Eduventure 2012

The University Project conference, London 2011

Last year, as a 19-year-old passionate student of life, I decided to step out of formal schooling and design my own experiential and self-directed learning journey. I launched The Eduventurist Project in which I have been interviewing countless pioneering young people and adults around the world who are currently taking or have experienced their own “eduventure” in order to gain the skills and knowledge they need for the future. My own eduventure consisted of reading several books, watching TED talks and youtube lectures, working at and attending various conferences, and traveling in Europe to meet and work with various changemakers. Like myself, these individuals tend to have interests in social entrepreneurship, innovation, and transformative change. At the moment I am in the process of transcribing interviews and organizing content for the book form of these interviews!

I have also spent considerable time in various conversations and surveying the field of transformative educational programs that would best prepare my generation of aspiring social entrepreneurs for what is on the horizon of our dramatically changing world. Through my research, networks, and travels I have become aware of emerging and existing programs in the US and abroad (such as Knowmads, Kaospilots, The Mycelium School, and Breaker, to name a few) that offer innovative and effective learning program models that combine elements of self-designed and experiential learning. However, these inspiring and effective models are not as widely used and recognized as they need to be.  This emerging, growing and exciting community of practice needs to be better understood, networked and marketed. 

I am therefore launching a “build-the-road-as-I-travel” research and experiential learning venture to explore how to design and create best practices and promising models of learning programs urgently needed today. I will be working with several other young eduventurists who will be joining in for various tracks of the journey, working with me to help discover, unveil, discuss, analyze and capture the most important learning components of the overall exploration. I will also be attending social innovation-focused conferences and interviewing young people interested in this sphere about what they would want in a learning program for the 21st century. The findings and learning components of this learning venture will then be creatively crafted into three concrete outcomes for the broader community. 

Goals and Outcomes

The Impact

There are three core outcomes of this Eduventure:

  1. The Transformative Learning Guide: To increase the growth of these innovative programs, I will create a guide similar to what The Startup Genome project has done for business and tech entrepreneurs.  This body of research will analyze existing programs, their methods, forms, and structures, which will in turn enable schools, social entrepreneurs, and others to learn how to best replicate more of these much-needed innovative programs for my generation to become effective changemakers.
  2. Ecosystem and Strategic Partnerships: As I travel, this learning venture will build and connect the community of practice around transformative learning for effective and creative social entrepreneurship. As more programs begin to emerge and grow, the designers, builders and participants of them will be able to call upon this helpful network for advice, collaboration, and support. There is also potential for a conference to convene these individuals for a face-to-face community building workshop.
  3. Training Future Leaders: This eduventure will enable me and other participants to learn in depth about cutting-edge programs so that we, as members of Generation Y, can go on to create or participate in advancing the growth of these programs. I am already involved in the emergence of educational initiatives in the San Francisco Bay Area, and this eduventure is critical to the process and my ability to create it!

Help Make This Happen!

I have set up an Indiegogo campaign page to raise funds for this project. Please donate what you can to make this idea a reality!

Sample Programs and Projects to Visit

I will be learning about and analyzing programs, organizations, and methodologies both in the US and abroad. A tentative list of possibilities include: 

Knowmads Business School, Kaospilots, Breaker, The Mycelium School, Meridian University, California Institute for Integral Studies, The D School at Stanford, Youth Initiative Program, ImaginHeroes, Schumacher College, Social Innovation Camp,  Ashoka U, Citizen Circles, TEAM Academy, SVA Design for Social Innovation Degree, The Unreasonable Institute, The World Cafe, The Art of Hosting, Hyper Island, The Learning Lab, etc.

Advisors

  • Matthew Abrams, Founder of Mycelium School
  • Kate Anders, Educator and TEDxConejo Co-chair
  • Lina Constantinovici
  • Nettizane Davis, Student at Occidental College
  • David Hodgson, Founder at Connective
  • Juliette LaMontagne, Founder of Breaker
  • Brock LeMieux, Knowmad/ Co-Founder of Hub Oslo
  • Jara Luepke, Kaospilot
  • Bridget McNamer, Consultant to Foundations
  • Venessa Miemis, Emergent By Design Writer, Future of Facebook Co-Founder
  • Dan Siegel, Co-Founder of YouthGive
  • Erik Torenberg, Student at Michigan University
  • Sophie Wilkus, Student at Evergreen College
  • Jenny Yancey, Co-Founder of YouthGive
  • More to be listed shortly….

Additional Information

If you are a young person interested in contributing/joining this project, feel free to be in touch! I am looking for “local ambassadors” in certain areas to join me for site visits and brainstorms, as well as gap year/alternative ed students who might want to join for a longer stint.


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