We believe learning through experience leads to better work, better careers, and better lives.
"Change is the end result of all true learning."
- Leo Buscaglia
Experience Institute began in 2012 on airplanes and commuter trains.
Our founder was interested in pursuing an MBA to explore the intersection of design and business. But the costs and styles of a traditional degree program didn’t fit, so he designed his own through 12 projects with 12 organizations around the world in 12 months. After that year, Ei was created to help academic institutions and workplaces think differently about how to facilitate learning that is relevant, meaningful, and transformational.
Now, Experience Institute creates experience-based learning programs focused on relevant skills, real projects, and practical feedback alongside both universities and companies. Our classes equip students, managers, and teams to apply new mindsets and skills to their work right away. We’ve combined over 40 years of industry experience at organizations ranging from Stanford and Northwestern, to Leo Burnett and Deloitte.
Here’s a bit more about us:
These 5 beliefs reflect the way we build our learning products, our team, and our company.
Experience is circuitous, not linear.
Education shouldn't be crammed into the beginning of our lives. When learning and work happen in repetitive, circuitous cycles we sharpen dull edges, continually discover new capabilities, and places to add value, and build positive feedback loops that reinforce a culture of curiosity.
Experience requires risk.
Many of life’s transformative lessons come from being in a new situation – where you don’t know the right answer or there isn’t a right answer. Those are the places where you’ve taken a leap over the unknown and are aiming for a better place. Ei programs encourage participants to learn by doing, working on real projects, in the real world, with real companies, solving real problems.
Experience can be designed.
Education is not something you take off the shelf — it's something that can be designed curated, and built. When you are given the space to go after new information and right-size it to your learning style and needs, that's when new clarity and confidence emerge.
Experience is better together.
Community multiplies the lessons we learn. With every new set of eyes, our experiences become exponentially more meaningful, both personally and to those around us.
Experience is for everyone.
We know that participants join our programs with a great depth of diverse work and lived experience, knowledge, skill, and learning style. At the same time, many traditional learning frameworks are designed for the majority and can unintentionally reinforce systemic inequities. We are committed to learning and design principles that generate equity and inclusion across race, class, gender, sexual orientation, and other lines.
Facilitator & Program Strategist
Megan is a Strategist and Sr. Facilitator at Experience Institute. Over the past 10 years, she has designed and led courses in leadership, innovation, and business development for hundreds of founders, teams, and nonprofit leaders around the world Acumen, Points of Light, and REDF.
Founder & CEO
Victor is an Egyptian-American who fell in love with Chicago. In 2012, he founded Experience Institute after designing his own Master's. Over the past 8 years, he's worked with thousands of students and professionals grow their careers through engaging curriculum and meaningful experiences. He's also a Lecturer in Design at Stanford and a Forbes30Under30 recipient in the field of education.When he's not leading Ei, he's on his bike or working on his next writing project.
Finance & Operations
Zak is the resident CFO for Ei. Prior to joining the team he spent a decade inside large corporations building financial systems and designing new business models. Now he helps smaller, creative-first companies stay financially healthy and poised for growth. He is an alum of Ei's year-long program, a student coach, and business operations facilitator.