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Finding a Purpose: exploring one's strengths and the world's needs

Finding one's purpose to helping make the world a better place

Photo of Andrea Stadler
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GOAL: Higher Education and school itself, should be responsible for helping people understand their purpose in life. Giving them the opportunity for exploration will allow them to see what they are passionate about, good at, that the world needs and will pay for. 


People who see the world through different perspectives, are able to see a better picture of how they can be part of the global collaboration. Most students graduate from Higher Education knowing what they don't want to pursue. Their skills are limited to what the real-world needs. By doing exchanges within the city, a different state or even country, they will see what the world needs and will pay for. They will learn from different perspectives and find become open-minded empathetic people.

The same will outcome will happen if students were offered random classes such as cooking, architecture 101, farming, and other subjects offered to a target audience. Students leave High school where they were exposed to silos of subjects, making it hard to really understand their purpose. 

As students gain perspective, create networking opportunities beyond their university and clicks, they will be able to create unique products/solutions to problems they are willing to pursue. By working in internships with interested companies they will get the real test of the job, of working, and how they can contribute. 

By Collaborating with students from other branches and interests (roundtable 2.0) that could help grow the projects, students will gain more perspectives and ask more questions. These questions will eventually become a driving question they will pursue. Following the same process as OpenIDEO, the design thinking cycle, and using the different perspectives they have explores, they can come up with great solutions to problem. On of these projects should eventually be a global or community issues project. There should be a variety of projects for them to explore. 


Students will have various ways to demonstrate their learning and earn specific skill "badges". They can create an exhibition, a pitch to companies, a project presentation to the community, a Tedex, or whatever way is best suited for the project in hand. The experts in the field, the specific teachers, the mentors in project will assess the skills that have been acquired and would determine what badges could be allotted. 


The student is the worked and the teacher is a coach. The coach would guide the student through the process from A-Z. They would help the student identify their strengths and area of growth. They would guide them through projects to assure that the student is well rounded in both skills and experiences. The coach would guide them as to how to grow and through reflections, would guide the student. 


Credits? Sitting hours? Years? It depends... We can all identify a student that is well rounded and ready to part of the real world. Coaches will identify this supported by the badging system the student portfolio with the projects and expert letters from each project. This will be much more transparent then a 4 in Physics... For hiring purposes, companies will know what the person has experience in, their passion, strengths, and room for growth. They can reach out to the community that has worked with them and get insights. 

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

It's designed for every student in higher education. I even believe that high schoolers would profit from doing this versus traditional High Schools. Attached idea. Empathetic learners with multiple perspectives will create sustainable solutions that is the need for tomorrow. By exploring the world, they will analyze what the needs for tomorrow are, and will have gone through the process (a design process) that will help tackle those problems. People need to find their purpose to find happine

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?

I've always wanted to work with a team to create this idea. I have been originally thinking about a team that could help me starting this in the International School circle that support the American curriculum. I am part of that circle and most of these students go back to the US Higher Education system. I would love guidance as to how to do so.

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

I would find students and parents who agree on this model to try it out. I would also be in touch with companies who'd be willing to network and create with me.

Tell us about your work experience:

I have been an educator for 15 years. I started in languages and now I am the secondary tech learning coach. I have worked in the public school in Switzerland, private school in the US, and American International Schools in Dubai, Mumbai, and Ecuador. In between I created an APP for my students. During my years in Mumbai, India, I was part of the Research and Development Team for 4 years. That's what has me started on wanting to be part of the change of education.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Hi Andrea Stadler I totally love your idea on local and global exchanges and agree with you that "Most students graduate from Higher Education knowing what they don't want to pursue."
I'm Kenyan but had an opportunity to spend a year in Ghana at Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology ( which is training and investing in African entrepreneurs. During that period, I learnt alot about different cultures, empathy and how to solve problems. I'm back in Kenya, and the way I approach things is different from most of my friends who have been local. I think convincing the institutions and parents that the model will be benefecial is the first step.

I'm interested in contributing to the idea and testing it here in Kenya

Photo of Andrea Stadler

Isaac, what a great experience you had! Welcome to the team.

Photo of Isaac Jumba

Thank you!

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