We are really happy there are people rooting for us. If you are one of them, please let us know. We intently listen to those who are willing to give us advice. It's often so precious. And we have lots of appreciation for those who are willing to give us a hand. First, we'll try to give you some sense of what we want to achieve. Then we'll explain what we are lacking.
A new education system for the world.   Just imagine ...
Imagine growing up at some random place in the world. Maybe not the best place ever. Say, at a place where schools have so little money that you attend your elementary school from 6 am to 12 pm. Simply because there are not enough classrooms, and another group of students attends from 12 pm to 6 pm.
You do take advantage of the education that is given to you. And you are grateful for that. But understandably, it’s limited. After graduation, your family and friends expect you to work full time as a street vendor. But then you learn about an alternative. A global school that is willing to mentor you and give you the education you lack.
They give you a cheap computer. They get you a high-speed internet connection. They help you set everything up. Then you join the school's online classes with live interactive instruction.
After a couple of months, you are employable in the internet economy. You get a part-time job conducted over the internet. It pays way better than that full-time street vendor job. For the first time, you can pay for your own living expenses.
But you don’t stop there. The school has lots of other classes to offer. It provides mentorship and guidance. And helps you make the best use of educational resources that are available on the internet either free of charge or for a small fee.
In this way, you acquire pre-college, college, and masters' level education. You learn about advanced technologies and state-of-the-art methods. When you talk to graduates from Stanford, you realize you know at least as much as they do. They wonder how you learned so much without having to pay any expensive tuition. Sure, you promised to pay your school back later on, but you are happy to do that. It's not a large amount. Besides, you don't have to pay if your income isn't high enough, so there is no risk involved.
Many of your classmates took industry or government jobs. But you decided to be an academic researcher. Now you analyze data collected from wearables and from the cheap, non-disturbing implanted sensors that your group invented last year. Your goal is to build a predictive model of heart attacks. You spend an enormous amount of time on this. But your model doesn't work well.
Then you realize you had a stupid bug in your code. You just didn't properly read the documentation of the specialized open-source software library you were using. You fix the bug, and let your model train overnight using your data. When you wake up, you find that your model can predict myocardial infarction with a high precision and a recall rate of 94% an hour before any first symptoms appear. You understand that this should be enough to bring the survival rate from 90% all the way up to 99%. The following night you don't sleep. You work for 24 hours straight to double-check your results, finish your paper and get the word out. You know how much it matters.
Now imagine again growing up at the very same place. Everything is the same. Except that there is no such school. What do you see? Think about it.
Impossible? Who said impossible?!
We have good reasons to believe such school is feasible. For almost every elementary aspect of the school, we can point to an existing institution that successfully does that even now in at least one place in the world, although often at scales smaller than what's needed. It doesn't require a leap of faith to believe these ingredients can be combined. We have spent a lot of time figuring out how to dramatically cut costs without sacrificing quality to make it all scalable in developing countries.
Advice we would appreciate
Data science / machine learning matters
Our curriculum combines together many practical and theoretical insights and many different pieces of technology. We always strive to make our teaching content relevant and up-to-date. Of course, we make effort on our own to be continuously updated. But sometimes it's much easier to talk to an expert on the specific method or technology that we are considering for inclusion in our curriculum, especially when the long-term merit of the method is not well understood by the scientific community or if the technology is early in its adoption cycle. If you have such expertise and would be willing to share your insights if needed, please let us know.
To be honest, we probably need advice from almost anyone anywhere. To build a global educational institution, we need to understand the local conditions in many places. We'll investigate these on a case-by-case basis as our student body grows, but often having even a short chat with someone who already understands some of these local conditions may be worth many hours or days of our effort. Here are some examples of knowledge we need:
We need to understand legislation in many countries to be able to pay all required taxes and to be sure we respect all relevant laws.
We need to understand internet connectivity issues to make sure we can effectively communicate with students.
We need to understand local labor market conditions so that our students can get jobs at their skill level after or even during their studies. Remote jobs are great, but it's better if they are not the only option.
It's not just local conditions that we need to understand better. Maybe we don't know how to reach students who would most benefit from our program. Maybe we don't know about a useful tool we could take advantage of. Maybe we don't know about a great teaching method. Maybe we don't have the right contacts.
Help we would appreciate
If you would like to help us solve problems on the ground, please let us know. There are many things that would be hard to do remotely. If you need to get paid, please check our careers page.
We are ready to implement the new educational organization with our own effort. But of course, we are very much open to partnering with other institutions. These may include schools, companies, research institutes, coding bootcamps, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, or charities, among others.
Of course, there are many other ways to help. For example, it would be great to co-organize science/technology meetings or talks.