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Photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Universities aren’t adapting, and they need to

Learning has changed. With the growing ubiquity of online and alternative education, and the increasing globalisation of the tertiary sector, universities are facing competition in a way they never have before. Through micro-credential providers, students now have access to learning materials that they can pursue from any location, at any time, and at their own pace, coming from the world’s best educational institutions and companies. Through degree apprenticeships, young adults can begin working immediately, moving straight into the workforce without being saddled with crippling debt. …


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“Flame-Grilled Since 1954”, 2017

In 2017, Burger King ran a marketing campaign centred around the fact that their restaurants kept burning down. “Flame-grilled since 1954” was clever, funny, and original, and it resulted in near-universal acclaim. Since its publication, dozens of articles have been written about it (this, this, this and this, for example), and it won the Cannes Lions Grand Prix in Print for that year — one of the most lauded awards in advertising.

Burger King’s campaign is merely one example of what is now perhaps the most dominant trend in marketing: the ‘Death of Traditional Advertising’. Inspired by seminal articles such as Theodore Levitt’s Marketing Myopia, businesses have begun to shift towards a more customer-centric, value-driven approach, and interruption-based advertising has grown less and less relevant. …


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Cusco, seen from Pukamuqu mountain.

Our first impression of Cusco — former capital of the Peruvian Inca Empire — was a shortness of breath, the air thin and wispy as we stepped off the plane and into the Andes. The town ranges from 3400 to 3800 meters above sea level, a height at which oxygen levels drop to 10% — around half of their normal level — and for asthmatics like me, the first couple hours felt something like being waterboarded.


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Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Think of every non-fiction book that you’ve ever read. Every self-help guide, every biography, every treatise on success, or business, or life — all the ones cluttering your bookcase. We devote our time to them, spend hours pouring over them, because we feel that through them we might become better people — those possessed of a secret, arcane knowledge that lets us succeed, or see things in a new light, or achieve some sort of enlightenment.

And it’s true, to some degree. To take business as an example, we can thumb through Thiel, or Horowitz, or Ries, and, in the span of a couple of hours, pick up precepts of entrepreneurship that took them years of bitter, bloody work to realise, all the while tucked away in the corner of a library or cafe. We can learn from their mistakes, emulate their successes, discover insights through their advice, all without needing to be the constantly-stressed CEO of a multinational company, or the overworked founder of a tech startup. …

About

Finn Macken

I’m a researcher, analyst, and student at Minerva. I’m fascinated by system design, tertiary education, and the role that technology plays in shaping society.

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