Time For a Pivot in International Education?

“To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often” – Winston Churchill

A Famous “Pivot”

In the startup world, when a company needs to course-correct, it’s called a pivot.

Perhaps the most famous major pivot is that of a small company, formerly known as Odeo. As a digital network, Odeo allowed people to search and subscribe to podcasts. As Apple’s iTunes encroached in the podcast space, Odeo knew it had to make a drastic change. They gave their employees two weeks to come up with ideas, and…

a small team dreamed up the social media giant we now know as Twitter.

How does this relate to international education? Just as companies are required to change to remain relevant, the field of international education must change to address the pressing challenges and opportunities of our times. These changes, or pivots, can come in all shapes and sizes. Building an organizational culture, from the top down and bottom up, that is open to change is central to the art of the pivot.

Change is essential to the international education project.

This belief is driving a Via TRM mini-series on the topic of change–why change is important, why it’s so difficult to accept and implement, and why the next phase and future of our field will be defined by it.

In this mini-series, Via TRM’s founder explores the notion that change is a birthright for international educators. We’ll tackle head-on the challenges of change and the risks and opportunities decision-makers face in leading the charge within an organization. A guest contributor will talk about Generation Z and the changes in perspectives, expectations, and behaviors students in college today bring with them. We’ll offer sample case studies on changes ushered in through technology and feature stories and voices from Ashoka’s Changemaker Campuses.

Finally, we’ll conclude with a white-paper on the topic of change management, summarizing the key points of the mini-series and providing guideposts for those embarking on a particular journey of change.

Join the conversation: #IntlEdChange

  • Are you ready to explore change?
  • Where do you believe international education needs to pivot?
  • Do you have examples of institutions or organizations that have responded to changes in the field with a successful pivot?

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