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OPEN Media Lab

Extra –or out of- curriculum activities for solutions to personal struggles that can be Media for progressing as society using what is OPEN.

Photo of Andres Felipe Vera Ramirez
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We all have personal struggles. Children have struggles; young people -in and out school- have struggles; parents have struggles; managers have struggles; authorities have struggles. We also look for solutions, we learn, we find valuable insights, we find solutions (sometimes imperfect and sometimes better ones)… Since we constantly do a lot ‘experiments’, perhaps we can see society as a LAB -a Lab with a PURPOSE, a lab where our personal findings can be a Media for a solution for something bigger (inspired in the MIT Media Lab and its 'antidisciplinary' approach' ?

Moreover, since we already have a lot of OPEN opportunities aside of traditional education (or every other stage in our lives) we can leverage the positive impact of the increasing number of alternatives available.

We now have Open Source technology; we have Open Education (like MOOCs or other courses, articles, books...), we have Open Communities like Open IDEO, we have Open Data ... The idea is connecting all of this increasing number of opportunities, leverage their positive impact (and address the negative effects), learn from each other, make it all part of a Life-learning process that finds solutions along the way.


All starts from a problem you care about and wants to solve (or a problem at the center, as @Joost  suggested in an feedback for first draft of the idea, which is a very good point). From Design Thinking, we have learned that we start by Empathizing if we want to find a Human Centered solution. We hear each other; we learn from each other; we find insightful stories, we extract insights that opens up a whole new world of opportunities: move forward for finding one solution (with mentors, peers, guidelines available of Design Thinking…), we realize that we need new knowledge and knowhow so look for it in and out of school with extra passion, we allows us to develop a necessary System Thinking (I'm just starting to learn System Dynamics , but concepts like feedbacks, stocks and flows,or  mental models, among others, have already opened my mind to new things and new points of view).

There is much we can do, if we think of this as a “lab”, as something that allows us to ‘experiment’. In the OPEN opportunities available we have insights to better prepare learners (of all ages) for the needs of tomorrow. For instance, I reimagine higher education, starting from leveraging what we do, when we are not school, and taking this as an opportunity to progress as society along the way.

Who is your idea designed for and how does it reimagine higher education to support the needs of tomorrow?

This idea is for ALL OF THE SOCIETY. It includes children, young people, adults, elders. This reimagines higher education to support the needs of tomorrow by having a purpose in the heart of a life-learning process that uses Open opportunities already available.

This idea emerged from:

  • An individual

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

I lack technical skills, but I know a platform could help me to better connect volunteers, Open alternatives (sharing MOOCs, having a repository in Github, connecting with - and translating to Spanish- challenges in communities like OpenIDEO... ) Also, experiences from the OpenIDEO itself would help me, to leverage the impact of alternatives like this on a local scale; for individually strengthen the 'hubs' in big valuable networks.

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

The early lightweight experiment would be using some of this OPEN alternatives to find one solution to one particular challenge, involve different relevant stakeholders, invite volunteers to document every step of the process, and refine how the process might look like.

Tell us about your work experience:

I'm a journalist, majored in business administration. I've finished +20 MOOCs. I was selected for the fist MITx Global Entrepreneurship Bootcamp (2014) - after a selection process with MOOCs-; and, early this year, I was part of the pilot cohort of the Harvardx Disruptive Strategy course. Also, I'm part of Communities Global Shapers, an initiative of the World Economic Forum; and member of Acumen Corps, a community for its most dedicated students.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Max Noble

Andres Felipe Vera Ramirez  how is the Systems thinking class going?
Spelling error the fist MITx

Photo of Andres Felipe Vera Ramirez

I'm enjoying it ! ... I have found on it a valuable 'compass' for getting deep into System Dynamics, starting from a qualitative approach - which makes more sense than the more mathematical approach in modeling, because of my background. The first part is identifying the kind of problems that should be tackled from a systemic approach - called 'cloud' challenges (like education).

I think that the course content will allow me to have a new vision for the structure of the system we're in, in order to help strengthening public trust, and through that help building public welfare ( the wide vision of foundations like the Knight Foundation have inspired me:

How is the Future School - Update: User Engagement Path, Feb 011 going? ... Where do you need help? What has been particularly difficult in this refinement phase?

Photo of Max Noble

Sounds cool! I wish I had more time...thinking about dropping my APP Development Mooc to join you.

When you are doing your mooc, think about future school and media lab. How can we find similarities to sync the 2 ideas. Are there opportunities to network them together in ways that benefits both of them?

Photo of Andres Felipe Vera Ramirez

We share concerns, and we both dream with a new education (a future kinder garden, a future school, a future university...) . I will keep education in mind when I work on the structure of the system -as part of the course, and in the future. Count with it !

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