1/ For millennials a “sense of purpose” is part of the reason they choose to work for their current employers. What role can education play in equipping young people with the skills that allow them to achieve their altruistic and professional ambitions?
While skills are certainly important, I’d argue that the first step to discovering one’s sense of purpose is developing mindfulness.
There’s a fascinating body of research in the learning sciences on “metacognition,” or the process of developing awareness of (and ultimately guiding) one’s own thought processes. Put simply, metacognition is reflecting on how you’re thinking and learning, and making changes based on this awareness.
These principles of metacognition are especially relevant for people trying to uncover their sense of purpose. It’s easy to get lost in the daily grind, juggling the expectations of family, work, friends, and community. And yet, only by training young people to candidly evaluate the what and the why of their work will they be able to make more informed and thoughtful decisions about their path.
2/ How is online education inspiring change and empowering leaders to bring change in their communities?
I’m so drawn to edtech because of its vast potential to make systems more fair. For hundreds, if not thousands, of years, education has been a luxury afforded to a small minority, perpetuating inequity across economic, racial, gender, and geographic divides. Edtech innovation is perhaps our greatest tool for transforming what was once the scarcest of resources into a fundamental human right.
Now, more than ever before, anyone with an internet connection can learn topics and gain skills that were once locked away in ivory towers. It’s truly a remarkable time, especially for changemakers in the Global South.
But we’re not there yet. Many individuals don’t have the necessary technological infrastructure to access these resources, and even those who do have these tools lack the behavioral skills necessary to take advantage of them. These are the types of challenging, critical issues that Philanthropy University is addressing.
3/ In your opinion, which are the most demanded training skills online by leaders from the social sector?
My short, unsatisfying answer? We’re working hard to answer this question. Philanthropy University’s scope encompasses non-profit capacity building across the entire Global South, which introduces a dizzying variety of needs based on geography, sector, organizational size, and so on.
With that said, speaking very broadly, we’ve seen a lot of demand for skills like fundraising, impact measurement, and leadership based on our interactions with our users to date.
This first-of-its kind educational initiative helps people working for social good deepen their impact and change the world. Philanthropy University learners have the chance to earn a certificate in social sector leadership from Berkeley-Haas.