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«Submitted to Ontario College of Art and Design University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Design in Strategic ...»

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3. Activation: Apply the skills, try various career vectors, and iterate academic knowledge through internships, service projects, research and

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This section will cover where the gaps, needs and opportunities lie. Then, it will highlight how similar the problems are in different parts of the world, all showing patterns of massive complexity, apathy or helplessness involving more than 60% of the world’s population.

INDIA59 60 61

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59Sharma, Y. (2014, July 14). What do you do with millions of extra graduates? Retrieved November 16, 2014, from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28062071 Sources: from Labour Ministry report Among graduates, only 30% job worthy' - The Times of India. (2014, January 30). Retrieved November 16, 2014, from http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Among-graduates-only-30-jobworthy/articleshow/29570361.cms Source: Assessment by the National Skill Report 2014 of 100,000 students.

Mani, R. (2013, March 25). What Are You Doing to Fix India's Broken Education System? Retrieved November 16, 2014, from http://india.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/03/25/what-are-you-doing-to-fix-indiasbroken-education-system/ Source: International Monetary Fund The entire world has a social and economic stake in ensuring that India provides

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A large number of graduates from India are unable to fulfil their ambitions, and ultimately, unable to contribute to the economy which experts term as a gargantuan national crisis. The National Skill Development Corporation believes that more than 500 million skilled professionals will be required across sectors by 2022, and India is currently equipped to train only three million.62 This shows the significance of quality education and entrepreneurship for the economic growth in India. “Indian students spend a lot of time on their degrees and ultimately realise that these degrees are not going to provide a passport into the private sector jobs," contends Prof. Jeffrey, an Expert on India's

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62National Skill Development Policy. (n.d.). Retrieved January 21, 2015, from http://labour.nic.in/upload/uploadfiles/files/Policies/NationalSkillDevelopmentPolicyMar09.pdf 63Sharma, Y. (2014, July 14). What do you do with millions of extra graduates? Retrieved November 16, 2014, from http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28062071 Sources: from Labour Ministry report The Indian formal education system and other various formal structures have not let street-level creativity and innovation permeate. The Indian education system is too didactic and frozen in the industrial revolution whereas the world has moved ahead” argues educator and artist Raghava KK.64 CHINA 63

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To counter this, China's education ministry wants to convert 600 universities into polytechnics to reduce the emphasis from academic and theoretical subjects and offer more technical and employment-related courses.

KK, R. (2014, March 11). Creative Gaga. Retrieved November 26, 2014, from http://www.creativegaga.com/articles.php?act=details&aid=176 UNITED STATES: 65

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A silver lining is that many teenagers are self-directed and interested in pursuing entrepreneurship and 63% believe that entrepreneurship should be taught in college.66 AFRICA 67 68 69

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Hansson, B., & Charbonnier, E. (2010). Education at a Glance 2010. Education at a Glance 2010.

The Harvard study’s assertions are supported by data collected by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development for its report “Education at a Glance 2010.” Meet Generation Z. (2014, November 18). Retrieved November 26, 2014, from http://www.northeastern.edu/innovationsurvey/generation-z/index.html Priorities to Address Africa’s Youth Employment Challenge. (n.d.). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.worldbank.org/en/region/afr/publication/new-report-outlines-priorities-to-address-africa-s-youth-employmentchallenge Filmer, D., & Fox, L. (2014). Youth Employment in Sub-Saharan Africa. World Bank Publications.

Devlin, K. (n.d.). Reducing Youth Unemployment in Sub-Saharan Africa. Retrieved November 15, 2014, from http://www.prb.org/Publications/Articles/2013/youth-unemployment-africya.aspx Education opens the doors to well-paying jobs, improves longevity, community engagement and other wide-range benefits to society70. But they may never be realized by graduates in sub-Saharan Africa because the rapid increase in educational attainment has come at the expense of quality. This is especially the case with producing hirable skills preventing young Africans to contribute to their fast evolving economy and the situation will continue to worsen if not corrected.71 Some of the recommendations from UNESCO and the International Labour Organization include specific programs that target specific youth population such as disadvantaged young women, to boost their skills and employability72. They also recommend that governments, the private sector, and international donors pursue integrated, comprehensive policies and strategies that create jobs for young people and improve the transition between college and career.


Currently the Middle East and North Africa are amongst the regions with the world’s highest youth unemployment. One in every four young person is What are the Social Benefits of Education? (2013). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.oecd.org/education/skills-beyond-school/EDIF%202013--N%B010%20(eng)-v9%20FINAL%20bis.pdf Townsend, J. (n.d.). From Classroom To The Real World: How Young People In Africa Can Unlock Limitless Opportunities. Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/ashoka/2014/10/27/from-classroom-to-the-real-world-how-young-people-inafrica-can-unlock-limitless-opportunities/ UNESCO, Youth and Skills; and International Labor Organization, Global Employment Trends for Youth 2012 (Geneva: International Labor Organization, 2012).

unemployed and this is particularly noteworthy because over 75% of its population is under 25.

