Are You Ready to Win a $10m Prize by Developing a Solution to Educate Millions of Children?
There are almost 60m children around the world, who are not attending school. Of these, half are In Africa. The vast majority are girls.
This number is now increasing further because of conflict in Northern Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, and also because of the Ebola crisis in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
This is a terrible situation, which must be addressed. The question is how do we build enough schools, hire enough teachers, provide enough books, and other materials, to educate so many children?
Where will we get the money? And how long will it take before we have done all that; it might be decades, and meanwhile a whole generation’s future will have been lost!
Introducing the XPRIZE for Global Learning:
This is a calling to think of a way we could do education differently. How can we deliver education to such children without the school building, teachers and the fancy uniforms?
To win it this prize, you will need to have an open mind and literally “re-invent” education, from the way we know it today. A team will have to develop an “App”, which will make it possible for a child, who has never been to school, to learn to read, write and master basic arithmetic, without the aid of a teacher.
It will not be easy, but if you can do that you will walk away with $10m cash as the winner!
Prior to this, the five groups chosen as finalists in the competition will each receive $1m to work on their idea.
If you want to know the rules of the competition, then you will have to study it on the XPRIZE’s website: http://learning.xprize.org. The competition was launched last week, at the UN Headquarters.
Schooling and Education are 2 different things and both are in my friend’s words: “seriously broken!”. I think it is time to completely re-invent education and what it means to be educated.
Access to quality education remains very expensive. Even the people with access to ‘schools’ are not getting the education.
What if we could change all that? I still believe that practical solutions to our problems cannot be imported, a Demola, Chiazor, Tosin or Ejeyi has to arise and get it done.
To motivate you, $10 million is waiting.
Watching The World
The solutions to our problem will not come from abroad, it has to come from within us.
A little confession: before September 2014, I have NEVER used Google Maps before. Not for anything practical anyway.
I did a lot of traveling in September, far beyond my comfort zones and then for the first time, I was really able to see places the way outsiders will see them and then I experienced in first person how difficult it was to get useful information about places around me and actually how to get there.
Google Maps is doing a good job, but it full of errors and using it to get around using public transportation is not easy, it is just not so helpful. You can not effectively use it to move around if you are not driving your own car.
I am a firm believer in the idea of building products and services for a well defined target audience, if you set out to start your business with a target audience in mind, you can better customise the business offering to meet their needs. If you set out with the big idea of building your business to serve everyone in the world, it will be so generalist that no one in particular might even find it useful.
It was great then to find Roadpreppers, a web-based app that looks to provide step-by-step navigation for public transportation commuters in Lagos, in a language they can relate to. When searching for places on RoadPreppers, it informs exactly which buses to take and which bus-stop to alight. No engineer at Google (which is based in the USA) can think up something like that.
We need more locally developed applications, we need more locally thought out ideas that will positively enhance how we live, work and play. The apps we import from abroad do not effectively tackle our challenges here which includes poor Internet access for example.
Everyday, we read about yet another photo sharing app or chat app launching featuring exactly the same features as the others before them. At a point I joked that the difference between the various chatting apps was their logo and colours, I wondered if we had seen it all… then I found SideTalk, a new chatting app available on Android only for now. SideTalk brings an interesting innovation to the game that makes it stand out: SideTalk works without the internet, it does not use your data!
SideTalk uses your phone’s bluetooth to send and receive messages. It is easy to see a lot of use cases for something like this:
I wonder why I have not thought up something like this before! Of course, this will not be useful to everyone and it does not need to. But I am sure it is a chat app that will appeal to the data-less folks out there. SideTalk is a brilliant example of what can happen if we sit down to think about how we can build experiences people can relate to and find useful.
This is localised innovation and going forward, if your business offerings are not relevant enough to your target audience, if you cannot feel their pain the way RoadPreppers and SideTalk has demonstrated, you are on your own.
Watching The World
(Source: UNESCO. I will discuss these numbers in tomorrow’s Post. Tune in)
In a flash, I saw it… a principle that had the potential to turn my life around forever!
I can create my own reality! Suddenly, I understood that I was no longer subject to the same laws as everyone else, I could create my own reality! Wow! Let me explain…
“Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” – John 14:6 (KJV)
Here we see Jesus making quite an audacious claim to be THE WAY, and THE TRUTH and THE LIFE, what exactly do these words even mean?
