the way we view failure, especially when it comes to our young people.

Failure. It’s kind of a dirty word. Nobody likes to fail, and there’s a certain stigma that makes it hard to even admit to your failings. But often it’s the lows of failure that motivate us to become better. That’s something Sarah Longbottom believes with all her heart.

In her talk Sarah looks at how we can redefine ‘failure’ as an immense opportunity for personal and societal growth. She describes the pedagogy of love that sits at the core of the Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative programs, designed to re-engage rangatahi (youth) who have ‘failed’ and been excluded from the mainstream education system. And she explores how love, mindfulness practice and the spaciousness that these practices create can enable the transformational power of creativity, artistic process and public performance.

About the speaker

Sarah is a creative thinker, social entrepreneur and love projector who aims to unify and synthesise human interactions for greater collaborative good.

Sarah honed and flexed her agentic self in mainstream and residential youth justice classrooms, and was instrumental in the development of nationwide pedagogical leadership in alternative education. Both the outstanding excellence and jaw dropping inadequacies of our education system inspired Sarah to take her learnings and develop an innovative model of youth development through creativity, based on the core values of love and acceptance, and collaboration and community.

Despite Sarah’s artistic talents extending only to the drawing of (fairly expressive) stick figures on a white board she is now the head of an award-winning arts organisation that supports rangatahi outside of mainstream education to fulfill their potential.

Nga Rangatahi Toa Creative Arts Initiative is developing a world class community cultural development framework that will be seen as the go-to model for empowering marginalised youth through creative arts, mentoring and mindfulness practice.

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