Alex, thank you for the support! I second all of your desires and suggestions. I am already in talks with local partners in Portland, ME to establish a team and get our "light experiment" (prototyping and interviews) active come January. I can elaborate further with specific names as necessary and will be building out my team as it falls into place over the next week. That said, the interest in P2P is sincere, but could you please provide a link to details about the residency program and a list of accelerators so that I fully know what the foreground looks like? In the meantime, I am collaborating with some old idea partners back in NYC on Personal Canvas design and Pathway prompts. Drafts will be uploaded to my contribution by January 1, with interviews and prototyping to immediately follow.
(As a sidebar: some of the Fund financing, structure, and payback details haven't yet been disclosed, as I felt a narrative to the concept from the student's perspective would be more telling. They are, however, also being refined, and will be a ready component of any pitch to accelerators if not a coming refinement to the idea's profile.)
With respect to Edmilson's project, I do agree there is conceptual overlap, but I do feel the fundamental vision for impact is not necessarily aligned. Having worked in finance for years, I believe their equation is enveloped by money and limited by virtue of who is considered an 'investor', whereas this challenge is trying to reimagine cost (with financing as a factor) of continuing education for all types. With TFC, the goal is to empower students to define the value and path to their educational goals for themselves, our pooled fund, and their mentors, without individuals picking horses, so to speak (which I think is a better analogy than the "buy and sell" stock market these days). In fact, these days the options to attaining 'continuing education' are proliferating faster than any system can integrate, which is why I believe we need to empower students to reflect and define that for themselves as they progress.
I will stop here, though, and leave it open for any follow-up questions.
Gabriel, I remember Jon Stewart interviewing Barack Obama toward the end of his tenure as host of the Daily Show, and he brought up this idea of compulsory community service (instead of merely military, as is done in some countries) for one year. Obama loved it, and I thought, "of course!" I think it has potential for bringing people together and naturally imbuing empathy in individuals as they learn and grow. One question I would have for you is how would the projects/organizations/communities with which to work be chosen? Could there be an element of empowerment, whereby the student is able to seek out and select one on his or her own accord (subject to some level of approval) so as to keep the playing field open and diverse?
Thank you, Shane! I am excited that you appreciated the approach. In fact, I would like to see the idea naturally build itself out in such a manner. Many such stories are out there waiting to be heard and supported! One way I plan to embark on the initial light experiment would be to empower local students to tell their stories in an equally open and creative way. As you allude to, human- (or user-) centered design is an ideator's best friend. It naturally tests and refines a theory, concept, or idea to be the most empathetic and accessible possible!