To create a new university model that accelerates the solutions brought forth by the next generation through world-class training, networks, and mentorship from the global leaders, entrepreneurs, and thinkers.
Protect your Courage
We as people are driven by an unshakable desire to make the future better than the past. Yet doing so requires great strength in the face of challenges and unshakable courage. We believe that it is up to us at Watson to protect the courage of the scholars as they trailblaze their paths and our collective future.
Treat Everyone like the Messiah
There is a tale of a monastery that was about to close with just a few disheartened monks remaining. As a last effort, the monastery invited a Rabbi from a nearby village to witness the despair of the monks and see if anything could be done. The Rabbi sat down for lunch with the three leaders of the monastery and said, “I don’t know much about your religion, but I’m pretty sure one of you is the Messiah.” Afterwards he promptly left. These few words changed the entire attitude of the monks and the culture of the monastery. Just a few short months later the monastery was thriving. Why? Because everyone started treating each other like they were the Messiah. We strive to do the same at Watson.
Return on Relationships (ROR)
We believe at the root of all progress are powerful relationships between people be it partners, friends, co-founders, or family. Therefore, rather than thinking in terms of return on investment (ROI), Watson thinks in terms of return on relationships (ROR). What if each and every day of our lives, we made decisions based on what was going to strengthen the relationships that are most important to us?
Strong partnerships are critical to Watson. Partnerships with universities, mentors, companies and organizations in the communities where we work, and most importantly students. For those partnerships to be successful, they must be so truly beneficial to everyone involved that the partnership is advancing and serving the mission of each individual and institution that we work with. In the design of our program and partnerships we don’t settle for anything less than truly symbiotic relationships.
Address the Root Cause
Like the layers of an onion, we peel back the layers of problems until we get to the root cause. In our case, the root cause is recognizing that to solve the toughest challenges facing humanity from climate change to poverty, the first place to start is by transforming education as we know it.
We believe in creating sustainable, system-wide change. Once the education system itself has been changed, generations of students to come will forever go through a transformed educational experience. Therefore, underlying everything we do are strong partnerships with key decision makers, influencers, and leverage points in the system.
When Muhamad Yunus wanted to spread the model of micro-finance, he knew making it proprietary would only limit access to finance for the poorest of the poor. He instead “copylefted” his model to make it intentionally open source and accessible to anyone, anywhere. We’re doing the same for education. All of Watson’s curriculum and processes are open source and we encourage groups and individuals to replicate and innovate on Watson’s model globally.