Things get really interesting when we look up that same scripture in other translations
“Jesus: I am the path, the truth, and the energy of life” – John 14:6 (The Voice edition)
Aha! A new word: ENERGY of life, that means the energy to run through life does not come by eating and drinking, it comes from something else.
The Recovery Version of that scripture is the one that resonated the most with me and the main basis of today’s #TMP.
“Jesus said to him, I am the way and the reality and the life” – John 14:6 (Recovery version)
This translation replaced the word TRUTH with REALITY. Which means that Jesus is my reality, not what the news defines as my reality, not what the economy says it is… But whatever Jesus says it is!
Cool, isn’t it? But that is not all!
From John 1:1 – 14, it gets much more interesting, John uses the Greek word logos to describe Jesus “in the beginning,” or before creation and time began. Logos means WORD, but specifically it means the spoken word or a statement. Jesus is God’s SPOKEN WORD, according to John.
Therefore, if Jesus is the WORD and we have our BIBLE which also contains the WORD of GOD, I therefore feel our task is simple! Using the WORD of God, which is contained in our BIBLE, anybody can create his own REALITY! Anyone can get the ENERGY to go through life and find the path of ultimate illumination.
Let us take a clue from our Father, the one who created ALL things.
In the beginning, He found out that the heavens and the earth that he had created had totally broken down. The bible reports that He found it FORMLESS, EMPTY and DARKNESS was over the surface of the deep.
Is this not a surprising thing, how can God create something FORMLESS, EMPTY and DARK? This shows us that some other things had happened… But what happens next is quite remarkable; God spoke!
Like you would have done, God also spoke. But He didn’t start to complain and accuse whoever wrecked the havoc, He didn’t start to cry and whine and make revenge plans – all a complete waste of His precious time. He simply declared what he wanted to see: LIGHT!
So, would you like to change your reality?
React to life the way God did, when you see things you do not like spring up around you. Do not react as if you saw it, instead declare what you want with your own mouth! Put the WORD of GOD in your mouth, boldly declare the WORD of GOD because it is the WORD of God that ought to create your own reality as a child of God.
Your reality is not defined by the things you can see or even perceive, your reality should be created by what you say with your own mouth and careful steps the declarations will then lead you to do.
With Jesus; which is the SPOKEN WORD of God in your own mouth, you can create anything you would like to see. If God could use it to create everything we can see now, I do not for one second doubt its efficacy!
You should try it! This new week, every morning make BOLD declarations from the bible, declare that you want to see LOVE, JOY. You should also call in some millions of money you know?
A fantastic exercise I now do often is to call in ideas and money everyday; ideas rule the world and I need money to build my ideas. Simple!
So, would you like to change your reality? I am sure you now know what to do.
(You might want to upload today’s #TMP into your mind)
One of the key to creativity is expressing yourself, confidently. You have to keep expressing yourself regardless of what others say.
I believe that everybody was born creative, but as we grow older we get scolded and educated and bullied out of our creativity. Truly, the creative adult is the child that survived.
Albert Einstein is regarded by some as the smartest man ever to walk upon this planet, Albert came up with a lot of theories and ideas that have been used to really advance mankind. Albert was also known for his child-like inquisitiveness, he asked stupid questions like if I run at the speed at light, what would I see?
By expressing himself and keeping on finding expressions for his mind, he could go on to re-arrange things as he felt.
You also can greatly improve upon your creative levels by expressing yourself. Where is that curiosity and imagination you used to have as a kid? Why did you stop writing stories, poems and articles? They may be horrible then, but over time you become better and better.
Just express yourself!
Buy a notebook or start a free blog, start writing, drawing, doodling, jotting any thing that pops into your head. By continuously expressing yourself, you embrace your inner voice and it will shine into the real world
Watching The World
Everybody would love to become really good at something; playing games, graphic designing, marketing, public speaking or writing.
It turns out that you can actually become a master at anything, all you have to do is practice. You become very good at performing a skill with practice. I believe it was Bruce Lee who famously said “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times”.
Are you getting enough practical experience in your chosen line of work?
