Knowmads International Business School opened in Amsterdam in February 2010. We had no building, no program, no curriculum and no accreditation. What we did have was a dedicated team and a vision: to bring in bright individuals looking to create their own job, business or living, and ready to help co-design their own school as part of the process.
Twelve students enrolled from all corners of the world – South Korea, USA, Brazil, Switzerland, Germany and the Netherlands – and the doors opened.
We started on an exploratory program mixing business assignments, workshops from incredible teachers, and talks from international experts like Itay Talgam and Seth Godin. After two months the first business assignment came in: KLM had a challenge they wanted the students to work on. The second assignment quickly followed for Royal Haskoning.
We had started, but that doesn’t mean it all went well. KLM was not fully satisfied with the results (although they asked students back for more of their enthusiastic facilitation); keeping the kitchen clean without a paid cleaner was and still is a constant challenge and learning for the students.
Since the first Tribe started, Knowmads has continued to evolve. ‘We Educate Changemakers’ so learning and change are what it is all about. Everyone is involved: Students and staff co-create the program, manage the building and direct where the Tribes are heading. It is an ongoing dance between chaos and order as students are facilitated to design their own learning journey.
Self development, self reflection, playfulness, guts, knowledge, networking, marketing, organization skills, cooperation skills and global insight were part of the program from the outset. We have never just taught or given examinations to test knowledge.
Learning here is all made part of the experience, with real-life consequences and real-life businesses that make clear what does and what doesn’t work. And because it is real life, projects and results can be ambiguous. It’s all part of the process.
One of our slogans is “Welcome Home”. In the last six years, we have worked with 14 Tribes. There are over 100 Knowmads alumni spread across the world and we have created an active international community of committed experts and trainers.
Welcome home to all those diverse talents and gifted people looking for a school that prepares you for the reality of the 21st century.