Leap Year Project: A Prototype for Radically Experiential Learning

The more Victor Saad studied for the GMAT the more he realized he needed to make his own learning experience.

Can young people create their own education? If so, how should they do it?

For me, the roots of the question lie in the fact that I've always been hopeful. At a young age hope seemed sparse after my family life deteriorated due to a divorce and subsequent challenges. However, a group of teachers, mentors, and friends in my small town of Nixa, Missouri, became incredible supports. Their influence was so great that I wanted my career path to follow their footsteps.

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Why We're Hitting the Road This Summer to Redefine American Business

This summer, the MBAxAmerica team is leaving behind Harvard Business School to get a real education in the heart of America. We’ve spent six...

This summer, the MBAxAmerica team is leaving behind Harvard Business School to get a real education in the heart of America. We’ve spent six months sharing our vision with folks across the country, and in the first post of our summer-long series, we wanted to answer a question that we’ve heard quite often, which is at the heart of our mission: “Why in the world are we doing this?”
Every day another headline tells us that the future of America is bleak—that our business leaders care only about the bottom line, that the gulf between haves and have-nots is irreparable, that our generation will be the first to do worse than our parents’.
Well we’re hitting the road because we think the headlines are wrong. The future of America is bright, because entrepreneurs are building it themselves. They’re building it in New York and Silicon Valley, but they’re also building it in places like Detroit, Las Vegas, and New Orleans—where communities are surviving and thriving against all odds. It’s their dreams and their grit that will decide our fate as a nation, not politicians in Washington or pundits on TV.
A new generation of MBAs wants to help. MBAxAmerica isn’t about know-it-alls going out into the country to “fix” things—if anything, we want America to fix us and our peers, who need to understand business in the trenches where it matters most, and want to lend our skills, experience, and curiosity to the task of making our communities and economy stronger. (Maybe we can even get Seth Godin involved, who is on the verge of getting rid of business school as we know it.)
As we travel the country, we’ll be bringing folks together—from local students to business leaders, artists to mayors—to answer one simple question: What can we do to unleash the potential of every American entrepreneur? We’re lucky to have partners like the masterminds at Impactor, who will be helping us design, curate, and facilitate community workshops that create lasting relationships and meaningful impact in our tour cities and beyond.
The future of America starts now. The challenges we face as a generation and a country are too large for us to wait, and that’s why we’ve received support from organizations like The Downtown Project in Las Vegas, the Startup America Partnership, and even the Mayor of San Diego. That’s also why a great company like Starwood has agreed to sponsor our housing for the summer so that we can make this MBAxAmerica road trip happen. We can’t thank them enough for taking the lead as a company that goes beyond the boardroom and into the communities it serves.
We’re thankful for you, too, for sharing this journey with us and joining the MBAxAmerica movement. Together, we can write a different story about America’s future: one where dreamers, doers, and purpose-driven MBAs come together to make America stronger, one entrepreneurial ecosystem at a time.

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Imagine a future where every entrepreneur is a social entrepreneur, every business a socially conscious business, and every career an impact-driven career. At Be Social Change, we believe this future can become a reality, and we're building the Makers Institute to make it happen.
Two years ago, we were searching for a community to connect with around what we cared most about: people creating bold and innovative social impact. At the time, this type of community didn’t exist in New York. Rather, the city was a place of missed connections and undirected passions. We saw an opportunity to create a space where people could share their ideas and collaborate on new forms of social change.
We soon launched Be Social Change on to build a vibrant and diverse community. It grew rapidly and soon we were hosting large-scale panels, workshops, and interactive networking events, and creating resource-sharing tools such as our weekly Social Good Events Guide.
Through building Be Social Change on the ground, we’ve seen from people a growing desire to pursue meaningful work. But at the same time, there's a gap between intention and action. The Makers Institute, our in-person and online learning platform, is designed to answer the question so many passionate people ask: How do I apply my skills and talents to make the world a better place?
Think of the Makers Institute as the next evolution in business school and career training—though at a fraction of the cost. The skill-building classes and hands-on, project-based workshops will teach the latest in social entrepreneurship and innovation. The goal is to accelerate the spreading of new ideas and best practices across different industries, and provide a framework for people to learn how to best apply their talents for making the world a better place.
How? The Makers Institute provides a set of Foundational Classes similar to 101 courses in college, where people explore and discover how they can best create meaningful change. We then provide a set of entrepreneurial tracks, like majors, in Social Entrepreneurship, Social Intrapreneurship, and Civic Innovation.

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