After years of researching and writing about the subject of how we learn John Abbott – the man behind the 21st Century Learning Initiative and Born to Learn – was inspired by the Story of Stuff and how a 500-page book was so successfully condensed into a 20-minute animation.

So, the challenge was how to best explain the concepts he has been talking about for the last 20 to 30 years.  A common reaction to his lectures – and he has given plenty all around the world – is that the issues are fascinating but hard to pass on. It is a difficult story to tell.

This was the cue to turn some of what are complex issues into stories that can be shared.

So far, the animations have been very well received – downloaded tens of thousands of times across 197 countries with requests to translate it into a variety of different languages.

John says the success has been to share a simple message and use key phrases to get the concepts across.

Born to Learn plans to make 15 animations in total covering the main themes of John’s book Overschooled but Undereducated.

Although the topics are serious, John says  the guiding principle behind the animations is that they have to be both fun and fascinating.