If you read my first post you know that while on the train I am focusing on building a physical non-traditional college that focuses on developing mindsets. While reading College Unbound during this journey, I thought more about the complexities of building a college. I want to get this idea out fast like a startup, but building a structure for a college could take many years and a lot of money.
A few days ago, I learned about the Chautauqua movement, an adult education movement from the late 1800s and early 1900s. While mainly used to spread Christianity, it consisted of many teachers, musicians, and entertainers coming into a community to spread their ideas and interact with locals. After connecting with the community for a specific amount of time they would then move on to the next location. The concept died with the invention of radios and movies, but at its peak it was very popular. Theodore Roosevelt even called it “the most American thing in America.”
Learning about this process has inspired my new idea for Mindover U becoming a service for colleges. I now envision colleges across the country bringing in the Mindover U team to create a two week “popup meta college” that would have three purposes:
- Teaching 21st century mindsets
- Connecting students from diverse fields to inspire new projects and businesses
- Providing an avenue for students to learn from successful entrepreneurs locally and abroad
(Logo created by Lisa Mumbach)
With the cost of higher education rising, colleges have to provide more value to justify the price. Colleges do a good job helping students gain depth of knowledge in a particular field but don’t focus on the soft skills (creativity, innovation, adaptability, etc.) that employers find valuable (the horizontal line of the T-shaped theory). Mindover U could be a great venture for colleges to outsource this aspect of learning, and provide a unique and cost-effective experience for their students. Keeping with the chautauqua tradition, Mindover U can “revive” higher education and help create well rounded graduates who are desired in the workforce. The service will target all colleges and higher education learning environments (universities, community colleges, non traditional, etc.) and could even be brought in by businesses that want to infuse innovation in their companies. I could also see Mindover U going to high schools or going to a community and engaging with local professionals.
So that is what I see as the vision of Mindover U right now. What are your thoughts? I am also interested in forming a team so please contact me if you are interested in joining.