Editor’s Note: Due to uncertainty surrounding Dr. Peterson’s familial responsibilities — to ensure we can provide the level of attention and commitment to this project that it deserves, we have suspended the second cohort. We will relaunch recruitment in the early Fall, and successful applicants will start their journey as Fellows in February.
A few months ago, Dr. Peterson and his team had the opportunity to watch as a group of impressive individuals made a serious commitment. By all standards, this group was already successful, but they chose to dedicate a year of their lives to compete with the best and aim for something greater. They chose to want more — to further improve their lives, and the lives of their families and communities. The group I am speaking of is the inaugural class of Peterson Fellows at the Acton School of Business. As they enter the closing half of their journey with Acton however, Dr. Peterson’s partnership with the MBA is just getting started. They have already begun to audition the second cohort.
Last fall, Dr. Peterson started down this path with Acton’s co-founder and Master Teacher, Jeff Sandefer, because they held a common goal: to reform the education system. Over 150 years ago, the modern version of our education system was cobbled together. Since then, these institutions have increased the number of facts students are expected to learn, but done little to improve on the way in which they do the learning. They are making the assumption that 150 years ago, they got it right. One the of the few guarantees we have in life is that 99% of the time we will be wrong. It is only through perpetual testing of our beliefs, facts, and ways of life, that we are able to move towards something that resembles truth.
This calcification is costing us. We are signing away the futures of our children, in a way that is much more insidious than the weight of a dollar value debt. One of the greatest victories of the Western Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions was that they gave humanity a stable platform from which they could see what was coming on the horizon. Control over the immediate environment uncoupled our fates from the whims and will of nature. The assurance that if we acted in a certain way, we would reliably produce a specific outcome, meant we could look even further into time and choose our future. Improving the way we do things fundamentally gives us greater freedom. When we refuse to improve the process, while growing the burden of the detail, we risk returning to a world of complete chaos. When it becomes more important to know facts, so they can govern what you do next, versus knowing what you want, and building off of yesterday to achieve it, you produce a life without purpose or meaning. It is through the binding of our actions from the past to the future, that we developed consciousness, and had the space to even think about things in the form of facts.
We don’t know the right way to have students learn. If you think you do, you’re either arrogant or naïve. Improvements in process begin at the level of the individual. You improve a system by watching the intelligence that is implicit in the actions on the ground floor. You become better by watching what accelerates progress towards a goal, and what produces failure. This is as true in your personal life, as it is in institutions. But what this ultimately means is, Dr. Peterson and his team need more help; more eyes on the ground floor, and more brilliant minds building and testing solutions.
Over the past two years, Dr. Peterson has received thousands of generous offers from individuals volunteering their services. While he is grateful, at this juncture he and Acton are looking for a very specific set of skills and attributes. Dr. Peterson and Acton are standing on the starting line of an ambitious mission. They are attempting to build and grow a new way of learning and educating. A new system. A new civilization. This is an entrepreneurial problem. A problem for the diligent executors. They need leaders with vision and originality in thought, to take on complex projects and run with them. But they also need leaders with humility so they continue to learn, particularly from those on the ground floor. They are looking for project managers, UX designers, digital sales experts, and technical writers and storytellers, to help him build the online platforms that will reach millions.
This is where the Acton MBA comes in. It is their refiner’s fire. Ranked by Princeton Review as having “the most competitive MBAs” in America, seven years in a row, Acton has a reputation for developing entrepreneurs, and galvanizing hard-workers. It is a program that was constructed with the end in mind and a value on time. At Acton, you learn from proven entrepreneurs, using real-world, hands-on problems, simulations, and case-studies. While there are no guarantees you will be hired upon graduation by Dr. Peterson’s team, or that of Acton’s, the program’s requirement for excellence means opportunity will be at your door should you choose to commit.
Candidates will be selected through an online application process that assesses intellectual ability, academic background, personality, and strategic philosophy.
From July 29th to December 13th, 2019, successful applicants will complete the online portion of the program. Then from January 6th to May 16th, 2020, they will come together in Austin, Texas, to complete the in-person semester. To improve program accessibility, Dr. Peterson and Acton are using a pay-it-forward financing model. You will avoid student debt, but they ask that you contribute after graduation, so others can follow.
Note: An undergraduate degree is not required for admission. Those without a completed bachelor’s degree will be awarded a certificate stating their completion of the requirements for the MBA program in lieu of the MBA degree.