When things get messy and complex and we feel stuck, what do we do?
Do we pursue a bachelor’s degree each time we need to learn something new?
We turn to someone we know; we pick someone’s brain. We talk to someone who’s been there before.
What if a conversation was the missing link in our modern learning toolkit, through which we could all become each other’s teachers and share experiences, successes, failures, and the lessons we’ve learned along the way? That question is the genesis of e180’s story.
There is a big difference between education as something that’s being done to you in comparison to learning, which is something you can only do to yourself–no matter how hard anyone else tries to teach you. You just can’t help a flower to grow by pulling on it, as they say.- Christine Renaud, co-founder and CEO of e180
In 2011, Christine Renaud took her background in education and her belief in the transformative power of collaborative learning, and with the help of co-founder Alexandre Spaeth, created e180. Based on the original magic of algorithmic matchmaking platforms, e180’s mission was (and remains!) to transform the way that humans learn with collaborative learning. Hint: this means more than just technology!
e180 soon grew from a public-facing knowledge-sharing platform, Braindater, into Braindate, a platform for knowledge-sharing specifically designed for events and organizations. Braindate is now a staple of participant learning experiences at events all over the world. Braindates are one-on-one or small group knowledge-sharing conversations that participants book with each other on the Braindate platform leading up to an event; these conversations are related to shared interests or common challenges.
More than that, braindates are all about encouraging community members around the world to share their knowledge with one another; to help flip the learning script, so that events are no longer just about listening to the person standing up on stage. Instead, learning becomes empowering: it’s about tapping into the genius that already surrounds you wherever you are, and realizing the agency that we each have, by virtue of our own knowledge and experiences, to transform each other.
Before e180 dove into the event industry and started to work with some of the most innovative organizations around the world, their first product “Braindater” came to life in the coziest corners of Montreal cafes, airports, and more. e180’s is a story that is woven deeply throughout the fabric of Montreal itself: they drew on the power of the city’s beautiful public spaces to launch a grand learning experiment. In fact, the very first braindates relied on the particular character of Montreal to thrive: the spirit of innovation, community, curiosity, and joy is at the core of their work.
Today, e180’s mission does not stop at events. They want to radically change the way humans learn, throughout the world. And they won’t stop until it happens!