Kate Loose

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On December 14, 2015, Kate Loose commented on Minerva: Reinventing Higher Education in the 21st Century :

Such an important issue, thanks for sharing this post! I love the component of experiential learning that they have included in their curriculum. I think getting an international perspective during college is one of the most important things to develop future global leaders.

However, I do worry about the effectiveness of purely online learning and the competition Minerva faces from other e-learning sites such as kahn academy, udemy, and schools with their own platforms such as Stanford, Harvard, and MIT. As an ivy league qualified student why would I attend Minerva when I can access top professors and courses online for free or a fraction of the cost? Minerva doesn’t bring me prestige, career help, or other traditional college resources.

In addition, I am keen to see if Minerva can attract top academic talent on both the professor and student side. It sounds like they are cost cutting around their teaching talent which seems risky. Online teaching is a specific skill and by only engaging professors for a short time they lose talent just as they are getting good at teaching in an online classroom setting. Additionally as a teacher that could get tenure at an ivy league university (the type of talent they say they want to attract) what would make me want to work at Minerva where I have no job security and presumably lower pay. There is the geographic advantage but I worry about Minerva truly being able to attract top teaching talent that will in turn attract top students.

Lots of questions to answer but I hope they do well and I love that they are innovating around such a traditional institution as academia!

Great case study Andrew! This is a tough one as the services that public transport provides are essential but people are not used to paying a lot to actually make it profitable. Raising prices would be met with a huge backlash. I agree with you that there needs to be some innovation and improvements in public transport and that they could benefit from some business thinking and strategy. I wonder what would need to happen in the system to make this possible, you give a few examples but I wonder how people could really be incentivized around this opportunity. Transport can obviously be a money maker by looking at uber, lyft etc. so I wonder if the govt could leverage this opportunity in some way. Thanks for getting the conversation started!

What I really like about this business is that they listen and design their business to fit the local context. I totally agree that uber (and other global businesses) don’t always know the local context that well and their model just doesn’t translate. Although I have never used a car service in the Middle East I have seen similar issues with uber as it tried to translate to East Africa. I hope that Careem is able to keep being innovative and gain a strong foothold in the market so that they can continue to be successful!

Great point about adoption. What has been really interesting so far is that smaller teams within organizations have started to use slack and adoption has actually been bottom up instead of enforced by management top down. The platform is just so great that people choose to use it and put pressure on their company to adopt it overall. Hopefully with enough internal pressure the large corporations will end up adopting as well but it will be interesting to see how long it takes.