I’m told that the generation after mine is more focused on working a job that matters than on making money. Somehow along the way, kids today no longer feel a pull to public service as a way to achieve that sense of belonging. Years ago, that is how you made a difference in the world. Civic responsibility, military service and duty/honor/country were not just talking points but a way of life. I have always felt that pull, but for a variety of reasons have never been able to live it.
With the advent of the Internet we have seen that the barriers to entry for organizations of social good have drastically scaled back. Benefit corporations, micro-charities and other self-organized interest groups can now accomplish what only the largest of foundations with lobbying arms could do just 30 years ago.
For me, the decline of the US standing in the world, coupled with my strong national pride has led me to the point in life where I really want to do something that makes me feel like I am adding to the social fabric, meaningful in the cosmic sense and useful to real people. I see people with literally no resources, making a difference every day. As I get older, I feel that almost every problem in the macro sense, can be solved through better education for the next generation.
When you are a father of girls and you continuously read Fred Wilson’s posts about the future economy becoming a nation of knowledge workers who all write code, the problem is even more acute. For whatever reason, girls just aren’t as interested in science and technology as boys. Even then, neither gender is really learning the analytical skills necessary to solve real-world problems. The lean-back nature of ‘play’ no longer requires exercise of the creative self that has built the nation of go-getters that made us what we are.
Through a series of life experiences in working with kids and technology, I have iterated through many different ideas of the best way to solve these problems. In other posts, I will describe how these experiences and observations form the basis of a vision for radically changing the style of education for the future. Late in 2012 I arrived at TheMissionZone which is largely what I will be creating today. This is me doing my part. And so dawns a new era of STEM learning, that even my girls say is fun.