Schools have used the same conflict resolution mechanisms for many years with very small adjustments. Whether it is sending kids to detention or having them stay late at school, sanctions on students often have more negative consequences for school growth than positive ones.
Among the memories of the founders’ is that always, when faced with a conflict, educational institutions use the same mechanism to solve issues. However, in their experience as students, they do not remember hearing any teacher ask why the student acted the way he did, what his socio-emotional weaknesses were, and, most importantly, how the student dealt with conflicts, stress, and difficulties.
“We never ask ourselves what motivated the student to act out the way that they did. We chalk it up to something they want to do to get attention but never ask the deeper questions of what it may mean for their home lift. And we do not ask for help, communicate, listen, be empathetic towards the misbehavior,” Ariel recounts.
Even when there were attempts to help mitigate this behavior and work with students to better understand underlying issues, the process was slowed or ineffective because the proper tools were not available and the technology was lacking. This gave Ariel an idea and thus, in the second half of 2023, Clio Circle was born.
“We run a technology company that helps reduce bullying in schools. Bullying is such a huge problem worldwide and there is not enough done. At least 7 out of 10 students suffer from physical, psychological, or verbal violence in schools, and 1 out of every 3 students ends up withdrawing from school because they do not have tools to resolve conflicts,” Ariel states.
Alarming figures, of which it is known that only 10% will have support, since the remaining 90% may not have been identified or have a follow-up.
Clio Circle is a conflict resolution company for all grades that has a behavioral artificial intelligence software that allows schools to identify how students are reducing violence in schools by teaching students to manage their emotions and soft skills.
“Students withdraw from school, lose their academic growth, their friends, and their social lives. They have to start all over again at a new school which can be traumatic in its own right. This new technology helps teachers step up their game to help students and prevent tragedies,” Ariel says.
Despite the challenges that they have faced when starting a business, Ariel’s, Angela & Henry’s confidence in themselves and their ideas pushed them not to give up. From their experience in starting this business, they advise those who are trying to start their own business or brand to not think, but do.
“Thoughts are not ours; if you look at where they come from, you will be able to understand that they come from further back, another time, friends, family, other generations, other experiences. In short, thoughts can be obstacles that stop us from executing. The most important thing is to start, organize what I will do first, what I will do second, and what I will do third with very specific tasks, and execute them,” Ariel advises.
Ariel highlights that what differentiates Clio from other similar initiatives is that their program individually identifies the behavior and social-emotional skills of each student, recognizing that although emotions are universal, each experience is unique. Technology allows them to do this, to personalize learning, experiences and curriculums; and it is what makes them different.
Clio initiative currently works with schools in Colombia, followed by the USA & Mexico. However, they plan to expand to other countries and regions. 20% of the schools where they have tested the program are in the United States, where they see a great opportunity due to the more than 60 million students who could benefit from the program to deal with stress, conflict, and interpersonal relationships.