Montessori for Startups: Announcing The Swan Factory Incubator

May 27, 2016 – Santa Clara, CA.  The Swan Factory is excited to pre-announce a radical reimagining of school and work for the 21st century: The Swan Factory Incubator (TSFI). TSFI is a multi-generational micro-school for entrepreneurs, built on the Triversity model.  TSFI extends self-directed Montessori education, which optimizes for student engagement, to subsume both secondary and tertiary education by incorporating Challenge-Based Learning and Lean Startup methodologies. Our goals is to prepare learners of all ages (pre-schoolers to retirees) to launch — not just startups — but the business, non-profit, project, or career of their dreams.

As Seth Godin points out in Stop Stealing Dreams, our current industrial-era schooling obsesses over four capabilities that are becoming less and less valuable over time:

  1. Knowing facts (vs. knowing how to ask the right questions)
  2. Doing your own work (vs. doing the work necessary to become a high-performance team)
  3. Following instructions (vs. following your passion to do work that matters)
  4. Becoming well-rounded (vs. becoming T-shaped)

In a world filled with technology and information, we believe the primary job of education is to provide learners with the support, social capital, and skills necessary to succeed at all of life.  That is why we want to takes both students and teachers out of a hierarchical bureaucracy and embed them inside an entrepreneurial network, where everyone is not merely allowed but expected to explore better ways to ensure lifelong success.

In particular, TSFI is designed from the ground up to enable 21st-century learning outcomes by continually modeling and nurturing the four holistic “A.C.E.S.” competences:

  1. Agency: I choose to take responsibility for what happens in my world
  2. Curiosity:  What I do not yet know is more important than what I already know
  3. Empathy:  I value other people’s reality as I value my own
  4. Stamina:  I must embrace healthy pain to avoid destructive pain

We intend to develop TSFI into a full-fledged school replacement via a phased rollout over the next fifteen months:

  1. August 5, 2017:  Live public announcement at Passion Talks International
  2. Winter, 2018: Once-a-week after school pilot program
  3. Easter, 2018: Week-long Spring Break day camp
  4. Spring, 2018: Daily after school program
  5. Memorial Day, 2018:  Week-long residential family camp
  6. Summer, 2018: Full-time day camp
  7. Fall, 2018:  First full-time cohort of learners and entrepreneurs

We are currently seeking investors, Montessori teachers, and education partners to help us make this a reality.  In particular, we intend to enable cross-registration with local universities and private schools, to give their students, teachers, and administrators the chance to experience this exciting new approach first-hand.  We would also love to hear from interested students, parents, and entrepreneurs about what you are looking for from TSFI.

You can learn about the history and motivation of TSFI from Dr. Ernie’s pitch on the Mediating Trump podcast.

To get involved or find out more, please contact us at (408) 657-9267 [408-65-SWANS] or info@theswanfactory.com.

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