Viewing posts tagged entrepreneurs

Invisible Learning conversation with Knowmads – Monday, June 7

20:00 Netherlands and España
13:00 U.S. CDT and Mexico
15:00 Argentina
19:00 Portugal
21:00 Finland
14:00 Chile

Next Monday, June 7, the Invisible Learning project invites you to participate in an open webinar with our invited guests: Knowmads (Amsterdam, Netherlands), a creative, entrepreneurial school for developing entrepreneurs who want to make a difference in this world.

This is not a conference, but an opportunity to converse, exchange ideas and viewpoints among cyber-participants. Participation is open to all.

If you have questions and ideas in the upcoming days before the webinar, you can send them through the Invisible Learning website to @john or @cristobalcobo — or by Twitter (@moravec or @cristobalcobo).

  • The link to join the webinar will be posted at the portal
  • Please spread the word about this event by sharing this invitation (i.e., feel free to copy it into your blog)
  • On Twitter, we use the #invislearning hashtag for tracking Invisible Learning conversations.

We will use Adobe Connect Pro to broadcast the webinar, and a recording of the encounter will be posted online immediately after the meeting.

If you would like to know the corresponding hour for this activity in your country, we recommend you use this tool:

We look forward to seeing you at the webinar!
John Moravec
Cristóbal Cobo

Knowmads' Western Asia Summer Course

The Knowmads (NL) are launching an interesting social entrepreneurship experience in Western Asia. I’m sharing their release in its entirety because I believe this is a worthwhile learning and praxis opportunity for developing Knowmads:

Theme: Social Entrepreneurship
This summer course is all about experiencing the Knowmads way of working. We will work with you, in a team of minimal 15 and maximum 25 internationals, on a project in Israel and/or Palestine. The project we are going to create will connect to youth, community and entrepreneurship and will have an impact for you, for the community and for the world. We call it a win-win-win project.

The 4 weeks
The project takes in total four weeks. In the first week we will get to know each other and investigate each other’s talents. By doing this we create a team that will really rock the boat. The second week we will start with creative and innovative idea development for the project. The third and fourth week we will work together on the project and make the things happen planned in the first two weeks.

Who are we looking for?
We are looking for outstanding, creative and highly motivated young people willing to undertake an entrepreneurial challenge. There is not a specific or ideal type of candidate for this course. You have to be willing to work with your head, heart and hands.

What does it cost?
The price of the course is Euro 2000,-. This is inclusive all the material, travelling in Israel/Palestine and housing. This price is exclusive travelling to (and from) Tel Aviv, food and drinks.

Why to choose Knowmads Summer Course?

  • The course is a highly specialised programme, with a strong focus on a real life case.
  • There are networking opportunities with entrepreneurs / companies / municipalities / NGO’s, also after the programme
  • You have the chance for transferring successful ideas to your own country.
  • You can challenge yourself and be coached in this
  • There is didactic quality guaranteed by Knowmads; 3?6 Knowmads will facilitate the course.
  • You will work in an International atmosphere in a truly multicultural environment.

How to sign up?

  • Apply before the 24th of June 2010.
  • Before the 26th of June we will confirm your registration; we will only start our course with a minimum of 15 applicants.


  • The spoken and written language of the course is English
  • During the course we will work six days a week
  • The tuition fee needs to be paid before the 10th of July. We will provide details later.

Info: send an e-mail to or call 00 31 6 814 90 700.

Knowmads take on KLM's extended office

This video contains a great introduction to the Knowmads in the Netherlands and their latest project: Improving the extended office for KLM‘s business travelers.

The application period to join the next Knowmads team (“Team 2”) is now open, and will close on June 18. Click here for more information and to apply. Also, click here for previous Education Futures coverage of the Knowmads school.

[iPad/HTML5-compatible version of the video]

Settlers of the Shift

New World Order 2.0

I like conceptual maps –tools for illustrating the relationships among ideas– and, Tero Heiskanen created an interesting one. It’s huge. Without any further commentary:

Settlers of the shift is an open map of experts, organizations and ideas that are scattered around the globe. It’s for people whose work is shifting us towards a better tomorrow – a New World Order 2.0. This map aims to encourage people to connect across sectors and enable you to tie partnerships with like-minded individuals.


