In 2013, I developed and deployed my first MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), Global Entrepreneurship https://www.openlearning.com/courses/GlobalEntrepreneurship . More than 5000 students from 150 countries joined this MOOC to learn and work, in teams, to crowdfund variety of projects, developing in the process not only amazing products but also highly valuable skills. My second MOOC, Success with Emotional Intelligence https://www.openlearning.com/courses/Success , featured more than 5000 students who developed emotional awareness and resilience and again working in groups to achieve self discovery and provide mutual support.
The range of successes achieved by people who took these courses was amazing. This ranged from starting own business to climbing a mountain to even getting married. These successes led to the idea of this project.
This project is aimed at developing a free and open online academy that comprise MOOC style series of courses that aspire to develop critical thinking, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurial capacity. These courses are practical, project based, social and highly interactive. The MOOC platform will allow the participants to capture the skills they develop in a portfolio that they will be able to use for future purposes including employment or fund raising. The academy will allow volunteers (from all over the world and from different industries) to mentor the students by dedicating some of their spare time. Employers will be given access (with students permission) to choose future employees based on the course performance.
The academy hopes to plug in a gap in the current higher education provisions where the focus is on academic and disciplinary learning with little focus on development of mindset, emotional intelligence and entrepreneurialism. The project should be scalable and customisable for the needs of different communities.