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Awesome Meta-Learning Experiences for young adults (instead of the usual expensive college experience)

Uncollege Gap Year

Watson University

Thiel Fellowship

Unreasonable at Sea

The Minerva Project

-live video, allows us to rethink the campus experience instead we’re exposing the students to the best of what the world has to offer.

-more globally connected, return to critical thinking, technology to incorporate research findings on how students learn.    Ri, Mumbai, immersed in the city and taking live video…

Founding class with be taught by deans…first year curriculum is special.  And faculty will hired on three year faculty.

18+ or minus a year or two here or there.

Founding class won’t pay tuition for 4 years and


founding class 15-20.  Students pay travel costs…travel starts.  Structured gap year, doing internships with Minerva.  Second incoming class (300), third class comes to SF while the 1 and 2nd class go to Rio and a likely London.  Taking classes based on interests.  Social Sciences…planning to have local and residential staff in each city to aid the transition.  Folks on the ground to help with academic services.  Diverse student population.

Founding Class.

Focused on critical analysis, creative thinking, effective communication.   Once they’ve gone through the courses the first year they’ll have to use them and be accountable for them.  Fundamental Habits.  Fridays (get involved in community).  Internships.  Tech Hub, Startup Hub., model UN, etc.  We’re looking for pioneers, not the types of students that are going to be sitting on FB while they’re in Hong Kong.


Watson…social entrepreneurship

Global Leaders…means different things to different people.  Think globally and be leaders in their field.  Non-profits, academia, focus on what a liberal arts university should be if it were designed from scratch night now.  Whatever they go into, the jobs having been created yet so they need certain skills.

Who Should Apply,

Application is on website.  It’s a little different from typical application process.  INtellectual assignments designing in house that looks at what starndarized testing should measure but doesn’t.  Accomplisments.  Live writing sample and interview.

Global Leaders.  Someone who is brave and willing to go into tough urban centers that are often forgotten.  Willing to get into, higher, moral development,  people who are going to create bridges between cultures.

The Millenial Trains Project

Why MetaLearning?

In the very near future learning at all levels (even higher ed) will be radically, irreversibly altered. Huge changes will happen such that many people cannot yet even imagine, and it’s going to be capital M, Messy!

Here’s some of what I’m guessing:

1) Learning will be increasingly modularized. We won’t be dealing in degrees but rather fine grains of learning gathered from various sources. Once the education bubble is fully deflated (and it will probably deflate rather than burst) more people will reject spending huge amounts of money on a prescribed set of courses, which often feature only a small handful of awesome learning facilitators (professors) along with a lot of mediocre teachers and learning opportunities.

2) Universities will be radically, unrecognizably altered. Don’t get me wrong; the few at the top won’t be as effected…Stanford, Harvard and other upper echelon universities will remain unchanged for longer (unless they are very smart) . I’m often in rooms where people love to argue about the future of B&M universities and whether or not they’ll continue to exist. The best line I’ve heard recently was “universities will exist like orchestras exist”. In other words there will be a few, elite, expensive, high quality examples but most of the population won’t relate to or benefit from their existence. The rest of them will be enormously altered.

3) Learning will be much more learner-empowered and autodidactic.

4) There will be many more learning path options and the current “must-do” of university will no longer be regarded as the only way or even the best way. There will be a flip in validity perception so autodidactism and self-directed learning at all levels will be more highly valued and rewarded. EVEN by employers!

5) The biggest change game in the edu space, the Holy Grail, so to speak, is the creation and establishment of an alternative credentialing system. Currently, the institutions have a firm grasp on their remaining “brass ring”, the degree. They won’t let go easily but it will be forced out of their hands. This is the opinion where I get the most push-back; SO many people can’t believe this could ever change but I’m very confident that it will and I think it’s going to happen sooner than people think. I’ve been advising start-ups in the edu space and I know many people who are working on alternative signaling systems. It’s a huge problem but once it’s solved in a way that allows for adoption, and once more and more people decide to consider competence over signals, much will change.

Basically, the old system had a stronghold on three primary spokes: content, community, credentialing. Tech innovation has made content and community creation much more widely accessible! Once the last remaining leg is replaced, so much will change incredibly quickly. So, from a futurist perspective I’m pretty convinced that a university degree won’t be nearly as important as it has been in the past, or even as important as it currently remains.

That’s why I want my kids and yours (and all of us, really) to have the MetaLearning skills which I believe are necessary for university success because they are the same skills that will serve learners should they choose to go a more independent route.