Peer Academy: Disrupt, Educate and Transform by The Verb

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A great write up on the value of Peer Academy for Not-for-profits. Click here to view the original article.

By Mim DiNapoli | March 18, 2015.

The world has tried to tackle climate change through the UN and businesses, but others are responding to the need to better equip those working in the space. Enter Peer Academy.

The brainchild of consultant and change maker Onur Ekinci, Peer Academy has emerged as a cost-effective skills-sharing workshop hub. Operating principally from three locations, The Henley Club and Peer Lab in Melbourne’s downtown and The Village in the Docklands, the initiative has caught the attention of the non-for-profit sector.

Peer Academy describes its business model as “disruptive”, a new break in the tired landscape of professional development.

Where Peer Academy differs from other professional development programs is what makes it interesting. For one, there’s the uber-sleek layout of their website, where individuals and organisations can browse the offerings. Classes on offer range from graphic design to Twitter politics, team mediation to prototyping. A veritable pic’n’mix. The market is demand-driven; individuals come to Peer Academy with their workshop idea, and, if enough show interest, they can host a session out of the spaces available.

Today, organisations seek out those whose skills are interdisciplinary. In turn, Peer Academy is one savvy response to the changing needs of the activist community. It is no longer viable to rest on a degree alone. Instead, people understand the advantage of having multiple areas of expertise

Ekinci says that while the initiative is still in pilot-stage, Peer Academy hopes to expand to the point where there will be a constant rotation of people in and out: “Essentially, the building will become simply a shell for the activities going on.”

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