In Egypt73, three quarters of all unemployed people are between 16-29 years of age and 82% of them hold a diploma or a university degree. 74


All the above regions cover 60% (4 Billion) of the world’s population. If the needs of even a fragment of this population are addressed, then it would have a ripple effect on their economies.

The bigger dilemma with all this is that even with those employed, only 13% of employees are engaged at work worldwide and the numbers are even lower in the emerging world in the MENA region, sub-Saharan Africa and Asia according to Gallup global survey of 142 countries75.

Therefore, the key to addressing this global unemployment crisis is through a robust blend of better education models focuses on the human potential.

The Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS).

Haneef, A. (2014, June 29). Can reality TV be a force for social change? Retrieved November 16, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dftA6aV85C0 75Worldwide, 13% of Employees Are Engaged at Work. (2013, October 8). Retrieved November 14, 2014, from http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx All credits for the icons used in the Infographic goes to their respective creators.


Although the solution must be able to address the needs of target areas mentioned above and applicable in other environments, parts of the solutions and the questions would be optimized for and tested for India first.

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The Problem Tree ISSUE The inability of higher education to optimize itself for the future.


Lack of cohesion and communication among stakeholders.

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Lack of awareness from the institutional front on the gravity of the problem and  issues such as shrinking shelf-life of the degree, disruptive models and technologies

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Lack of better alternatives/substitutes to replace it in its current form.


Global unemployment, underemployment and mal-employment.

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“Most of us have deeply embedded ideas about what’s “right” for education. But when you look at the world of education through the lens of design, you start to see that there isn’t one right answer, there are many. The (education) system is actually an outcome of millions of different solutions, organizations, priorities, and experiences. As designers, our job is to understand the conditions in any given situation deeply enough to be able to find new, relevant solutions for a particular context, need, or challenge.” 76

- Tim Brown, IDEO

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76Brown, T. (2013, November 13). A Design Lens on Education. Retrieved November 14, 2014, fromhttp://designthinking.ideo.com/?p=727 These badges have been built from and inspired by the contents of the first section, validated by reports, experts and best practices. The following will shed more light on why they’re important and how they should be used.

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(formal and informal) need to be captured to build patterns for better opportunities, self-discovery and growth over time. These metrics should showcase what the student could offer the world through the culmination of courses, skills, ideas, interactions and experiences.

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experimentation and creation. By tinkering, pivoting, designing and prototyping physical/virtual objects, media or systems over the course of their education, students are better prepared to face pressing challenges head on.

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personal/collective front with unbiased perspectives, help embrace vulnerability, help optimize their learning experiences and amplify their potential, competencies and impact.

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more collaborative, more iterative, and cutting-edge. The solution should be such that it could be broken down into fragments that manifest into multiple combinations of meaningful learning customized to the needs and challenges of each community.

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learning approach to a more trans-disciplinary orbital thinking. Because it is the varied experiences and insights that foster creativity and innovation.

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education. Designing a system around this approach makes learning more responsible and engaging while providing a trajectory of what is needed to be learned and impacted.

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

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I believe that the biggest untapped resource in the world is human potential. We are also in the middle of a human potential crisis and at the pivotal point where everything may permanently alter. And the only way to change the world and unlock the future of humanity is by augmenting people’s lives, their hearts and minds, changing behavior; because the world doesn’t change. People do.

The Limitless Experience Imagine an institution that purely focuses on the human potential – on building a better you. This is the Limitless Institute – The Human Accelerator.

The vision is not to build a university or a school but to circumvent the old structures of higher education and create new models of learning, taking off from where formal education left. It is to help students find a place to contribute in the world. Its key focus would be on the human in us, helping accelerate human impact and boost human potential. The students would then become accelerants themselves through the insights and stories that manifest from the Limitless experience.

The Limitless experience is unfolding human potential towards societal change through immersive, integrative and highly modular higher education courses designed and built into existing systems for maximum scalability.

Imagine classes and courses linking up like Lego blocks, building either a unique pattern for students or malleable to bring the user in control, customized to the geographic and the demographic and ever evolving. This Human Accelerator is a unique learning laboratory designed to impart knowledge, skills, behaviors, competencies, attitudes and values to augment their lives and advance their societies. It is centred on the values of entrepreneurship, social innovation, makerculture, leadership and creativity.

The Limitless Institute will not offer a degree so that it could promise modularity throughout and iterate whenever necessary. A disposition to lifelong learning is crucial for success in a world of permanent beta. The idea is not be a school/university in itself, but rather a philosophy, an attitude and a way of life -for systems in severe need for revitalization.

Lego and Da Vinci 77 The approach is inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s technique which he applied to his art and inventions. He would study the various aspects of the subject, list all the characteristic features (Ex: Eyes, Nose, Mouth, etc.), parameters and variables, create variations for each of the categories, and experiment with the different combinations and variations until the configuration matched. Many people believe that the Mona Lisa may be a result of this very technique as people find many different expressions in the mix of features on her face.

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