March 20-22, 2013 - New Forms of Knowledge Sharing

How could social networks reframe the relationships between students and the university? 
New Forms of Knowledge Sharing
Wednesday, March 20 and Thursday, March 21

The fourth and final Transformation Imperative event brought to campus thought-leaders who critique the structure, hierarchy, value and cost of higher education, and leading innovators who are integrating social networks into traditional business models. These guests joined the faculty and our DEC Fellows to develop new frameworks for academic institutions in community-wide workshops that bring together ideas from peer-networking and new disruptive educational models. The event explored the following questions:

  • How can an educational institution take advantage of the diversity and the ability of students to customize and innovate their learning experiences?
  • How do you create truly a student-centered institution in higher education where students drive their experience by leveraging their relationships and connections?
  • How could a student-driven curriculum provide models for innovation in higher education?
  • How do shared-networks create new conditions for learning and new models for institutions?

Thought Leaders and Innovators:
Banny Banerjee, Director of Stanford ChangeLabs, Stanford University 
Robin Chase, Founder and CEO of Zipcar and Buzzcar
Dale Stephens, Founder of UnCollege and author of Hacking Your Education (Penguin, March 2013).
Representative, Occupy University, part of the Occupy Wall Street movement
Aaron Stoller, Assistant Director of the University Honors Program, North Carolina State University
Visit The Transformation Imperative website for biographical information  


Keynote Address by Robin Chase:


Keynote Address by Banny Banjeree:



chaseRobin Chase is the founder and former CEO of Zipcar, GoLoco, and is currently CEO and founder of Paris based Buzzcar.  All three companies have created an innovative revolution around car owners and the transportation sector.  Each company has successively changed how we think about and utilize our vehicles or in Buzzcar’s case how we utilize other people’s vehicles! Robin’s first major innovative breakthrough was in 2000 with, Zipcar, now the largest car sharing company in the world. Zipcar’s use of the Internet and wireless technology enables rental cars to emulate personal cars. Zipcar's disruptive technology gives its members on-demand access to cars by-the-hour, revolutionizing people's relationship to their cars and improving the quality of urban life for all. But, she was not done yet in 2007 she launched GoLoco an online ridesharing community. GoLoco helps people quickly arrange to share car trips of all lengths between trusted friends, neighbors, and colleagues, and handles online payments from passengers to drivers for their share of the trip costs. GoLoco's innovative combination of social networks and online payment systems recasts how we think about car travel, making it a time for socializing and with a new emphasis on trip efficiency, in order to reduce per passenger costs.  In 2011 she left GoLoco and started Buzzcar based in Paris, France.  Buzzcar is a service that brings together car owners and drivers in a carsharing marketplace. empowers individuals to take control of their mobility, without looking to governments or big businesses for solutions. 

In addition to running Buzzcar, Robin also currently serves on the Board of the World Resources Institute, the US Secretary of Commerce's National Advisory Committee for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, and the US Department of Transportation's Intelligent Transportation Systems Program Advisory Committee.  She served on the World Economic Forum Future of Transportation Council, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation transition team, and the Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.

Robin lectures widely and has been frequently featured in the major media including the Today Show, The New York Times, National Public Radio, Wired, Newsweek, Time and Businessweek magazines, as well as several books on entrepreneurship. She has received many awards, including Time 100 Most Influential People in the World, the Massachusetts Governor's Award for Entrepreneurial Spirit, Start-up Woman of the Year, Business Week’s top 10 designers, Fast Company's Fast 50 Champions of Innovation, technology and innovation awards from Fortune, CIO, and Info World Magazines, and numerous environmental awards from national, state, and local governments and organizations.  Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, and was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow.

Articles and Videos:

Chase, Robin. "Configuring Transportation 2.0." Lecture. BIF-8 Summit. Boston. 19 Sept. 2012. Business Innovation Factory. Oct. 2012. Web. 9 Nov. 2012.

"EPA Smart Growth Speaker Series." EPA Smart Growth Speaker Series. N.p., Sept. 2009. Web. 09 Nov. 2012.

"Introducing Peers Inc." TED Blog. N.p., 28 June 2012. Web. 09 Nov. 2012.

Sketch notes on Peers Inc.:


Occupy University

The following is From Occupy University website*:

Occupy University is just what it sounds like – a university for everyone, run by the Occupy movement. We believe that learning should be collaborative and politically empowering.

How we want to learn
Some people seem to think that learning happens best when you have an authority at the front of the classroom, who deposits the truth in the minds of everyone else. This is called the ‘banking model’ of education. We don’t support the actions of big banks, and we don’t support the ‘banking model’ of education either.

Many of us have started to wonder what education might look like if we instead started by assuming that everyone – teachers, students, everyone – shares a basic equality of intelligence.  Of course we realize that people have different levels of knowledge and skill in particular areas, and we’re not questioning that. But what if we put a bit less emphasis on that, and instead put a bit more emphasis on our common intelligence? What if it turns out that people learn best as part of a less hierarchical, more collaborative process – one that takes place between equals?

At a minimum, this would mean that everyone should have a say in how their class proceeds.  In putting together our Occupy University, we’re trying to clear a space for this sort of thinking.

* "How We Want to Learn." Occupy University. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>.

