With radical societal, technological and economic disruptions happening, and daunting social, environmental and cultural problems looming over us, it is astonishing how our education system still follows a roughly two-hundred year old model. This model was predominantly designed to shape compliant subjects and efficient workers. Given the aforementioned challenges, it is not enough to educate 21st century leaders to just “do things right”. The future of education must be an education for the future, supporting people to ask deep questions and then “do the right things”. With our new spinoff, STRIDE – an unSchool for Entrepreneurial Leadership, we are doing exactly that: bringing a new model to (executive) education. The first class of this“MBA alternative” starts October 2016!
The problem: an education system from the 18th century
From schools over universities to executive education, traditional education models still mirror the DNA of schooling within late 18th century Prussia. Its “weapons of mass instruction” assume knowledge to be akin to information, a commodity that, disconnected from passion, meaning and imagination, can be transferred head-to-head. Just think of a classical lecture hall, where some hundred people are seated in such a way to face one lectern, and behind that lectern, one head.
In this recipe-like “Betty Bossi” education, learning is cut off from the real world (problems) and becomes the byproduct of memorization. It is crippling creativity and discouraging self-knowledge and critical judgment. By now, even the WEF has identified that graduates lack the skills we need most: “asking relevant questions and framing problems”.
Drivers of change: digitalization, mobility and the challenges ahead
Education is facing a massive transformation. Three key issues are driving the inevitable innovation of (higher) education. First, an ever-expanding digitalization is significantly redefining education’s task of knowledge transfer. Knowledge-as-information has wandered from our heads into our hands (think smartphone). Since information has become accessible for almost everybody, it is no longer education’s USP. Instead of physically visiting exclusive lectures, you can now watch them online. Slowly but surely, new tech startups seek to disrupt education (like our wonderful members from Labser). And more is yet to come. EdTech is by now drawing immense rounds of venture capital.
Secondly, the increased mobility of students is generating global competition within higher education. This allows niche players to draw their students and makes the best education programs compete for students worldwide. Thirdly, education is questioned regarding its purpose and its capacity to respond to the complex technological, cultural, political and environmental challenges. So you might also wonder: how can executive education move forward and take advantage of the changes mentioned in order to prepare responsible and happy leaders?
Our answer: STRIDE’s unSchool for Entrepreneurial Leadership
Impact Hub Zürich’s new spin-off STRIDE takes on the above mentioned challenges and turns the education model around. Its one-year executive education curriculum (min. 50% of your time) center around you and your class running a real entrepreneurial project. However, you don’t apply to STRIDE with an idea, you apply with the desire to embark on a deep learning journey. STRIDE facilitates and supports your entrepreneurial projects in order to create new realities, for you and others. On top of that you select topical Learning Labs taught by practitioners on topics you find relevant. Then there is mentoring, peer-learning and out-of-the-boxes experiences… And what we see as the cherry on top? Your learning campus is Impact Hub Zürich :). You will be a member as much as any other and profit from the entire offering of the community.
According to our value proposition, at the end of the year, you will, in the worst case, have : a) gained professional excellence, b) experienced meaningful personal transformation, c) engaged in relation building and team thriving, and d) scouted the latest trends and opportunities. This will have earned you STRIDE’s unDiploma in Entrepreneurial Leadership (approx. 35 ECTS). In the best case, you have all of that and a performing entrepreneurial venture: you will have created your own job.
So what’s next?
Interested? Get informed by visiting one of our upcoming public events such as the Meaningful Career event on May 10 and the #FutureOfEducation event on June 13. On top of that we host so-called “Program-in-a-box” workshops (4 hrs) where prospective students can experience whether this is the right program. You can also drop by for one of our “Chat&Meet” weekly meet-ups.
Education is changing and STRIDE is right where it happens. Come along – you are invited!
Visit our homepage under: www.stride-learning.ch
A background in business and economics, Niels’ curiosity took him through multiple countries and professions before finding his passion in social entrepreneurship and in Switzerland. After co-founding the Impact Hub Zürich, building its community and setting up its operations, he needed a break and went on a trip through Asia and Africa. Since Mid-2012 Niels is back as Program Director desig...
Niels Rot, Program Director & Member of the Advisory Board of Impact Hub Zurich