Monthly Archives: août 2014

Newark at the forefront of universal school enrollment

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Newark just launched a new enrollment model helping parents to give access to the best schools to their children. This new program aims at reforming education in the US and ensures equity and transparency in the process of choosing a school. The system includes all public schools as well as all the charter schools that accepted to take part in the reform.

Parents can list their top eight public district or charter school choices in order of preference, and the district will place students according to availability. Therefore, schools wont be able to « avoid » students at risk and diversity will be promoted. Obviously, this model will change the game of funding for the schools and some might fight against this change.

Giving people more ownership over their educational choices should be encouraged and promoted.

The Future of the Mind – best-seller by Dr. Michio Kaku

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This well known physicist and futurist shares with us in his latest book all the new frontiers of neuro-sciences. Artificial intelligence, alien consciousness, brain nets, mental illness, immortality, etc. Get the grand tour and discover this approachable scientific description of what the future holds for our brains.

Only, as Adam Frank (astrophysics professor at the University of Rochester) wrote in the NYTimes about the book: « On the ethical front, Kaku does an admirable job of at least raising the troubling issues inherent in the technologies he describes, but there’s one critical question he misses entirely. The deployment of new technologies tends to create their own realities and values. If we treat minds like meat-computers, we may end up in a world where that’s the only aspect of their nature we perceive or value. »

State, what matters is what you think

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The world is buzzing. We are surrounded by so much noise everyday, ads, news, emails,… But yet we never quite have the impression that we have a voice. Social networks have been amazing at liberating the parole and in helping populations even to express themselves but still most conversations are more about daily entertainment and you can only share messages with people you already know. State aims at changing that. On this website you can share your thoughts with the whole world. No limits to push your thoughts forward and having an impact. You can start a debate, rally people around your idea, and the more you state the stronger your network becomes. State enables you to see what people really think about a topic, no need for hashtags and targeted prose. Free thinking, free talking, free sharing, this might lead to some major global waves and building. The floor is ours !

The Bay Area, Land of Edportunities

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Dear Mirror Networkers,

Here we are right in the middle of our summer world tour exploring the backstage of the knowledge economy.

San Francisco made me go from wander to wonders in only a couple of weeks. The Bay area which had welcomed gold adventurers before is now undergoing a “grey rush” of many brainy pioneers furiously questioning and building the future of technology, science, business and of course education.

A vibrant melting pot of corporations, startups, investment firms, incubators, accelerators, universities, research centers, ngos are investigating, prototyping, testing and launching the tools and models already starting to impact and shape the world at large. From billionaires to active future makers, they all share a strong impulse to make the world a better place. That’s the common phrase “changing the way we live, to change the world we live in”. Pick your issue; propose your solution; no limits but only the ones you can’t push. Living for work, working for life. After crazy geeky hours come the happy ones and SF is the place to eat for foodies and healthy gourmets. Only don’t forget your jacket as the climate changes from one street to the other. From chill to chili you will never be bored as once hooked there is no unplugging in the foggy city. No other place on earth welcomes so many people doing exactly what they dream of, at such a fast-paced rhythm. A frenetic luxury, where risks are carefully and cleverly managed.

I was excited, proud and curious to be able to participate in that well networked ecosystem. In SF who you know becomes what you know. I therefore focused on connecting and meeting people, expanding the Mirror Network community.

And San Francisco made me rich!

Rich of questions. Indeed, everywhere else it is not acknowledged or well perceived to question. There it is the norm. Asking is considered the departure point of any venture and allows you to improve your ideas, your product and yourself. Mirror Network is based on whys.

Rich of connections. I want to thank all the talented, inspired and inspiring people I have been lucky enough to meet over the past two weeks. You have been kind enough to open doors, minds and hearts and you are the ones making this whole journey worth it! The only things to add are a positive see you soon a huge bravo for your dreams come true. Mirror Network is all about fruitful links.

Rich of opportunities. That was my last toast, on the last night: “to opportunities!”. And yes, I believe that SF is the right place for them to rise and shine. I look forward to sharing them. Mirror Network is a starting point.

The Edtech kitchen is full with noise, excitement and promises now reaching markets. I can only encourage you to check out the hot new elearning tools and alternative educational experiences. Tomorrow is already here, and wants to help us learn to our full potential, individually and collectively. So try, use and spread the words because you are the change.

Please check the blog to read about all the amazing organizations and people changing the world of education. Pictures available of the Mirror Network Facebook Group.

