The idea of Lyon Zero is not to reform the traditional university model, but to offer a choice between this model and an university where learning can be built on sharing skills. In this model, motivation replaces penalty, cooperation replaces selection, diversity replaces hierarchy.
In Lyon Zero the workshops are proposed and manned by the participants themselves. Since the content and form of those workshops can be very different depending on the theme, each group designs its own organization. Juggling, biology, meditation, economics, etc.: every topic can be addressed, depending on the desires of each participant. Want to register? No diploma or entrance exam is required, you just have to be over 18. It is however possible to freely take part in the workshops from the age of 16 : the Lyon Zero initiative wants to encourage young people to discover this alternative university or just broaden their educative horizons while discovering a variety of fields. There are no grades in Lyon Zero, but individual or group self-assessments can be used. Each participant is annually granted a diploma that lists the workshops they took part in. The daily tasks (such as cleaning the rooms, printing papers, etc.) are carried out collectively.
An assembly of eight people randomly selected is in charge to keep the university running. This assembly, for instance, is in charge of organizing meetings, managing student registrations, speaking in the name of the university, etc. Collective decisions are proposed, debated and made through the gatherings of all the registered participants. The success of the university depends on its members' motivation. Knowing that motivation varies from person to person, but also in time, we strive collectively and continuously to improve the functioning of Lyon Zero. Given that university is a place where people come, go and mix, newcomers are shown how Lyon Zero works and are asked to think about their involvement in the project, in order to transmit and extend the original spirit. We designed this project as being sustainable, so we work to get Zero Lyon being recognized and supported (for example by being hosted inside the premises of an existing university). We also wish that participants benefit from student status and access to all its advantages (scholarships, housing assistance, health insurance, etc.). Lyon Zero will therefore be accessible to everybody and not only to the ones who have the confort of money and free time.