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Education is so important and sometimes it can get taken for granted.

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Not A School Samsung

Shanice Bryce

Shanice Bryce
Founder of OOM Supper Club
'Not A School' Theme
Reducing food waste.

Welcome to Samsung’s Not a School’, alternative lessons for the future. We caught up with one of the programme's experts, Shanice Bryce ahead of her workshop at Samsung KX, Samsung’s latest flagship showcase in Coal Drop’s Yard London.

When it comes to finding solutions for the world’s problems, it’s no longer enough to rely on tried and tested ideas.

From protecting the planet to bringing people together, the innovators of tomorrow will be the people capable of unlearning everything we assumed up until this point. The iconoclasts – willing to disrupt preconceived notions of “what works”.

That’s why Samsung have launched ‘Not A School’, an alternative education programme based in Coal Drop’s Yard, King’s Cross. Across one week a cohort of young people will be given the opportunity to hear from a range of facilitators and mentors, all experts in their fields, each with a unique perspective on the world as it could be. From digital designers to inspirational speakers, the course aims to give the participants a host of practical skills, as well as providing them with the framework to develop their own ideas.

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One of the course experts is Shanice Bryce – the founder of plant-based dining experience, OOM.

The first seeds of what would later become her business came from a trip Shanice took to Jamaica, to visit family. After seeing high levels of plastic pollution close to where her granddad lives, she wanted to help by raising money for local organisations tackling the problem. “I thought to myself, ‘how can I help? What am I good at? I’d been doing dinner parties with my friends, so I thought why not do a supper club?”

What started as a one-off fundraiser grew into a business. OOM – which stands for Out of Many – now run regular immersive dining experiences, serving plant-based Caribbean food. It's a model that not only promotes ethical ways of eating, but also brings people together. “The model of the business is to remind people that in-person interactions are sacred,” Shanice says. “At the heart of it is thinking about how human relationships evolve or disintegrate.”

What Shanice seeks to build is a more human approach to sustainability. While she champions local produce and buying seasonally, she is also keenly aware of how closely food is tied to identity. “For me, a lot of the ingredients I use don’t grow here, because my heritage isn’t British, it’s Jamaican,” she explains. “I of course agree with eating locally and seasonally, but I don’t think we should ever let the conversation deter away from the fact that people want to feel like they are eating food from their own homes.”

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Through her work, she says, her eyes have been open to the small ways in which eating consciously needs to be more inclusive. “The conversation around sustainability can be quite elitist, if that’s the word,” Shanice continues. “People say, you need to shop in certain shops, well not everyone can afford to do that.” More than anything, though, she’s learnt just how much we need to rethink the simple act of cooking dinner. “It’s taught me a lot about the ridiculous amount of food we waste on a daily basis. I would love there to be more education on that.”

With that in mind, her goal at Samsung’s ‘Not A School’ is to inspire the participants to think about how they can reduce waste in their personal lives. “I’m going to make a dish for the participants to show them what you can do when you share food that would have otherwise gone to waste,” she explains. By provoking young people to think about waste differently, she hopes to inspire them to incorporate sustainable ideas into their daily lives.

Samsung’s ‘Not A School’ speaks to a broader impulse in Shanice. The chance to mentor, she explains, is something she’s always been passionate about. “I think back to when I was growing up, and all the mentors and teachers I came across who gave me wisdom that stuck with me into my adult life,” she adds. “Education is so important and sometimes it can get taken for granted.”

Education is so important and sometimes it can get taken for granted.

Ultimately, she hopes her workshop will inspire some of the feelings that led her to establish her own business. “I guess similar to the messages I try to evoke with my work, I want to encourage people to nurture their in person interactions, to eat intuitively and healthily, and to remember that every decision they make has an impact.”

It’s those key ingredients, she explains, that create something much larger when people use them together. “Community is important, and that doesn’t just mean where you live or your friends and family. It’s bigger than that.”

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If you could change something about the world, what would it be?

The lack of compassion. I desire for the world to be more compassionate.

What’s been the best thing about starting your own project?

The continuous, blind support. Often from people I don’t even know people are watching what I’m doing. That’s the best thing.

What’s the hardest obstacle you’ve had to overcome?

Believing in myself. Believing I can improve and get better. It’s real, you know?