Invest in What Matters

Invest in values entrepreneurship education

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Hold all educational endeavors to the highest standards. 

Quoting Jeff Bezos latest letter to shareholders (full text here):

“I believe high standards are teachable. In fact, people are pretty good at learning high standards simply through exposure. 

High standards are contagious. 

Bring a new person onto a high standards team, and they’ll quickly adapt. 

The opposite is also true. If low standards prevail, those too will quickly spread. 

And though exposure works well to teach high standards, I believe you can accelerate that rate of learning by articulating a few core principles of high standards.”

What do you need to achieve high standards in a particular domain area? 

First, you have to be able to recognize what good looks like in that domain. 

Second, you must have realistic expectations for how hard it should be (how much work it will take) to achieve that result – the scope.”

Make Education an attractive field for innovation

In just a few decades, innovation has revolutionized how people live, work and play. But while billions of dollars in venture capital fuel innovation in sectors such as entertainment or apps for the world’s wealthiest, fundamental challenges, such as access to quality education have fallen behind, allocating investment resources doesn’t always find the best ideas.

Today’s innovation funding process is structured with major vulnerabilities, or “blind spots,” that cause inequities across the entrepreneurial landscape, producing the mistaken perception that there is no financial return in education.

Most investors tend to separate their profit investments from the causes they care about. It is now time to invest in what we care most.

Impact investment in education  is the solution for investors who want their money to be aligned with their values.

These education companies need capital to thrive, so that they’re more valuable businesses in places where more and more people are paying attention to those consequences.

One of the biggest issues in education  is the disconnect between educators, businesses  and students on how innovation is imagined, developed, sold and financially assessed.

There is a delicate balance between technology, pedagogy and business that is very hard to assess.

There is NO SUCH THING AS FREE in education, and educators, students, parents and politicians need to wake up to this reality. 

If it’s “free”, then you are either: the product, or it’s being funded by inefficient government spending, philanthropy or sponsorship.

It is hard to create and protect value in education. 

Sometimes the most important issue relating to opportunity cost relates to the most valuable resource in education: a teacher’s time, frequently disregarded as a subject for innovation. 

Pedagogy is at the heart of teaching and learning. Preparing young people to become lifelong learners, with a deep knowledge of subject matter and a broad set of social skills requires a better understanding of how pedagogy influences learning.

Let’s go!

Some of the most transformative ideas are developed by highly innovative, early stage educational ventures that could have a significant development impact if provided with the necessary capital and resources to reach a commercially sustainable scale.

Realizing this future rests in the transformation of human potential into innovative human capital through new 21st century forms of education fueled by money that cares about impact.

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About the author

Fernando Valenzuela

Fernando is currently head of Aspen Institute education program in Mexico and Partner at Global Impact Edtech Alliance. He was formerly President McGraw-Hill Education, Latin America. He is a recognized senior executive, entrepreneur, speaker and board level leader with international background.  He has founded and led successful enterprises in Latin America for over 25 years. He holds a Degree in Computer Science from the Universidad Iberoamericana, and an MBA in International Business by the University of Miami. Active member of Wharton Fellows, ENOVA Network of Latin America CEOs, Center for Hemispheric Policy and Council of the Americas, and board member at Inroads.  He was most recently President at Cengage Learning / National Geographic Learning Latin America and founder of LINNEA the First Laboratory for Innovation in Learning Experiences in Latin America. There Fernando lead the transformation of the educational models and creating high value learning experiences by engaging students with technology. 

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