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Bitcoin Foundation 2014 University Outreach Program


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#1 Elizabeth Ploshay

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 03:42 PM

Team,

Let's keep the dialogue going on outreach to colleges and universities. Please start listing ideas of needs and we can also turn this into a best practices guide as well.

To follow-up on today's committee call, we recognize that there is a need for proactive outreach to colleges, universities and student groups to engage with students and professors and provide first hand information on Bitcoin.

Looking forward to getting this project launched.

#2 Ryan Charleston

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:39 PM

Great idea Elizabeth! I think the Foundation should also consider fundraising to start a Bitcoin Scholarship Fund and grant a few scholarships each year to graduate students who choose to write their thesis on something related to Bitcoin or crypto currencies. I was planning to eventually do this via Bitcorati, but either way I would love to see something like this happen and more engagement with Bitcoin at the university level!

#3 Will Pangman_2021

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 07:58 PM

I've seen this coming, and here it is: http://i.imgur.com/IG4ZDRn.jpg

You may remember Mark Williams as the guy who wrote this: http://www.businessi...down-10-2013-12
also: http://www.washingto...ercent-by-june/

Bitcoin's detractors are not only "beating us" to the college audiences, they are already on tenure at every university.  Now, they've apparently decided they're done ignoring bitcoin.  

I'm just writing to compel in us all the imperative of getting the youth and student populations excited about this unprecedented technology before the establishment types, who not-so loosely control students' academic fates and perhaps even professional opportunities, can quash their curiosity and turn them into talking-point mockingbirds (okay, that last part may be a little harsh, but it's not an inaccurate summary).

If there's anything I live and breathe for these days, it's out-pacing the dinosaurs of media and academia to properly introduce fresh minds to bitcoin and distributed tech systems as a whole.  

Let's win some young hearts and minds before it can be made more difficult to do so.  We need a well-coordinated coalition of formally recognized bitcoin ambassadors endorsed by the Foundation to make public appearances, speeches, presentations, and set information booths on the quads, at student unions, otherwise vacant lecture halls, entreat seemingly-disparate ideological student organizations, university department provosts, and establish a presence during notable campus-wide and nationwide events etc., etc.  March of Dimes is coming up...

I can't be the only one who sees this as the most crucial effort on which those of us interested in education-related bitcoin projects must focus.  ...Buehler?

#4 Sandy Ressler

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Posted 04 February 2014 - 10:21 PM

I don't think anyone is beating us to the college crowd. There is somewhat of a feeding frenzy of startups and venture cap people getting into this and I'd bet that young folks are excited by all the activity. From a technical side (for CS students) the networking and cryptography issues are fascinating. From an economic side and "smart contract" side the future possibilities of bitcoin as the first true application of modern networking to the financial system is also fascinating and both of these aspects, technical and economic aren't particularly controversial once the hype and misinformation is cleared away.

For outreach I'd suggest the foundation setup something similar to ACM's "Distinguished Speakers Program" http://dsp.acm.org/ as a mechanism of interacting with specific disciplines in universities. Basically ACM (Bitcoin Foundation) vets speakers with expertise and provides funding to send the speakers to the schools, usually interacting with the schools via "clubs" of some sort. I'm sure other large professional organizations have other methods of outreach and this is not something unique we are trying to do, we should copy others who successfully do this. In fact we (the foundation) should interact with various professional organizations and then we might be able to piggyback on their existing infrastructure.

#5 Mike Hayes

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 02:35 PM

The parallel to the ACM speaker program, and others of it's like, is interesting.  Of course here we would be dealing not just with some process of certifying academic and industry professionals, but somehow also doing that for young entrepreneurs.  Could be done, just pointing out that this makes it radically different than ACM.  Also makes it light years more appealing to the college mid twenties crowd.

On the conference call I mentioned "debates", for several reasons.  The first thing that occurs to me is the scenario of a fairly (or ultra) bright college kid debating an old-set-in-his-ways anti-bitcoin economics prof.

I may be way way off but I'd find that quite interesting.  Especially given the expectable ignorance levels of the prof.

But that's only one style of debate, there is also the higher level, higher prestige formats where distinguished people are brought in.

Scenario.

University XYZ presents...

Bitcoin:  Pandemic or Panacea?
Jeffry Tucker against Paul Krugman



IQ Squared debate style.  

Let the laughter begin.....

#6 Kenny Tan

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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:37 PM

I've been involved in student organizing for the past four years. I'd be happy to lend my experience in setting up a college ambassador program, brainstorming resources to provide to groups, suggested topics for discussion at regular meetings, and organizing student-oriented conferences.

#7 Elizabeth Ploshay

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Posted 14 March 2014 - 03:34 PM

View PostKenny Tan, on 13 March 2014 - 08:37 PM, said:

I've been involved in student organizing for the past four years. I'd be happy to lend my experience in setting up a college ambassador program, brainstorming resources to provide to groups, suggested topics for discussion at regular meetings, and organizing student-oriented conferences.

Kenny, excellent! Please reach out directly to Will Pangman as he is now spearheading this program.

Looking forward to getting you more involved in this effort!