May 29, 2014

Meetup #3 Complete! Next Stop? September’s EXPo

We did it.

Previously, we gave you a glimpse into the first part of two weeks of intensive workshops, classes, projects, meetings and more. We made new friends and discovered new places. We lived and learned in loft spaces and warehouses, high rise offices and out on the streets of Chicago. We worked hard, pushing ourselves to think better, do more, and cherish this time together. It’s remarkable to see how five individuals from wholly disparate backgrounds, pursuing separate educational and professional goals, continue coming together to create such a strong, tight-knit community.

Photo Credit: Kevin Von Qualen

A few highlights

After completing a design thinking project with Leo Burnett and Threadless, the crew returned to Chicago Portfolio School for a day-long workshop with storytelling guru and Board Member Sandee Kastrul. With the last trimester ahead, students gave in-depth presentations on their final projects to a gathering of creative consultants who provided smart, insightful feedback.

Photo Credit: Kevin Von Qualen

On Friday, I visited Creative Mornings Chicago to give a talk about freedom to a room full of over a hundred Chicago creatives at IIT Institute of Design. I talked about my experiences with the Leap Year Projectand how Experience Institute is a natural extension of my learnings throughout that year. My hope was to share the need for a third space—somewhere between traditional higher education and the real-world workplace—where people can come to learn and grow in a highly personalized environment. Experience Institute operates in that third space, a blank or free space, providing students with the opportunity to draw from classes and workshops while also gaining work experience.

Over the weekend, the students departed Chicago and are en route to their next round of transformative learning experiences. Our next meeting will take place in September. We’re not calling it a graduation—graduation implies that you’re done, you’ve finished learning. We believe learning is a lifelong commitment. Instead, we’ll meet for an end of the year celebration, offering our students the opportunity to share the lessons and experiences they’ve gained with friends, family, and community.

Until then, stay tuned to find out where our students have ended up and what they’re working on.

Thanks for being here.


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