Six values are suggested as a common backbone for the partnerships:

  • Justice: fair and honest treatment of everyone involved
  • Co-creation: synergistic dialogue and collaboration
  • Meaningfulness: solutions to problems worth solving
  • Generosity: giving time and resources for the sake of giving
  • Dignity: acting in a respectful and ethical manner
  • Abundance: denying artificial scarcity and limitations

(Thanks to Pekka Ihanainen for sharing this find!)

Wanted: 30 Knowmads

Remember Knowmads in Society 3.0? Something amazing is brewing in Europe. And, they’re looking for thirty candidates from around the world.

Knowmads is a new school for the world of tomorrow, starting in January 2010 in The Netherlands. After two years of learning with and from KaosPilots (International School for New Business Design and Social Innovation) in Rotterdam, a couple of entrepreneurs will join together in Knowmads-land. KaosPilots Netherlands transformed and the body of thought is very much alive!

Their purpose is to create a life-long learning community that starts with a one–year program and the possibility to add another six months after that. They work from the principle of a team-setting based on Action Learning; meaning that they work with their heads, hearts and hands. They believe in action, creativity, fun, diversity, social innovation and sustainability in real life assignments.

The program consists of the following elements:

  • Entrepreneurship and New Business Design
  • Personal Leadership
  • Creativity and Marketing
  • Sustainability and Social Innovation

The real life assignments for the students will be realized by collaborations with several international business partners and organisations. With this they will create constant win-win-win situations. And, the student themselves are stakeholders and owners of the school.

They are looking for thirty knowmads from around the world to join the inaugural team, with a deadline of November 20 December 18.

For more information, stories or applications check or write to: /

“Welcome home!”

Friedman: U.S. education system endangering global competitiveness

New York times columnist Tom Friedman speaks out:

A Washington lawyer friend recently told me about layoffs at his firm. I asked him who was getting axed. He said it was interesting: lawyers who were used to just showing up and having work handed to them were the first to go because with the bursting of the credit bubble, that flow of work just isn’t there. But those who have the ability to imagine new services, new opportunities and new ways to recruit work were being retained. They are the new untouchables.

That is the key to understanding our full education challenge today. Those who are waiting for this recession to end so someone can again hand them work could have a long wait. Those with the imagination to make themselves untouchables — to invent smarter ways to do old jobs, energy-saving ways to provide new services, new ways to attract old customers or new ways to combine existing technologies — will thrive. Therefore, we not only need a higher percentage of our kids graduating from high school and college — more education — but we need more of them with the right education.

Citing Dan Pink, Friedman continues to conclude that, to be competitive in a global marketplace, the U.S. needs to infuse its schools with “entrepreneurship, innovation and creativity.” As we stated before, there are many obstacles for schools that wish to produce creatives. Most importantly:

  1. No Child Left Behind. NCLB is producing exactly the wrong products for the 21st Century, but is right on for the 1850’s through 1950. NCLB’s fractured memorization model opposes the creative, synthetic thinking required for new work and effective citizenship.
  2. Schools are merging with prisons. As soon as students enter schools, they lose many of their fundamental rights, including the right to free speech. Students who do not wish to conform to prison-like, automaton production must develop individual creativity to survive… often at a price.
  3. Inadequate teacher preparation, recruitment and retention. The U.S. public schools have always been lemmings, but are now failing to produce teachers who are savvy to the contemporary trends their students must learn and respond to in times of accelerating change. The other half of the picture is teacher-modeled creativity, something the public schools have never seriously attempted.
  4. Insufficient adoption of technology. The squeeze is on from both ends: Student-purchased technology is usually derided, suppressed, and sometimes confiscated. These tools are part of the technology spectrum kids know they will have to master. On the other end, technology in the schools is dated, the Internet is firewalled, and there isn’t enough equipment to go around.
  5. Focusing on information retention as opposed to new knowledge production. Disk-drive learning is for computers. Knowledge production and innovation are for humans. The first requires fast recall and low error rates from dumb systems; the second, driven by intelligent people, builds the economy and keeps America competitive.
  6. Innovation is eschewed. Most U.S. teachers think innovation is something that requires them to suffer the discomforts and pains of adaptation. They don’t accept change as a necessary function of expanding national competitiveness. Many U.S. teachers might be more comfortable in industrial world economies and societies represented by China and South Korea, or 1950’s America.
  7. Continuous reorganization of school leadership and priorities, particularly in urban schools. Serious questions can be raised whether schools are the organizations required to cope with semi-permanent underclasses, violent youth, incompetent, irresponsible parenting and negative adult role models. What institutional substitutions would you make for the schools?
  8. National education priorities are built on an idealized past, not on emergent and designed futures. Blends of applied imagination, creativity, and innovation are required to visualize preferred futures, to render them proximal and grounded, and to forge them into empirical realities. On the other hand, it is quite possible that Secretary Spellings and other highly placed education “leaders” have never had an original thought in their entire lives.
  9. Social class and cultural problems in schools and communities suggest that the schools live in a Norman Rockwell past. Bright kids capable of novel thought and new culture creation have never fit into the industrially modeled American schools, and lower-middle class teachers have little respect for working- and poverty-class art, music, and culture. It appears that the schools are populated by timid, unimaginative, lower-middle class professional placeholders who crave convention (spelling bees, car washes, exceptional sports performances) over invention.
  10. Failing to invest resources in education, both financially and socially. Education is formal, informal, and non-formal in structure and function. It is possible that formal education will be recognized as the least powerful of this trio, in part because it is so dated, and in part because it occurs in such a small percentage of life compared with the other two types. Perhaps new funding algorithms and decisions must follow this ratio.

Where do we begin?

Knowmads in the Netherlands

Education Futures introduced the knowmads concept last November. And, now we just learned that a major Dutch school of youth entrepreneurship, KaosPilots Netherlands, has decided to rebrand themselves as “Knowmads” (soon to be located online at


From i-genius:

KaosPilots Netherlands in Rotterdam is shutting its doors and the team is reopening under a new guise (rumour has it, it will be called Knowmads!). They Dutch started 5 years ago sharing a dream with KaosPilot Arhus in Denmark to create an international platform for young people that want to make a positive difference in the world through entrepreneurship. Working outside traditional Dutch higher education institutions the school worked with their students in a highly innovative way encouraging students were to developing their own projects whilst participating in other forms of experience led entrepreneur education, ‘learn by doing’.

From the KaosPilots statement on the change:

We are currently re-designing the educational concept. Building on learnings and best practices. Aiming at a better fit between the actual needs of ‘social entrepreneurs to be’ and the learning environment offered. Looking for the cutting edge of developments in social entrepreneurship. Strengthening our businessmodel and our entrepreneurial team.

Our editorial reaction: “Rock on!”

TEDIndia fellowship deadline approaches

The organizers of TEDIndia asked that I share this reminder that the application deadline for TEDIndia fellowships is June 15, 2009. What makes TEDIndia extra-special is, that the TED Fellows program will include a group of 100 innovators from India and South Asia who have shown unusual accomplishment and exceptional courage. These young world-changers will get the opportunity to become a part of the TED community which will help amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

TED is looking for an eclectic, heterogeneous group of young thinkers and doers from the fields of technology, entertainment, design, the sciences, engineering, humanities, the arts, economics, business, journalism, entrepreneurship and NGOs. More information is available at

Two weeks of creativity

This past week, I have been in Knoxville, TN, for Destination ImagiNation’s Global Finals. Perhaps one of the best kept secrets in education, “DI is an innovative organization that teaches creativity, teamwork and problem solving to students across the U.S. and in more than 30 countries. Its main program is an unconventional team learning experience where student teams all over the world solve mind-bending Challenges. Teams are tested to think on their feet, work as a team, and devise original solutions that satisfy the requirements of the Challenges. Participants gain more than just basic knowledge and skills—they learn to unleash their imaginations and take unique approaches to problem solving.”

Following DI, I will travel to Amsterdam for the Creative Company Conference and ITSMF Academy. The CCC, in particular, should be interesting as I will join Sir Ken Robinson, Frank Heemskerk (Dutch foreign trade minister) and human capital expert Mirjam van Praag in a discussion on creativity and entrepreneurship in education. This will be fun. Stay tuned!