Learning by doing is still the best way to learn anything. That is why to completely master anything you need to get into the practice as soon as possible. You see, the only way to learn how to ride a bicycle is not by reading books and watching videos – It is by getting your hands on a bicycle and trying to ride it, you try and fail first time, the you go read some books or talk to an expert or whatever, then you go right back to try again! Gradually over time, you realise you can now ride.
So, enough with all the analysis and planning and get out there already! Complete mastery is available only when you are brave enough to step up. Once you defeat that overwhelming fear that stops you from getting started, you realise that you can get it done! Complete mastery is possible, you just have to keep practising it!
Watching The World
Do you have a vision 2020?
I know the whole vision 2020 thing has gone berserk! But I am actually seriously asking if you have a real long term vision for your life that you are working towards.
It is really mind bugging to discover that so many people just drift through life without any concrete plans of any sort, they simply expect and trust that “everything will be ok”. You need to have a vision.
Where will you be in 2020? What will you be doing? Can you start actually making moves towards it?
I believe it is important to have such a vision in place, if you are a drummer boy today; what will you be doing when you are 60? Drummer man?? I hope that is an effective analogy for what I want to explain next: If you are a website designer as a 18 year old whiz-kid, what will you be doing at 60? Will there still be a need for website designers??
This is the challenge many teenagers have when they drop out of secondary school to focus on things like sewing or hair dressing. Hair dressing can get you some money for now, but without proper education, you are doomed in the long run.
This is also the challenge the smart undergraduate also faces, just because you can design websites and make a few apps does not mean you are set for life. You might need to read the #TMP editions about “Barriers to Entry“ and “The extra mile“ in order to understand better what exactly I am talking about. In the long run, are you set? Are you educated enough to weather the storm of life?? Are you really going to set out in life and jeopardize the life of people who have to trust you (parents, spouse and kids) by depending on luck?
As technology becomes better and better, more jobs will be lost, but so many new jobs will also be created. The “scary” futures predicts that machines will drive us around, cook our food, barb our hair, secure our houses, schedule our appointments and clean our streets and house. They will not stop at that, in a few years I expect machines to do professional jobs like designing houses, building houses, handling company accounts and auto performing experiments in the laboratory. There are already numerous debates online about the how humans will lose jobs in mass and job security is now becoming a myth, yet I remain extremely confident that no machine invented by a man can kick me out of a job, because I remain 1,000 steps ahead of any machine.
Having a firm vision for your life allows you to transition from era to era, staying relevant and moving on to the next chapter of your life. For some people, the first stage of their life might be to get rich, quickly and then use the rest of their life to change the world. This is exactly what Bill Gates is doing, rather than sitting down at Microsoft to keep inventing software and making more money, he is content to devout his brilliant mind and voice towards changing the world in another way. (I do have a beef with him for not staying on at Microsoft, but that will have its own Post 😉 )
Here is a game Sam Adeyemi taught me to play, he asks you to close your eyes and go 5 years into your future… What would it look like? Avoid vague ideas like “I will be a successful business man”, that is actually crap. You want to be specific!
Something specific might be along the lines of:
With something so specific in mind, you can easily create an action plan and you are now fueled up to go chase your dreams. There is a mental picture in mind.
What is your vision 2020?
Watching The World
“Do it tomorrow”
That is terrible advice, definitely. But then, I shared it for free, at absolutely no cost to you. Yet, I cannot shake off this feeling that even if I sent you some correct advice as I have been doing for some time on #TMP, I some how suspect you may still not act upon it.
People mainly tend to act more on ideas they did not get for free, ideas that cost them something to get. The question then is that do people act on ideas merely because they paid for it?
And are the free advice shared any less valuable?
Certainly not, but people sometimes need a motive to be fired up to act upon things. And money has always been a great way to keep people motivated.
If in doubt, think about all the free online courses and classrooms that have sprung up on the internet, have they really led to more brilliant minds on the streets? I read that more than 90% of people who sign up for such online courses often do not finish it.
Think about all the daily broadcasts and posts on BBM, Whatsapp and Facebook that flies into our day, most people now hardly pause to even check it out.
I believe everybody in the knowledge sharing economy needs to come up with a fine balance between giving away information for free and locking down information behind paid walls. None of these extremes are useful in getting the work done.