Key lessons I will remember:

-       Human capital is a resource being rediscovered and will probably become our most (the most?) precious one to make sure humanity has a future; what future do we want to create?

-       Still it is key to question both our intents in building this future and the means we use to get there so that they don’t corrupt the bottom line; why and what do we want humanity to learn?

-       Some minds are leading the change, some others are finding ways to spread these discoveries but yet so many people are still out of know; who do we want to be part of the future making conversation and how do we facilitate it?

-       Knowledge is now a market, unlike any other, as it evolves more quickly, it involves many layers, it is inter-disciplinary, it is online and offline, it is human and artificial, it is creating new values – financial and ethical ones – and redefining community; what values do we agree upon? What communities are we creating and taking part in? How do we preserve humanity? Who do we want to answer these questions?

Humans will move forward, explore, battle, conquer, enjoy. Because this is who we are and we are so lucky to live in this extraordinary period in time. Technology has given us the power to be self-conscious and exist, as humanity! We therefore have indeed the power to change things, but also the responsibility to share this change and decide how to orient it, as a global community.

I will now enjoy the East coast for a week and get back to you with bright news from NYC and Boston Ivy campuses. Already at home in the city that never sleeps,

Big dreams to you all,




Find you Muse – get the career guidance you need

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You don’t know what to do? You want to change jobs? You want to be promoted? We always have many questions about our careers and we never know where to find the right answers. We look and we look again, we ask friends and try to gather the best information but it takes time and isn’t very efficient.

The Muse is the answer to all these questions. It helps you define your goals, it enables you to find out about current job opportunities and it provides you with the tools to seize them. A perfect and efficient combination.

Don’t get stuck with a job you don’t love!

New Schools Venture Fund, the perfect blend for impact

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New Schools Venture Fund is a venture philanthropy firm that raises money on one hand from individuals and organizations and invests it in promising startups and companies on the other. They believe that they can foster change in the educational sector by encouraging bold and innovative entrepreneurs. They put a strong focus on evaluating the impact of the models they invest in and have a very highly professional selection process before investing. Of course, it is not only about the money and the team shares its broad experience and wise expertise with the organizations they accompany. They currently have 5 investment funds and just launched an initiative we already mentioned to promote online learning games called co.lab. They also make sure to share their systemic approach to change by organizing the NewSchools Summit every year where they invite educators, politicians, entrepreneurs to share perspectives and best practices.

New Schools Venture Fund facilitates innovation and change for the educational sector. An international pendant of this organization would be a good idea…

Kaplan Edtech Accelerator with Techstars

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An incredible opportunity in NYC for Edtech startups to rise and shine.

12 selected companies. Top mentors. 170K$ in initial funding. Access to Kaplan’s user base and research resources. Offices. Worldwide investors.

Few words suffice to understand that, indeed, this accelerator will most certainly help the educational sector by encouraging innovation and groundbreaking technologies. Check out the alumni it speaks for itself.

Data and education, Doomed InBloom

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Data and education are closely linked indeed. Grades, information about the students, trends, everything almost is data in education should it be quantitative or qualitative. Therefore over the past decade many have been trying to use innovative technology to improve educational systems.

That was the case of InBloom, an open source and non-profit technological organization backed by the Gates Foundation which wanted to help schools and school districts to better manage their data. Only they didn’t count on parents and teachers protest around privacy issues and they closed 2 years after starting their project. A shame for the educational sector but maybe an opportunity for other models to shine?!

Here is a good article from The Economist about it:

Phoenix University, new career services to better serve students

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The talent gap between school and the job market is currently being discussed and exposed internationally. At every higher ed institution there is a concern about closing this gap for its students. Some universities address this need better than others and the University of Phoenix is among the ones setting an example.

They have revamped all their career services options and now provide a very personalized and dynamic tool to their prospective and current student to better chose their studies (online, offline, degrees’ options, etc.) and to facilitate their access to the job market (trends, offers, videos of practitioners, articles, etc.). Both content and framework are fantastic to help students build their own path towards professional success.

Also, they have created the PhoenixConnect academic social network. This first of its kind online network is available to all students, alumni and staff for them to take advantage of student support communities, get advice from faculty members and enjoy a true sense of community that can be customized to their area of study/work, personal interests and career goals. This private, academic focused network showcases what new learning communities could be like. A true innovation serving the community and using technology very efficiently. 

A model to look at !


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