Announcing the 1517 Assembly

1517 Fund
1517 Fund
Jun 20, 2017 · 4 min read
1517 Dürer

A New 95 Theses

With his nailing and knock-knocking, Luther wanted to draw attention to one corrupt church practice in particular: the selling of indulgences. The purchase of these certificates — mere pieces of paper — earned the buyer a cleansing of all their wrongs. Letting people save their souls with a sack of coins turned into a big business for the Church. Powerful authorities teamed up with bankers to rip people off. Even Bernie Madoff would blush at the scale of it. In the early 1500s, Pope Julius II — the “warrior Pope” — and an Augsburg banker named Jakob Fugger took indulgence sales to new heights, financing the construction of St. Peter’s Basilica with high margins on revenue from these IOUs to Heaven. Fugger, much like his descendants at Goldman Sachs, took a three percent commission on fraud.

Courtesy collegedebt.com
  1. Harvard could admit ten times as many students, but it doesn’t. It could open ten more campuses in different regions, but it doesn’t. Elite schools are afraid of diluting brand equity. They’re not in the education business. They’re in the luxury watch business.
  2. The best institutions blend learning with experience, such as University of Waterloo’s co-op program. The map and the territory are rarely the same. “Periplum, not as land looks on a map, but as sea bord seen by men sailing.”
  3. The 529 plan, offering college savers tax benefits, should allow for broader spending on learning experiences such as gap years, bootcamps, and other forms of project-based learning.
  4. Learning as an end in itself should not cost $67,000 per year.
  5. Endowments should be taxed like any hedge fund.
  6. Education should make individuals, not conformists.
  7. The most exciting things work in practice but not theory.
  8. Any pioneer who chooses to circumnavigate the one-size-fits-all model should be applauded for their courage rather than tattooed as a dunce.
  9. Plato — Shakespeare — Keats — Austen — Shelly — Dickens — Whitman — Dickinson — Hemingway — Stoppard: no college.
  10. No conditioning people to impress admissions committees and to beg for favors and head pats from authorities.
  11. No discrimination in hiring or admissions to any program based on having already received a credential. No discrimination in jobs based on prior schooling.
  12. Universities are not about truth, but about power. Why are there are some 5,300 universities and colleges in the U.S. but only one point of view?
  13. High School noun (1824): a place where students repeat “me gusta” for four years in Spanish class and still can’t speak the language.
  14. That education is best which teaches us to educate ourselves.

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A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org

1517 Fund

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1517 Fund

1517 supports technology companies led by young founders. “A real education is a liberation.” — Nietzsche

The Mission

A network of business & tech podcasts designed to accelerate learning. Selected as “Best of 2018” by Apple. Mission.org