Innovation That Matters

Peer-to-peer '(un)classes' match interest with passion


Unconferences have become increasingly common over the past decade or so, notable in particular for their low-key structure and participant-driven format. LaidOffCamp is one such example, and now—inspired, in fact, by that initiative—the concept has been applied to education with the launch of (un)classes. Aiming to provide a more casual and ad hoc way for people to learn something new during their limited free time, the (un)classes website serves as a sort of marketplace through which people interested in learning about a topic can find someone in their area with the passion to teach it. Anyone can create a new class listing on (un)classes, and anyone can sign up to be a student or a teacher. Topics tend to be lightweight and fun, offering a way to learn about things not traditionally taught elsewhere. Examples so far have included How to Create The Greatest Rock Song of All Time and How to Be a Digital Nomad—the only guidelines are that they shouldn’t be offensive or illegal. The website explains: “Ever wish you had the choice to get up off the couch and spend the afternoon learning to rock climb, cook, or maybe juggle? Well, we have and that’s why we came up with (un)classes. (un)classes are premised on the belief that everyone has *something* to teach and learning doesn’t always have to be a formal experience requiring big up-front commitments.” The result can be thought of as “educational snacking,” the site also points out—illustrating nicely what our sister site would call snack culture, in which consumers seek gratification in small, easy-to-handle bites. Offering entertainment, education, community and status skills, consumer-generated (un)classes have already been offered in cities around the world. One to localize for the lifelong learners in your neck of the peer-to-peer woods…? (Related: Free video lectures by top scholarsLocal lessons, advertised & reviewedCraft workshops for commitmentphobes.) Spotted by: Miriam Brafman



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