About this project
When you're on the brink of learning or making something great...
The Ei Leap Kit is a new tool from Experience Institute and some of our closest, brightest friends. Now, we need your help to bring it to life.
We believe that everyone is on the brink of something great. So, in collaboration with leading design teams at gravitytank, Strand Design and Grip Design in Chicago and the d.school at Stanford University, we've created Leap Kit to support individuals interested in learning something new, navigating their career and/or taking a path other than traditional higher education.
What do you get from the Ei Leap Kit?
The kit provides methods to help you navigate life and learning with both direction and imagination.
We've learned a lot over the past two years as we've teamed up with cohorts of nearly 20 students in Experience Institute’s initial programs and an array of students in different contexts from high school to grad school. Since we started, students have shifted to new careers, developed new skill-sets that opened up their worlds and identified the ways in which their strengths can positively impact the world. Here's how all of this began...
Four years ago...
In 2012, I (Victor) became curious about how to create for-profit & for-purpose businesses. After researching MBA programs, I decided my options were either too expensive or not for me, so I created my own format of 12 experiences in 12 months centered around design, business, and social change. I called it the Leap Year Project. Each project pushed me to learn about the world and myself in new ways, but more importantly, the idea sparked a community of people interested in learning to risk and risking to learn.
The project culminated with a book, a TEDx talk and the start of a new type of school called Experience Institute, where students design a 12-month education through three 90-day apprenticeships/projects in their field of study, coupled with mentoring and quarterly group projects.
The first groups of students who've designed their education with these methods have grown professionally and personally, and have launched into their next steps with greater confidence and clarity.
The Ei Leap Kit is a distillation of the approach Experience Institute students take to design learning experiences that shape their lives.
Experience Institute students who've helped us build this kit include: Muffadal Saylawala, Sustainable Design | April Soetarman, Experiential Design | Carisa Leal, Social Entrepreneurship | Joe Burgum, Organizational Strategy | Dane Johnson, Writing | Jonathan Lazatin, Engineering and Design Education (video above) | Lance Henderstein, Writing and Content Creation | Stephanie Kang, Organizational Design | Chevy Williams, User Research | Melanie Kahl, Design Strategy Zak Tracy, Social Entrepreneurship | Nicole McCabe, Digital Storytelling | Toph Carter, Communications and Design | Olenka Hand, Experience Design & Hospitality
Now, Experience Institute is guiding its largest cohort ever (called EXP3) through a year of apprenticeships and projects and is using the prototype version of the Ei Leap Kit as a primary curriculum tool.
These individuals hail from all around the world and have diverse dreams driving them to take leaps that will enrich their lives and lead them into work opportunities that align with their passions. As they engage new challenges, and learn more about themselves, they've continued to offer feedback to make the kit even more relevant to those on the brink of something great – people like yourself.
Indiana Jones had his satchel, Beethoven had his notebook, Marty McFly his skateboard, and Picasso his paints. For Leapers, we teamed up with the power product design duo, Strand Design, to create a beautiful folio made of recycled bonded leather to help you travel with your kit. We’re working to make this as bold and resilient as you.
As much as we like digital tools, there's nothing better than having a large piece of paper to lay out your plans. The Leap Map will become the central place for designing your Leap. You can complete this with others, post it in your living or work space, or easily travel with it to revisit it often.
The Field Guide & Journal
We won't lie. You're probably going to get stuck or lose steam at some point. Don't worry. The Coaching Cards are ideas and activities curated from leading authors, artists, entrepreneurs, and educators. Use them as quick tips to get unstuck when you’re on the move, or as a way to guide conversation when meeting with a friend or mentor.
Leap Kit's Online Course
This course augments the physical kit by including activities, videos, and curated articles to guide you and your team through different points in your Leap. It also offers a way to interact with other Leapers and share ideas and newfound tips along the way.
Updated on 10/16 with two new levels!
All of this will be ready and shipped by March of 2016!
Last Spring, our friends at Stanford's d.school invited us to run experiments with the Leap Kit alongside students at Stanford's Palo Alto, Paris, and Berlin campuses. At that point, the kit was nothing more than printer paper and a yellow envelope; but their feedback was vital in helping us think about these tools outside of Ei Students. We learned more than we imagined and are beyond grateful to the d.school team and the students who participated in those experiments!
We believe everyone is on the brink of something great.
Education is oftentimes the space where we stand at those edges, learning about the world, ourselves, and how we'll work to make things better. We hope these first 1,000 Leap Kits give people of all ages and backgrounds access to a new way to learn – one that increases every persons' confidence, empathy, and impact. As the idea spreads, so will the width and breadth of leaps. And, with every leap, we'll see what happens when people take learning and growth into their own hands. In our wildest dreams, this will grow from a Kickstarter page into a celebrated way to learn for anyone, anywhere, at any season of life. But, it will take hundreds, maybe thousands of leaps.
Seriously. Thank you for being here. The past few years have been an incredible journey – one we could never have imagined. This work is remarkably meaningful and the people involved never cease to blow us away with their kindness, generosity and work ethic. Someday, we hope to have all of you in the same room. Until then, these projects and products are a way to find, connect, and support you...wherever you are. So, keep leaping, and know that we're right behind you.
Victor & the Ei Team
Nick Martin: Video
Bill Burdett: Music
Grip Design: Graphics
Strand Design: Folio Samples
Ei Students & Alum: Late nights. Early mornings. Hours of Conversation.
Risks and challenges
We're finalizing vendors set for printing, kitting, folio production, warehousing, and shipping. There are a few extra moving pieces with Leap Kit and bringing them together could be challenging. However, we're working to minimize our vendors and stick with individuals who we've worked with in the past.
Our biggest challenge will be completing the final bits of copywriting and design. Keeping the Field Guide brief, informative and story-rich will be tricky. But, we have a stellar team who's working on it as you're reading this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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