MAKING CHANGE TOGETHER
Changemakers practicing the Team Academy method are transforming the way entrepreneurship is approached on college campuses around the globe. Our method is all about learning by doing, working together in teams, and larger teams of teams. Learners in this format abandon typical hierarchical academic models to directly engage with each other, surrounding communities, and international student peers practicing the same method. Through this network, students are able to collaborate within a flat structure to address global concerns and innovate. The method encourages participants to form small project teams around areas of personal interest, and also to meet in larger diverse “team companies” to brainstorm and problem-solve together with agility.
The Evergreen Changemaker Lab
The University of Iringa
The Evergreen State College is the first college in the United States to adopt this method of learning. The program teaching is called the Changemaker Lab or CML. Our team members met when Evergreen students began collaborating with The University of Iringa in Tanzania. The lab has incubated many innovative projects, but ultimately many students graduating or pursuing other coursework find it difficult to stay involved. We began asking ourselves “How do we stay connected to global student teams and committed to the practice of team learning while also progressing into the business world?” Our nonprofit, Global Team Entrepreneurship Changemaker Organization (GTECO) is aiming to help bridge this divide.
Our team is composed of students and recent graduates of the two colleges. We founded GTECO nonprofit together in the summer of 2021 in order to continue supporting project teams even when class is not in session, and to facilitate ongoing international collaboration beyond the college environment. Our initial focus has been to facilitate the US and Tanzania partnership, but we’re now excited to be organizing partnerships with several more international teams.