I think that your idea is great! Your strategy to link higher education to professional work will truly help both sides of the market - the students and the communities. Your platform and the way you anticipate to run the entire scheme seems well thought out. Having studied outsourcing at school, I would recommend you to think about intellectual property, which might be an issue for firms trying to solve challenges. For your strategy to work, and specifically for firms to hand out relevant challenges, they will have to trust your platform. This starts with the ability for the firms to keep the intellectual property associated with the work the teams provide. I understand that the work the teams will provide will also pertain to communities, therefore, my recommendation is only for the private, business side of your platform. However, I do think that this business side will prove to be more important for the success of the platform, because private companies will have more to offer than the government will in Kenya. Therefore, I personally would recommend focusing on private businesses (even if it will create less social good for the community).
I really like your idea; legitimising professionals based on what they have accomplished instead of learnt seems like the perfect to create value for those who chose not to attend college. Your idea is simple yet particularly relevant and would serve a great purpose for society at large. I think one the potential issues you might encounter is the time it is going take to create true legitimacy. I think that without any special strategy to underline the value of your degree, it make take years if not decades for your certification to have an real value in the workplace. In that light, is there anything you could do to expedite the process, such as getting support from the government or any association across America? Any of these institutions would not only help legitimise your certification but could also help in defining a rigorous standard. Another potential issue you might face is the initial lack of incentive from professionals to obtain your certification. How do you plan on marketing it, and why would professionals bother if you have nothing to show for it? I think you need to think of incentives for professionals to get your certification. You could perhaps partner with firms and find a way for the employees to all get your certification.
All in all, I think you have a great idea with tremendous potential, I hope that my recommendations helped. Good luck!
I like you idea and I do agree that certain aspects of education need to be reformed but I also think that your approach might be too drastic. Changing the entire scope of education in the United States is simply unfeasible. Too much has been invested over too long a time for it to be reformed. Furthermore, I would also argue that younger students do not necessarily know what problems they want to change, and do not have the necessary tools or intellectual development to provide a reasoned and cohesive answer to that question. I would also say that this approach might limit the scope of employment for students because the skills learnt for the problem they seek to solve will generally not be transferable to another field, therefore limiting their professional opportunities. Lastly, problems in our society are every-changing and academic curriculums would therefore need constant adaptation to stay in line with current advancements.
Perhaps, your approach could be used for more technical work such as a plumbing or electrical engineers. I would think along those lines, as the problems you refer to are more easily definable.