I have been on a similar search for many years for a way of educating people online that creates profound transformation and can scale. I am also currently enrolled on altMBA because I wanted to learn from experience how you’re doing it.
The part I believe I have done well is providing experiences for people online, rather than content. I teach business owners and leaders how to care for their energy so they never burn out and there’s no point stuffing busy people’s heads with more knowledge. Having overfull minds is the problem in the first place.
The amazing thing about working with people’s energy (rather than their minds alone) is that you can help them directly experience profound physical, emotional and spiritual change through the internet, using pre-recorded materials (audio and video) as well as live coaching. There is no limit to the numbers in terms of the effect — in fact larger numbers tend to expand the level of energy — which is something Todd Jason is currently playing with on Amplifield in a non educational environment. It is so different from delivering knowledge that people then have to remember, process and apply later. The change happens there and then and affects other areas of life without having to worked at it.
What I’m finding fascinating on altMBA (and we only just started) is how you have created projects that mean we get stuff done individually and as a group within the course itself. It requires a great deal of time commitment from the students (given that we all work in demanding careers as well) but the sense of community, support and stretch is tangible from the very beginning. Just doing the first project has started to change my inner level of commitment to myself.
On the face of it, it was about writing goals. Something I’ve done many times. We used a method that’s not particularly startling if you’ve done any work on goal setting. In fact I spend almost all day every day listening to people talk about what they want and define their goals. I’ve spent so much time doing it that I know instantly which ones they will achieve and which ones do not light them up and will never happen (unless with a great deal of force). But doing this in a group with complete strangers, under time pressure and with the final outcome of publishing them, getting feedback from more complete strangers and reflecting on the entire experience has made me more committed to my goals. It’s a subtle, inner feeling, but it’s transforming me. That, to me, is highly educational — so thank you.
In terms of commitment and attrition, that has also fascinated me. I recently spoke to a group of 30 accountants and I’d been warned that they are one of the toughest audiences ever because they’re so data driven and relatively introverted that they tend not to respond to speakers at all. But I was lucky because I wasn’t there to talk about data or processes or stuff they needed to know to satisfy their boss. I was speaking to them as human beings about topics like happiness, inner peace and true performance (which is not about KPIs but about feeling great and loving your work). They were engaged, their eyes were shining and they asked questions. I am gradually coming to the conclusion that we engage fully (and naturally) when the topic genuinely touches that part of us that is deeply human and alive, and is not about some external expectation or driver that doesn’t connect with us. I don’t think this is selfish. It stretches us and challenges us to be more of who we are.
I wonder if a lot of the education that is currently being pumped out into the world, both on and offline, is simply irrelevant to anything that’s actually important in life.