Since many of you understand the notion of next acropolis, it’s time to think outside the box. Next Acropolis is designed to allow recruiters to search for student talent, then make connections — ie, invite a job application, inform someone of an event… These are all expected outcomes of using the system.
Yet the most important aspect of the system will be not only how recruiters recruit, it will be how they shape the future workforce, through mentoring, and giving students directions for future research.
I was reading the New York Times’ piece on John Seeley Brown’s innocentive, which is a site where companies post problems they are trying to solve, and offer a reward to innovators who can solve them. They think that by harnessing the power of communal networks, that important problems will be solved, by breaking traditional silos for communication and creating a more transparent relationships, where organizations literally admit they are having problems.
The same sort of communication is possible inside of Next Acropolis. Companies will be able to use the search functions in our network to locate people working on industrial problems close to their industry. Then, they can offer directions, suggestions, and even virtual internships, where research topics are farmed out to students, virtually.
In this sitation, the silo of the university is broken, economic problems and industrial questions are shared, and young minds become oriented toward larger problems outside the quadrangle. In optimal scenarios, students who are trying to write research papers that propel them into prominent positions will get the extra push from mentors, who can position them with feedback, and set their sights on goals they should try to solve. For the sake of industry, this is the perfect means to incubate talent, and secure future placements. And for industry to take a personal interest in the academic progress of young people is to offer an additional layer of support to students that has never been offered.
The potentials of openness, transparency, and extra-silo communications will deepen the integrations between actors in the economy and the aspirations of people looking to become them, the students.