How to make education responsive to a fast-changing world. Lessons from our heroes, and our own peer-learning programs on 5 continents.

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About The Peer Learning Guide

When a new discipline is still emerging, how do you educate people in that subject? There are no established experts, no books, and no agreement in best practices, so where do you begin?

We got interested in this topic when wanted to help in fast-changing contexts like humanitarian problems, the food supply chain, energy distribution, machine learning, blockchain.

The Peer Learning Guide is written for educators, program managers, and most importantly, for participants who want to improve their own education experiences.

It covers our role models’ stories, like Harvard and Y Combinator in the US, MEST in Ghana, FarmHack in the Netherlands and Pirate Summit in Germany. And we share how we took what we learned from them to create some world-class education programs and globally-known communities of practice like The Sources, The Africa Prize For Engineering and the Lean Startup movement.

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Table of contents

  1. How Peer Learning is emerging
    • Success is defined by what the learner becomes
  2. Defining Peer Learning
    • Responsiveness
    • Agency
    • Hyper-Connectivity
  3. Evaluating your program

  4. Evolving your program
    • Calibrating to learners
    • Diagnosing learners
    • Enabling self-direction
    • Unleashing Agency
    • Brokering connections
    • Serendipity as a service
  5. Program Design
    • Questioning the pre-conditions - content, methodologies and models
    • Defining Learning Success
    • Design decisions
      • Where are your sources of knowledge?
      • Support projects or people?
      • Emphemeral or evergreen topics?
      • Intrinsic or extrinsic motivators?
      • Open or closed admission?
    • Peer Learning Tactics
      • Lowering lead-time
      • Eliminating wheel-spinning
      • Injecting role models into the culture
    • Scheduling help, not topics
      • Layers - optimising for learner success
      • Loops - building rhythm to make progress
  6. Curation
    • How the Serpentine Gallery starts conversations
    • Exposing the zeitgeist
    • Network building for challenge-response
    • Curating in teams
  7. Communities mature in waves
    • Explorers value novelty
    • Traders value knowledge
    • Warriors value performance
  8. Planting your flag

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About the authors

Salim Virani

Salim is the creator of Source Institute. His work includes The Sources, the largest online course for the African continent, where African founders share their most relevant experiences and advice. Salim founded Leancamp, which created the first evolutions of Lean Startup to include Business Models, UX, and Enterprise Lean Startup. And Founder Centric, which developed and delivered startup education for UCL, Oxford University, Seedcamp, Techstars, ClimateKIC, and around 30 more accelerators and universities.

Bart Doorneweert

Fortune has enabled Bart to build his entrepreneurial experience, both as a scholar, and as a practitioner. An agricultural engineer by training, combined with a vocation for learning, and change, have brought him to India to venture in the cotton sector, East-Africa to understand technology adoption with smallholder farmers, and finally into education & facilitation at Source Institute.

About Source

Source Institute designs education for fast-changing environments. We are active at the frontier of new technology, and social impact, ranging from engineering ventures on the African continent, to connecting science fiction writers with government, and corporations on the topic of climate change, to finding a foothold for technology in agriculture. Source is powered by learnings from those who traverse these frontiers, and opens up their wisdom as it unfolds to the peers who follow similar destinations.