Saturday, September 15, 2007

King Willem 1st School for the Future

Carola Verschoor and I traveled to Den Bosch in The Netherlands to meet with Coen Free, the Chairman and visionary behind The King Willem 1st College's School for the Future This is actually the English translation from Dutch for Koning Willem 1 College School voor de Toekomst.

Carola is our new Program Director and jumped into her role with a knowingness about how to address one of the challenges facing us - finding a starting place to get the Kids 2020 Learning Program going. We had discussed the rationale behind becoming an ingredient brand inside other organizations focused on children and learning. What we never expected to happen was to run into someone like Coen Free and his exceptional campus of schools.

We are facing the challenge of developing a prototype and getting to "proof of concept" with it. Once we do that, we can test that prototype in a few different cities in different countries to work out the cultural dimensions. Before we can even do that, we need to find a place to develop the training program for the trainers, coaches and guides while developing the Kids 2020 Learning Program itself.

The King Willem 1st College in DenBosch offers us the kind of learning environment that focuses on lifelong learning. On this campus, there are schools there for adults, children and teens. Coen Free visited the USA many years ago and was inspired by the community college system there, which offers a learning framework for people who cannot meet the requirements of the traditional university. He has established individually-focused learning programs for all ages and interests so that people can develop themselves and grow from that. Even the rooms are set up to inspire and motivate people. They even had a relica of a 1950's American diner for their cafeteria, complete with juke-box! Have a peek at their photos.

Just being on the campus inspired us. We could see the possibilities - and we think that Coen could see them, too. We'll explore them in collaboration and see if we can get to a working arrangement. Stay tuned...we'll keep you posted.

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