Watching The World
One mistake we all have made is that when we dream up projects, and businesses. We are so fixated on what we want to do that we don’t think properly about the goals of the target audience.
We have to play to their fantasies. Its not about boring them with facts and features. Talk about benefits, talk about how your service will help them achieve their dreams because that is what you really should be doing: making dreams come true.
Always play to their fantasies; do not bore your audience with your tech know-how, simply explain to them how exactly your offers will assist them in achieving their dreams.
You should now reflect, how can I present my offers as helping people fulfill their dreams?
Watching The World
You currently receive #TMP inside your inbox everyday. That is not enough… The contents need to make a transition into your mind.
Unless the principles and ideas discussed here somehow makes it into your mind, it does not count!
Not only #TMP of course, but every useful book, video and audio resources you have ever consumed. The essence of reading these things is not so that you can nod in agreement and high five the authors, the real essence, what we love to see is a changed you.
The first step to this is by allowing the principles and ideas discussed here to make the jump away from your email inbox and into your mind!
Doing this is also ridiculously easy; all you have to do is to read and re-read and re-read any #TMP you find most appealing to you. Personally, I also read and re-read the daily post until I finally begin to understand it and then realise what exactly I also need to do. (Yes, I am also a #TMP subscriber, I could not resist the juicy posts! 😀 )
A rough guide to assist you in putting it in mind:
The fundamental law of teaching is repetition, we have to repeat and repeat until we finally understand the subject matter and we have stored enough data in our mind to make it happen.
Watching The World
Boko Haram strikes
Collapsed church building
…and hundreds other things are heating up the nation right now. But in the midst of all this, we need to sit still and look within; what is God saying? What is next on Nigeria’s divine agenda?
It turns out that Nigeria’s prophetic future is very bright.
Although, if I were you, I would expect things to get a lot darker first. That is just the way it is… It is always DARKEST before DAWN.
A lot of men have been moved by the Holy Spirit to prophesy and all their prophesies are all adding up. The gist of the matter is that God wants to take back the world, He wants to raise up an end-time army that will counter the onslaught of the devil and for whatever reasons, Nigeria is at the center of His plans.
God said He has gone round the world and used every race on the planet, from the Israelites to the Asians, Americans, Europeans and now over to Africans.
Mankind is about to experience a powerful move of God that dwarfs any previous one, even the acts written in the scriptures. God is indeed ready to perform acts that eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, things that are yet to come into the mind of men.
We are about to enter into an era of outrageous wealth, profound wisdom and jaw-dropping wonders. A lot of inventions are cooking up in the spirit realm, ready for download.
The devil and his cohorts are also aware of this future and they are fighting it, I suspect that is why Nigeria has had so much wahala over the years, but no more! That future great men of God has predicted is now at hand.
I believe it is now the personal responsibility of everybody to wake up and prayerfully key into what God is about to do. The destiny is multi-faceted; it has so many dimensions.
Your prayer point for this season is:
“Lord, whatever you are doing this season. Please do not do it without me!”
Cry out to God and let him draft you into His brand new move.
We are in the end-times, certainly. We have seen some great evil been unleashed upon the world in recent years, and much more is coming.
Ever since this Ebola case started, I have not been happy; not because I am scared of contracting the disease (I cannot), but because I am willing to take part blame, if Omnific Works R & D was up and running, one of the geniuses in my company would have found a cure. Serious!
And what about YOU that refused to go setup schools up in Northern Nigeria? Your chronic procrastination allowed the devil to creep up north and hand them suicide bombs instead.
We all need to sit up, develop our mental capacity and prayerfully ask God for our own role in the coming move. God wants to do something serious in this season, but He needs your help, He needs vessels that He can use.
I am saying develop your mental capacity because the more mentally developed you are, the more useful you are to God (and mankind)
So, away from all the negative news we have been bombarded with, some other things are going on. This is a great time to sit still before God and listen to what He really wants you to do; Nigeria is going to fulfill its divine destiny and it is Nigerians that will make it happen. I certainly will be a key part of making it happen.
Once again, now is not the time to travel outside Nigeria and look for greener pastures without plans to return. We can build up this great nation step by step.
All great men in history have always been called. You need to go beyond just living day to day; find your higher calling and embrace it!