For Ei, learning happens everywhere.
We don’t have a campus. Our classrooms occur amidst a jungle of skyscrapers and coffee shops, offices and community spaces. Our students learn among a diverse population and study in diverse settings, embracing circumstances that challenge them to adapt and grow.
In particular, Chicago is a breeding ground for transformation—both personal and professional—and we’re lucky to have hosts throughout the city who have supported our students, team, and community during the first Meetup of the 2014-15 year.
We kicked off the Meetup at SPACE by Doejo, a co-work office with an amalgam of open and semi-private collaborative spaces.
There, we dove headfirst into our curriculum: self-awareness, storytelling, operations, community building, and human centered design. Plastering whiteboards with post-its, we discussed our goals for the year ahead.
We owe a special thanks to our host, Heather Bodie. Coordinating with us on logistics, she made the space available any time day or night, helped us rearrange furniture, and even met with our students to provide feedback on their next steps. Her helpfulness throughout our time at SPACE was an invaluable asset.
For our second week, we set up headquarters at Mobile Makers in River North.
Co-founder and Chief Maker Brandon Passley has been a good friend of Ei since our beginning. We share a lot of the same hopes for the future of experiential education. In the off-weeks between courses, Mobile Makers opened up its space to us, providing our students with a collaborative environment in which to continue fueling their curiosity and tenacity.
While there, friends from various industries joined us for lunch, games, workshops, and talks. Recently, Brandon introduced us to Kevin McQuown, Mobile Makers’ Director of Programs. Full of energy and life, Kevin made us feel right at home. We’re grateful to the staff for letting us take over during their down-week and for accommodating us as we begin a new year of learning.
We’re off to a great start with the Class of 2015 and that’s due in part to the generosity of our hosts, who provided us with the creative spaces to foster our first collaborations and enabled us to make the most of our campus, Chicago.
And, of course, special thanks to Kevin Von Qualen, our ridiculously talented photographer and Ei Coach, who visited us this past week to capture some of the magic you see here.