We often write here on the Praxis blog about things we say we’re against.
Don’t go to college.
Don’t rely on your resume in the job process.
Don’t blindly follow the conventional wisdom.
It might be easy to see some of this and ask yourself “what is Praxis for?” I answered this question on the latest episode of Praxis Night Shift, a late night talk show I launched with my friend and Praxis Education Director TK Coleman saying “Praxis is a delivery mechanism for a particular view of the world that we want to see made real.”
In other words, Praxis isn’t primarily “against” anything.
We aren’t “against college.” We’re for expanding options for young people. We’re for self-directed education and learning while doing.
We see a world where education and production happen at the same time and where young people pursue what makes them come alive rather than the often arbitrary standards set by third party institutions.
We aren’t against classroom learning. We’re for an a la carte approach to your education — learn what you need and want to learn. Some of that might include a college course, but it will also include resources outside of college. Praxis exists to create these resources and to help you create them for yourself.
We aren’t against college debt. We’re for thinking critically about what you want and making the best decision accordingly.
We aren’t against the standard career path. Praxis is simply the recognition that, more and more, you are your company at a fundamental level. You are responsible for actively creating the brand, the product, and the service that is you.
The future is uncertain and companies, even entire industries, will come and go. Praxis is for constantly investing in the one thing that is certain — yourself. We recognize that the best asset is not a list of boxes you check for a particular job or field, but the skills, experiences you accumulate, and most importantly, the portfolio that you create as you go through your life.
We’re for taking charge of your career, sidestepping barriers and industry norms and building your job over and over. Praxis participants are often at once startup marketers and philosophers, novelists and software developers, photographers and business men and women.
We aren’t against certifications. We believe the best “certificates” are the value you create. We’re for a “show, don’t tell” world where people demonstrate competence, reliability, and skill through a constant process of creating projects and shipping them in the real world.
Rather than taking a course to get a certificate, Praxis participants create that course. Rather than studying for at test, Praxis participants write a book or record a podcast. Rather than taking a class on web design, Praxis participants build a website.
We aren’t against the world of ideas. We don’t recognize a distinction between ideas and practical reality. We don’t think it’s necessary for a young person to choose between a career in business and a career in the arts, sciences, or humanities.
We know both can reinforce the other and we work with our participants daily to blend the two.
The concrete details about the program have evolved over the last three years. We’ve refined, modified, improved, and grown spectacularly. One thing has remained constant, though.
At our core, Praxis is about creating free individuals.
We’ve helped over 150 participants take charge of their lives since we launched and the results have been beyond anything we could have imagined. From 17-year-old high school dropouts working at top positions in tech startups to artists turned entrepreneurs, we’re creating a community of people all around the world.
And here’s one more thing: we’re just getting started.