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Feedback on Entrepreneurial Liberation and The School for the Future

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Hello all,

This is my first post after appreciatively reading your words on and off for many years. Thank you for your practice and work to naturalize, legitimize, demystifize, and experimentalize goal-oriented practice.

I recently had a long conversation with Daniel Ingram and he suggested I make a post here about my new startup The School for the Future (theschoolforthefuture.com). The summary is that The School for the Future is a community whose core value is doing as much good as possible. It offers online training in the most effective skills of social innovation at the intersections of social entrepreneurship, activism, and contemplative practice. For example, the upcoming course Entrepreneurial Liberation combines entrepreneurial theory, application in intensive real world projects, and pro-social virtue development through contemplative practice for new social entrepreneurs. Another course, Effective Activism, teaches tactics that have been used in the last two years to win the first rent strike in London in 30 years, get King's College London to commit to fossil fuel divestment (after only 8 weeks), and convince the London School of Economics to bring its janitorial staff back in house, away from an outsourced 3rd party that mistreated the staff.

I'm looking for feedback from current or aspiring social change oriented contemplative practitioners. Specifically:


  • How does the content of the courses look to you? What skills do you most need (more) training in to be more effective in your social change work?
  • What are your reactions to the general messaging on the website? What other places would you recommend I connect with potential participants and partners, e.g. specific facebook groups, magazines, institutions, other forums, etc.
  • Any other reflections, critiques, or questions? I appreciate all feedback.
Also, I am interviewing a few dozen experienced social change contemplatives about their experiences and the skills they think people most need to be more effective. If you are willing to be interviewed please email me at zacharyschlosser@gmail.com.

And of course, if you are interested in taking one of our courses, please let me know.

Thanks very much,
Zach

RE: Feedback on Entrepreneurial Liberation and The School for the Future
Answer
11/1/17 5:01 AM as a reply to Zach Schlosser.
Hi Zach,

Wow the courses you are offering sound very exciting! 

My critisicm would be that the descriptions for some of your course outlines aretoo technical. I suspect that many people looking to do a course on 'Effective Activism' would have no idea what to make of 'conditional commitment campaigns' or 'post-consensus participatory meetings'. Similarily, the descriptions of 'Integral Phenomenology' are quite nebulous (in fact, I doubt most people know what phenomonology even is!). Perhaps consider bringing these course outlines back down to earth a little and describing what someone should expect to get out of them in more concrete terms. The ideas themselves sound great though!

I'm sure you know of The School of Life already, but if not, I think that the way they portray/market their courses is pretty well done and may be worth having a look at.

One last nit-picky thing is that I am not a fan of the white text on the dark blue ocean background. It strained my eyes a bit to read. 

Still, I think the course sound great! I would very much be interested in learning more about the 'Integral Phenomenology' modules and will keep an eye on it.

Best of luck with the project,
O'lorin (Josh)

RE: Feedback on Entrepreneurial Liberation and The School for the Future
Answer
11/10/17 1:02 PM as a reply to O'lorin.
Thanks for your feedback O'lorin! This is very helpful.

My critisicm would be that the descriptions for some of your course outlines aretoo technical.

Yeah, I'm trying to strike a balance between demonstrating knowledge, competence, and legitimate innovation for effectiveness to the people who would most likely take the course and clearly express the benefits of taking the course to the broader community of everyone who will visit the site. I think the Effective Activism course is doing okay at this. Forward looking activists will probably understand what "post-consensus" participatory meetings are, but you're right that they probably won't know what conditional commitment campaigns are - becuase they're new! So I could do a better job of making that clear. And I'm definitely with you that the integral phenomenology course description is still much to abstract and jargon-y. I'll work on it. If you hav specific suggestions or rephrasings, I'd love to hear them.

I'm sure you know of The School of Life already, but if not, I think that the way they portray/market their courses is pretty well done and may be worth having a look at.

I do know of them and love what they're doing. I'll take another look with an eye toward course descriptions. What do you like about their marketing?

One last nit-picky thing is that I am not a fan of the white text on the dark blue ocean background. It strained my eyes a bit to read. 

Thanks. I'm doing the design and web dev myself, which is new to me. Do you know what adjustments to the color would make it easier to read? A lighter background?

I would very much be interested in learning more about the 'Integral Phenomenology' modules and will keep an eye on it.

Awseome! I'm not sure when Integral Phenemonology will launch now because the instructor needs to push back her commitment a bit, but if you're signed up you'll get updates. I'm currently looking for another contemplative instructor to teach a course in early 2018. Let me know if you have any questions or more feedback before then.

Best,
Zach