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Beam Centre & Uzina


Beam is creating a new currency of what’s valued in people to instil the belief that life is not about simply being the best, but about being the best version of oneself in service of the greater good.

Uzina is Tirana's youth-led community hub established in 2019 by twenty five 16-29 years-olds.

Uzina currently supports forty 10-14 years-old.

Thrive facilitated a 16 weeks learning exchange between Uzina and the Beam Center. Beam Centre is coaching Uzina on their Learning Products: an active process of learning, building, and sharing that promotes agency and growth.


Uzina will adapt and pilot this approach to plan their learning festival: a collaborative learning practice by the members and young people of Uzina, reaffirming the idea that young people are the most effective agents of their learning.

Prior to this experiment, Uzina curated more than thirty community and cultural events, ten community-led projects and an annual summer camp reaching forty 10-14 years-olds.

The Beam Center has been championing a transformative approach to learning since 2004.


  • Working with 7,000 public school students; 300 teachers; 300 young apprentices every year

  • School STEAM curriculum

  • Award-winning summer camp

  • City-wide, year-round experiential learning workshops

  • 25 projects over 15 years, designed by architects, designers & engineers and built by 10-17 yrs-olds.


Through this collaboration, Beam wants to learn from Uzina's youth-led practice in learning and community building.


Youth Recruitment

During the months of April and May 2021, Uzina has been engaging its youth community to recruit young people who will design and lead its Youth Festival.


Youth-led learning

The young people will come together in June to design and plan their Learning Festival, where every young person is going to explore their interests, passions and skills and share and practice these with Uzina's collective.


Creation & celebration

During the months of July and August, the young people of Uzina will be incredibly busy, as they start to engage and share in their learning and prepare for the Festival's celebration, showcasing all the projects and learning achieved together.

Thrive's insights 

Thrive is documenting learning and sharing insights from this learning experiment, to help to scale youth-led learning practices.

What does learning look like when it is an experience?

Did you know that every great experience is associated with a sin? And that to make a lasting impression in our memory, experiences must engage more than one sense? This is true of learning experiences too! We are investigating content, context and characteristics of the Uzina's learning Festival to explore what youth-led experiential learning looks like and what learning outcomes it provokes.

What learning outcomes do young people achieve when they lead their own learning?

We often hear that young people are disengaged and unwilling to learn. Whilst the former may be true in most settings, we question the latter. With this experiment, we want to learn how we can impact learning outcomes, by tapping into the young person's curiosity, passions and talents.

How does self-directed learning practice contribute to developing growth mindset and an aptitude for life-long, life-wide learning in young people?

A growth mindset rejects the claim that abilities are innate and largely fixed. Instead, all abilities are trainable (C. Dweck, 2006). We investigate how self-led learning in young people impacts their growth mindset - and therefore their ability to derive learning from all life experiences, throughout their life.

What does this mean for how and where learning should take place?

Based on our observations and our interviews with Uzina's and Beam's volunteers and young people, we draw conclusions about how to scale the practice of youth-led learning - whilst staying true to the principle that any future practice must be guided and designed by the learners themselves.

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