johngeraci.com: Helping To Crystallize Change In a City Near You

I post to this blog a couple of times a week. I just throw whatever I have on my mind out there, and people, a few thousand a month, come by and read it, mostly without commenting. Occasionally I wonder who these people are, and whether I’m affecting them at all. Mostly I have no idea – there’s no Google Analytics tab for that (yet).

So it was great to get an email from Andrew Taggart over the weekend, telling me to check out his friend’s TEDx London talk online.

His friend is Dougald Hine, a co-founder of the UK startup School of Everything, and now founder of the University Project. The University Project is an experiment in reinventing higher education, which will live at the UK co-working space Hub Westminster.

It sounds very cool. Check out the wiki for it here. (Sounds a bit like DIYcity in the very earliest days, in its tone).

Anyway, Dougald’s awesome TEDx presentation includes a slide referencing my recent post about how higher education is about to be massively disrupted, and says I helped crystallize some thinking for him about this.

That was super gratifying to see. That’s what I’m writing all of this for – to help give shape to new ideas for me, and hopefully do that for others as well. That’s the way this blogging thing is supposed to work, but most of the time you don’t know if it really does.

Reading Dougald’s TEDx presentation, and the University Project wiki page, I get the feeling we really are on the brink of a big change – bigger than I even thought when I wrote that post. (Several other conversations I’ve had recently with random smart/influential people reinforce this idea). And the presentation makes me think that this change could maybe actually be a really great thing – a revolution of sorts (in the “small r” sense of the word). An opening up of channels that have been and still are mainly closed. An acceleration of new ideas and new thinking. A reduction in the cost of experimentation and innovation. Sort of like the the effect the web had on things when it originally came into being. But not on the web.

Will it be or not? Impossible to say just yet. But if I can help crystallize thinking for someone to help make it happen just by throwing out whatever I have on my mind on a given day, that’s pretty cool as far as I’m concerned.

If you’re reading this and you’re in London, check out the University Project when it goes live at Hub Westminster.

And by the way, the other people who read that blog post on higher education getting disrupted? Heavy traffic from universities around the world. From Yale to University of Cape Town, and many in between. Institutions are seemingly on high alert that there are new kids in their sandbox, and that the rules of play may be about to be rewritten.

So: let the rewriting begin!

(p.s. for the record: the picture of me in the TEDx presentation is the worst picture of me ever taken, from an Observer article a few years ago. I am going to have to put some normal photos online somewhere for people to use in the future to keep that photo from getting spread too far.)

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