Startup accelerator Scholas.Labs was announced last week during an education event hosted by Pope Francis. Although one hardly expects to hear “startup accelerator” and “pontiff” in the same sentence, this enterprise is quite real and is aimed at assisting education projects all over the world.
According to what we know by now, Scholas.Labs will be a non-profit organization with the main purpose of selecting and supporting technological projects that may help improve the quality of education all over the globe. So far it was stated that it will support ten projects every year – it may not seem like much, but these projects will be selected for maximum innovation and effectiveness, and all assistance provided by Scholas.Labs will be completely free of charge.
Catholic Church isn’t the only organization backing it up – it received support from a number of tech companies like Microsoft, Google, IMB and Argentine Globant.
According to The Inquisitr, despite claiming to be totally hopeless with all things electronic, Pope Francis is probably the most progressive and forward-thinking pontiff in recent history, always ready to embrace technology and all the possibilities it offers. Only last Thursday he hosted his second Google Hangout during which he talked to children from countries like the USA, Spain, Brazil and India about technology, education and their dreams for the future.
“Pope Francis hosted his first Google+ Hangout last year and plans to make it an annual event. The pope has regularly praised the internet and acknowledged its power in uniting the world. Besides using the internet with the assistance of his office, the pope also tweets frequently. Least we might forget, the pope is also famous for accepting multiple requests for selfies.”
Nevertheless, the pontiff strongly believes that technology should be used to help communication, not hinder it: whenever it helps to bring together people, especially those who couldn’t have met otherwise, it is good. When it replaces actual communication and becomes a thing in itself for the sake of itself – it is evil. According to The Time, he mentioned it again in his annual message for World Communications Day.
“By growing daily in our awareness of the vital importance of encountering others, we will employ technology wisely, rather than letting ourselves be dominated by it.”
Scholas.Labs won’t be the first large-scale educational project Pope Francis took part in. He supported Scholas NGO and its affiliated social network Social Scholas – but a startup accelerator is a real step forward.