Eric Glustrom

Ashoka Fellow
Kampala, Uganda
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Eric Glustrom was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Eric is dedicated to transforming the education system of Uganda so that it equips young people with the leadership skills necessary to become changemakers in their communities. His organization, Educate!, addresses the core problem of an outdated education system that has not produced the leadership needed to resolve social ills in Ugandan society.

Educate! works to transform the system from within, rather than creating alternative schools or simply increasing access to education. It partners with schools to provide a two-year social entrepreneurship program that shifts the educational focus from rote memorization to leadership development. This program transforms the educational experience of students with an opportunity to develop and lead their own enterprises, along with long-term opportunities to receive and give mentorship. By strategically working from within the education system, Eric has shown how it can be transformed without creating an entirely new one.

Eric is using the life-changing impact that his work is having on ordinary secondary school students to generate reform of the education system as a whole. To this end, he has successfully advocated for the addition of his experiential, social entrepreneurship program to the national curriculum. Additionally, in a country which puts heavy emphasis on standardized examination at the end of secondary schools, Educate! is introducing a practice-based exam that recognizes student entrepreneurship rather than repetition, with the support of the Ugandan government. Eric hopes to use the results of an ongoing impact evaluation to help spread the Educate! model across the continent, and beyond.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

Updates

n 2013, Eric started Watson University, a new university model in Boulder, Colorado for student innovators, leaders and entrepreneurs aged 18-23 that includes master courses from the world’s foremost leaders, entrepreneurs, and thinkers including a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, one of Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people and more; intensive mentorship; and training in the entrepreneurial skills of empathy, creativity, resilience, grit, bootstrapping, team building and fundraising. Watson helps students develop and advance solutions to the toughest challenges facing the world. Students can come to Watson in Boulder for a two year, accredited Bachelor's of Science in Entrepreneurship through our collaboration with Lynn University, a semester program, or summer Institutes in the Philippines and Philadelphia.

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