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The revolutionary learning experience created by the partnership between Lab of Misfits and REAL School Budapest.

In the view of the Lab of Misfits, science is not defined by the scientific method, which is the craft of science. Science is an evolved way of being that we call play with intention. This is also true for art, design, dance, music, indeed anything that is creative. It is with this understanding that Lab of Misfits is thrilled to announce a partnership with the Real School in creating the first REAL Academy, a new international secondary school for creative, courageous, compassionate young people. REAL Academy will truly unite art and science to create lasting impact in the lives of the students, their society, and our world. It will be an actual laboratory where students learn and discover how to be resilient to uncertainty, and how to thrive because of it.

What is the basis for the REAL Academy? 

Typical schools teach what is already known. Neuroscientist Beau Lotto and his Lab of Misfits, in partnership with the team at the REAL School Budapest, asked the question 

“... What if we created a school where young people would be ‘mentored’ in asking brilliant questions? To dream big and to bring their ideas to reality? Who were encouraged to build a beautiful world by making truly unique discoveries about what it is to be human? And what if in doing so they could learn to embody their own discoveries in their own lives?

The answer became The REAL Academy, where Lab of Misfits’ and Beau Lotto’s work on the neuroscience of perception, Dave Strudwick’s work in learner-lead education and Baráth’s and Szemerédy’s work in sustainability foster skills and mindsets that enable young people to Expand their Perceptions. 

“... If our children are to thrive, then we need to educate them to express the most fundamental aspect of their own brain, which is its inherent plasticity,” says Lotto. “The problem with many education systems is that they’re prone to teach not how to look, but what to look at. What we’re doing at the REAL Academy is fostering and maintaining each young person’s innate drive to expand their perception in a manner that is unique to that young person. They will not just learn about science, they will become a scientist. They will not just learn about art, they will become artists.” 

The REAL Academy’s program is based on three core interdependent pillars; Quest, Scholarship, and Wellbeing. Quest will be a series of “Experiential Experiments” collectively designed by the students, ending with an immersive experiment for the public that will lead to original insights about important individual, social and/or environmental issues. Scholarship will enable students to gain a degree alongside the development of a world-class portfolio that celebrates their learning and wider achievements. The students can choose a variety of degree paths, from a creative arts diploma to even a PhD. Wellbeing will focus on integrating the mind, body and spirit of each student as they are offered the freedom to explore topics, ideas and ways of being that truly matter to them emotionally, physically and philosophically in a highly supportive environment that also demands questioning and quality. 

Throughout their journey at the REAL Academy, students will be guided by top mentors from around the world, such as a neuroscientist, experienced educators, a filmmaker, a permaculture designer, a clinical psychologist, a jazz musician, and entrepreneurs. 

The first REAL Academy will open in September 2021 in Budapest, Hungary. It will not just be a building block for students to add to their education. It will be the foundation upon which they can reveal, create and take ownership in expanding their perception, that leads to a deeper and more resilient understanding of themselves and the world around them.


Written by: Amy Gentry.



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