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Corporate Classrooms/MOOCs For Social Innovation

An e-commerce cum MOOC platform (e-MOOC) for students to create innovative products and solutions and also get hired in the process!

Photo of Shalini
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Besides studying the regular school curriculum, students work together to run a business in their school – the profit earned can be used for funding their education, charity, and social innovation. 

 This model can also be adopted in MOOCs (e-MOOC). Corporate classrooms or e-MOOC is an e-commerce cum MOOC platform for students to create innovative products and solutions and also get hired in the process. Students learn the subject matter through online classes, post their product ideas and top voted products/services are developed. Students post their products online on an e-commerce platform and utilize profits for social development. Corporations can post their requirement/challenges for products and services on the platform. They can also hire students from the platform. The products developed can be green technological solutions or even apps and programs to solve world problems. 

Students invent, file patents, manufacture, market, account, and provide customer service. Products may include craft, groceries(farmed by them) besides other innovative products.  If they make a profit they can use the money for charity or social good. It’s important that they learn to constantly innovate and create new products so that it does not serve as a profit-motive organization but instead become centers of innovation.

Each department can be divided among the different grades, based on their curriculum and skill required. For example, students studying about accountancy can be in the accounts departments, students in science can be in product development, art students can create art and craft.


  • Help students prepare for the real world
  • Create self-sustaining educational institutions without the need for fees
  • A direct link with the industry to facilitate hiring
  • Help students develop different skills including teamwork and management
  • Facilitate students to understand their purpose -if it is in product development, artistic skills or any other field
  • Imparting entrepreneurial skills to students
  • Generate innovative solutions to world problems

In an uncertain future, it is imperative to teach students to be self-sufficient. In addition to arming students with scientific knowledge, teaching modern farming methods(eg. hydroponics), sustainable housing and other life skills enable them to face the future.

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

This model will be beneficial to provide free education to students and help prepare them for the real world.

This idea emerged from:

  • An OpenIDEO outpost or chapter
  • An individual

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

Designing the model with inputs from real corporate organizations, collaborating with existing MOOCs and developing the e-MOOC website.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Dathane Turner

I really like your idea. I wonder how this idea would operate within a Holacracy-powered environment ( Your idea and the Holacracy idea might be the chocolate and peanut butter revolution combination. Also, check out my Holacracy Powered Project-based Learning Role-Play Idea. There might be some affinities there as well.

Photo of Shalini

Thank you! Holacracy idea is really interesting!

Photo of Jessica Vechakul

Awesome idea! Could you collaborate or leverage existing MOOC social innovation platforms, like the +Acumen series or curricula like the Lean Launchpad? There are some programs that are offering lectures, coaches, and funding to such as UC Berkeley's Fung Fellowship and MIT's D-Lab and Stanford's Design for Affordability. Hope this sparks more conversation and ideas!

Photo of Shalini

Thank you so much, Jessica! Yes, and maybe create curricula from existing MOOC platforms and providing students from these MOOCs a platform to innovate, exchibit and market their products/services and for the industry to hire students and source products/services.

Photo of Kate Rushton

Hi Sara!

Thank you for your idea.

The use of an e-commerce platform is interesting.

Could corporations use the platform to source new products and service ideas from the students and also hire them?

Could corporations set challenges for the students?

Photo of Shalini

Thank you for the feedback, Kate :)
That's a great suggestion! I will incorporate it into my idea.