Meet our Nordic Fellow Johan Wendt
Johan started the organization Ung Autism in 2016. Currently, Johan is working on a new venture which has developed a system for precision irrigation.
His Changemaker journey
Since his early years, Johan has been driven by fairness and has always felt a need to address and eliminate injustice. As a young adult and civil engineering student, he lived below a family of seven children. One of the children was struggling with math classes, and Johan offered to help. This first tutoring session turned into twice a week, and the single student brought an ever-expanding crowd of friends and family.
After moving into an unfulfilling career in wastewater management, designing experiments around the country for a large power company, Johan found he missed the energy and sense of accomplishment and purpose that came with working with young people and math.
Thus, Johan borrowed a classroom and began setting up his own math classes and tutoring programs—a small idea that grew internationally. After almost eight years of revitalizing the whole field of mathematics for young students in Scandinavia, Johan continued working on cultivating curiosity and skills around math and coding among young people.
Johan is creating a network of math programs to make math vibrant, exciting and respected as a key skill for success. His tutoring programs are community-based, building a web of experts to create a culture where math is easy and interesting.
With a comprehensive approach, Johan is building a new generation of math experts who understand the relevance of math and find it exciting. He has designed an online math program that includes YouTube tutorials, Facebook outreach, photo galleries, chat rooms and chat tutoring, a simulator and practice tests. In addition, Johan has designed his math clubs to grow in virally for efficient expansion.
Johan has set up outreach channels that show how math can help kids in their career, personal ambition and daily life.
Johan has created a free, creative and accessible program where kids can and want to participate, equipping students with an interest in math and the skills they need. He has designed both physical and virtual platforms that encourage inclusion and participation on a large scale.
Johan is trying to reframe how young people see math, from the dreary subject that is a source of fear to a vibrant, essential, and cool area of study. As part of this effort, he has created a number of social campaigns to catch youth attention, such as YouTube videos of famous celebrities doing math and promotions on major Facebook groups.
As part of his effort to make math exciting, he stages big public events, such as an annual effort in Stockholm that erects a large circus tent in a central square and has hundreds of young people doing math in a day-long festival before year-end exams. Johan is seeking to detach math aptitude from intelligence: “we are leaving behind the myth that if you’re not good at math, you’re not smart”. He builds demand for math by emphasizing the social life aspect and experience.