Horizontal Pedagogy with Occupy University

As part of their work together, Occupy University (OccU) has experimented with different ways to teach and learn. This workshop engages participants in OccU’s concept of “horizontal pedagogy” or as they describe, “a method for thinking together and learning on the street.” Horizontal pedagogy is intended to be an educational translation of Occupy Wall Street (OWS)’s direct democracy and “horizontal” consensus practices. Direct democracy refers to a system where decisions are made with input from the whole group rather than with representatives of that group. OWS uses practices such as the human microphone and specific communication guidelines such as “twinkles” and “blocks” to ensure the importance and relevance of each individual voice. Horizontal pedagogy, likewise, creates the conditions for each participant to contribute equally to the teaching and learning environment. This workshop will provide a hands-on experience of horizontal pedagogical practices and procedures.

See how Occupy Wall Street uses “direct democracy” and horizontal consensus practices:

Horizontal Pedagogy procedures:
daleDale Stephens brings a unique perspective on the future of education, talent, and innovation.  An educational futurist and speaker on issues facing Generation Y, he delivers core insights about learning, technology, and success.  He is a sought-after education expert appearing on major news networks including CNN, ABC, NPR, CBS, Fox, and TechCrunch.  His work has been covered by the New York Times and New York Magazine to Fast Company and Forbes.  He has spoken around the world at high-profile events, from debating Vivek Wadhwa onstage at TED 2012 to lecturing at the New York Times to speaking to C-level executives at NBC Universal.

At 20, Dale leads because we’re paying too much for college and learning too little.  In just over a year, this global social movement has shifted the dialogue about the future of education from evolution to revolution.  Perigee/Penguin will publish his first book, Hacking Your Education, on March 5th, 2013.

In May 2011 Stephens was selected out of hundreds of individuals around the world as a Thiel Fellow, a program recognizing the top twenty-four entrepreneurs around the world under the age of twenty.  In addition to leading UnCollege, Stephens advises education and technology companies.  Rejected for being young or inexperienced, he has risen above skepticism to do what many said he couldn’t. Because he bridges the gap between teens and adults, he doesn’t just relate to both but shares their experiences, fears, and challenges.

From: Stephens, Dale. "Meet the Team." UnCollege. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Sept. 2012.


Stephens, Dale. "Learning Approach Uncollege." Speech. TEDx PLAZA CIBELES. Madird. 10 June 2011. YouTube. YouTube, 11 Aug. 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>.

Stephens, Dale. "College Is a Waste of Time." CNN. N.p., 03 June 2011. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>.

Ojalvo, Holly. "Why Go to College at All?" The Choice Blog. N.p., 2 Feb. 2012. Web. 19 Sept. 2012. <>.

Jeffrey R. Young, "Tech Therapy: Episode 103: Founder of ‘UnCollege’ Describes His Alternative to Campus," The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 6, 2013, 7:26 pm  


bannyBanny Banerjee is interested in realizing the design field’s potential in catalyzing systemic change. As design begins to grapple with increasingly complex problems, at the Stanford Design Program, he is working on developing radically new processes in which design thinking can be leveraged. His focus is to develop transdisciplinary processes to bring about rapid change and large-scale impact. He is the founder of the “Design for Change Lab” to address issues of sustainability, technology futures, and the dynamics of rapid change. Currently he is working with faculty from behavioral sciences, social economics, systems analysis, management science, engineering, and art to generate new platforms for design thinking.

Originally trained as an architect, Banny Banerjee holds graduate degrees in Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, and Design. In India, he worked in the fields of architecture, structural engineering, adobe housing for the rural poor, and low embodied energy building systems. After coming to the US, he worked in the fields of computer simulation for energy in complex systems, software engineering, mechanical engineering, product design, industrial design, furniture design, interactive art, and design strategy. His interests in the confluence between digital and physical experiences took him to Xerox PARC where he worked on ambient media and physical computing. Prior to Stanford, he worked for IDEO as designer and design strategist creating novel experiences and crafting futures for high technology companies.

As a person who likes to cross boundaries between disciplines, he has worked on projects related to architecture, energy analysis, software design, structural engineering, MEMs applications, nanotechnology, ambient media, object semiotics, space missions for Jet Propulsion Laboratories, low cost structural systems, sustainable design, appropriate technology for third world countries, organizational transformation, technology strategy, and technology art.

Despite his interest in technology and design theory, he likes to be elbow deep in design work. He is happiest in the presence of sharp minds, sharp cutting tools, wood dust, cutting oil, and the smell of solder.


Aaron Stoller is Assistant Director of the University Honors Program at NC State, and a doctoral candidate in interdisciplinary studies in the Alliance for Social, Political, Ethical and Cultural Thought (ASPECT) at Virginia Tech.

His research focuses on pedagogy in higher education, with an emphasis on issues in knowing and knowledge, the design of schooling environments, and the relationship between schooling and society. His work draws primarily on the philosophy of John Dewey, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Paulo Freire. His most recent essay in the Journal of Aesthetic Education (2013) is a justification for failure as a viable category within pedagogical theory.

He obtained a BA in English from Wake Forest University, an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Arizona, and an MDiv from Wake Forest University, where he received the Wait Fellowship.