Green School for Grown Ups

In Bamboo News, Campus Community, Friends of Green School, Global Community, This Is Green School

There is a remote revolution happening. There is a need for connection. There is a desire to find a community. A landing pad for digital nomads and a space for people seeking inspiration, connection and support have come together in Green School’s newest social enterprise – The Bridge

A learning and co-working space, The Bridge, is dedicated to sustainability, change-making, and personal growth. Sitting neatly within the School’s mission of being A Community of Learners, Making Our World Sustainable, the vision for The Bridge, was to add another element to the School’s ecosystem of learning and learners. Students, local neighbours, visiting educators, tour guests, staff, teachers and parents make-up a vibrant community of learners. With programs, projects and places to connect, evolving for all.

Green School parents attend the talk at the Bridge
Green School parents attend the talk at the Bridge

“Parents send their kids to Green School and then say, ‘I wish I could have gone a to a school like this,’” says Carol Da Riva, Manager of The Bridge.

Green School Bali, by design, is a place that stimulates the senses. Immersed in nature, with intentional architecture that supports ‘out of the box’ thinking, the campus and the culture of the School is fresh and entrepreneurial. The Bridge allows parents to tap into the energy of the School and the intentional design of the campus to activate their own personal passion projects, professional and personal learning and enterprise initiatives.

In typical Green School fashion, Carol and her team recycled a trash recycling center to build The Bridge. They sourced bamboo and other materials for sustainable furniture. Now, parents hold meetings while sitting on couches upholstered with upcycled jeans. They type away on chairs and tables made from used tires; and they read under mason jar light fixtures.

Carol Da Riva, Manager of the Bridge, with her team.
Carol Da Riva, Manager of the Bridge, with her team.

“There’s a professional atmosphere in a beautiful space that is insulated from the other activities around the school campus,” says Chris Thompson, a parent to two Green School students, former Director and, General Manager of Green School, and former director of Hubud, co-working space in Ubud.

“This is a safe space to explore new ideas,” says Chris. “It’s a place where parents can look for ways to help the world, or they can pivot in their careers to something that appeals to the heart and the head and they’ll have a network to support them, to coach them, and to challenge them.

Chris Thompson, a Green School parent, former Director and, General Manager of Green School, and former director of Hubud, co-working space in Ubud.
Chris Thompson, a Green School parent, former Director and, General Manager of Green School, and former director of Hubud, co-working space in Ubud.

With a community that represents 35 different nationalities and a vast array of professional, artistic and entrepreneurial talent residing in the School’s parent body, the opportunity to workshop ideas and projects to peers is rich and rewarding.  

“We facilitate synchronicity,” says Ibu Carol, which echoes the magic behind MIT’s infamous Building 20, where informal chats between engineers, economists, and linguists incubated some of the 20th centuries most notable ideas. “Listening to different thoughts and solutions from somebody who thinks in a different way from you and then adding those into your own life is true learning.”   

The Bridge’s network of accomplished professionals working side-by-side, encouraging new endeavors, and helping each other is only one way The Bridge differs from other co-working spaces in Bali. Yes, it satisfies the paradoxical desire to work independently while also enjoying the company of colleagues, but it provides much more than just a fast Internet connection and guidance on setting up a business.

Talks and workshops at the Bridge explore a various topic of interests
Talks and workshops at the Bridge explore a various topic of interests

Learning is what’s paramount at The Bridge.  Daily talks, workshops, and projects are open to the entire community.  People can explore new interests, learn new skills, and challenge themselves to become changemakers. Offerings align with Green School’s compass model, where each value corresponds to a cardinal direction—Nature, Economics, Society, and Wellness. Talks may focus on techniques to bring the principles of permaculture into your life, how to promote joy through cooking and eating, or how to bridge the cultural divide between the International and Balinese communities.

In the one month since The Bridge has opened, it’s near capacity, at 90 memberships. , but looking to keep growing. “The place is abuzz with energy and the sense of possibility,” says Chris Thompson. “That’s what happens when you start to look for meaning in how you spend your time and energy.”

Learn more about the Bridge here: http://thebridge.greenschool.org/