Sunday, December 28, 2014

The "Meat" of the Matter: For-Profit Peace Corps and Unmet Needs


by Dr. Ellen Brandt


As related previously, the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project's first priority for 2015 is getting the eight Ivies - followed by the rest of the top-tier university community - to set up plans for salvaging the economic fortunes of their own financially-at-risk graduates and alumni, many of whom are over age 40 and all of whom belong to the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" population.

As an adjunct to this part of the project, we hope we can find a permanent office for Bring Back the Meritocracy! on one of the eight Ivy campuses or as part of an All-Ivy office focused on financially-at-risk alums, possibly either in New York or Washington, D.C.

Our second big priority for 2015 is launching the first of what may eventually become several "new-old-style" venture capital funds focused on experienced and highly-educated entrepreneurs over the age of 40, working across a broad spectrum of business sectors and industries.

We will launch these venture funds in conjunction with respected and experienced venture capital groups - likely headed by or with principals who are themselves over age 40 - or 60 - or 80. And we will base the funds created within the offices of these venture capital groups, with Bring Back the Meritocracy! providing assistance, administration, publicity, and - one believes - a steady stream of competent, highly-educated, highly-experienced founders and early-stage entrepreneurs who hope to get funded.


The "Meat" of the Project


Exciting as the above endeavors should prove to be, they are admittedly not the "meat" of the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project in a long-term sense.

That "meat" - the overall project's main focus for what we hope will be literally decades to come - is two-fold: 1) encouraging and helping to initiate long-term research projects studying the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" in the United States and abroad and 2) applying that research by getting the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" population - estimated to number at least 400 million individuals worldwide - back to working at their full intellectual and creative capacity, thereby helping not only themselves, their communities, and their countries, but the entire world economy as well.

The long-term research component of Bring Back the Meritocracy! will be aimed at persuading distinguished researchers at universities, foundations, think tanks, corporations, international organizations, and media groups to start doing the studies we believe now urgently need to be done and assisting these researchers in every possible way.

The job creation portion of Bring Back the Meritocracy! will focus on launching various "For-Profit Peace Corps"-like entities, aimed at matching the current extremely large Talent Pool of the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" with "Unmet Need" development projects in the U.S. and abroad - crucially-needed development projects in manufacturing, infrastructure, education, healthcare, and social services.

Clearly, both of these long-term aims are complicated and difficult to achieve, requiring the support and assistance of a wide range of groups and constituencies.

We will take the first steps on this long and significant journey in 2015.


Now that we've outlined our Agenda for the coming year,  we once again urge readers who like what we're doing to send copies of the three-part Agenda blog sequence to others in their networks they believe should know about Bring Back the Meritocracy! and its positive implications for top-tier universities, higher education, venture capital, job creation, and international development.

We promise to give readers frequent updates on our progress over the coming months.

The next blog in this series will talk about the relationship between Meritocracy and Political Centrism, placing the core democratic value of Meritocracy within the context of our political life and the concept and collective vision of the American Dream.


Agenda 2015, Part One: All We Want For Christmas - and Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice: The Meritocracy Agenda, Part One:

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/all-we-want-for-christmas-and-chanukah.html

Agenda 2015, Part Two: Venture Capital Looks Backwards - and Forward: Time to Fund the Mature and Highly-Educated Once More:

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/venture-capital-looks-backwards-and.html




Read about and consider joining with us in the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project, a non-profit, non-monetized, non-partisan, and non-controversial long-term project helping the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" in the U.S. and abroad:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114091094386273464410/114091094386273464410/about/p/pub



 

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Venture Capital Looks Backwards - and Forward: Time to Fund the Mature and Highly-Educated Once More


by Dr. Ellen Brandt   

The second high-priority Agenda item for the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project in 2015 is persuading top-tier venture capital groups to launch "new-old-style" venture funds, focused on founders and early-stage entrepreneurs over the age of 40, and participating in the administration of such funds once they are launched.

We're calling these funds "new-old-style," because far from being an aberration, they represented the historical norm up to a very few years ago, when venture capitalists seem to have lost their collective sanity - or at least, their collective common sense - and began to focus way too large a part of their efforts on funding extremely young entrepreneurs, some still in their teens.

In conjunction with what can only be called a major age-shift in funding practices, the venture community also began collectively to shift much of its funding to software "apps," including gaming, in the process draining substantial funding from other worthy sectors and industries.

We are far from the only ones calling attention to what we believe has been a massive misallocation of capital. And that's a very good thing for the proposed efforts of Bring Back the Meritocracy! in this arena.

We've already received indications of strong interest from respected venture capitalists and expect this part of the project to appeal especially to venture capitalists who are themselves graduates of the Ivies and other top-tier universities - our main target "audience" - as well as those who are themselves over age 40 - or age 60 - or perhaps age 80.

Although we hope the launching of these "new-old-style" funds will be tied to the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project name, we believe it makes sense to base them at the offices of the venture capital group or groups which decide to work with us.

I would very much like to be named an administrator of such funds, working to publicize their existence and what they are doing and helping to guide their progress. But not being a venture capitalist myself, I don't wish to participate in the raising or administration of capital, nor in making decisions about fund allocation, although I'd love to be an observer.

In fact, like many of those who will read this article - and a large proportion of those in the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" group - I have an entire portfolio of ideas for new enterprises I would myself like to found and have funded at some point.

I believe many mature and highly-educated business people have been neglected and frustrated so long as potential founders, there will likely be an avalanche of interest and enthusiasm from sophisticated, experienced, creative, talented, and deserving entrepreneurs over age 40, as we work together to correct this grievous recent imbalance in capital allocation and venture funding.

And 2015 is the year we begin.

The next blog in this series describes the real "meat" of the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project  - our long-term plans for research and job development. While these components of the project will require much concerted effort and the building of wide coalitions of participating groups, we hope to begin the journey towards their establishment in the coming year.


Agenda 2015, Part One: All We Want For Christmas - and Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice: The Meritocracy Agenda, Part One:

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/all-we-want-for-christmas-and-chanukah.html

Agenda 2015, Part Three: The "Meat" of the Matter: For-Profit Peace Corps and Unmet Needs:

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-meat-of-matter-for-profit-peace.html


Read about and consider joining with us in the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project, a non-profit, non-monetized, non-partisan, and non-controversial long-term project helping the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" in the U.S. and abroad:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114091094386273464410/114091094386273464410/about/p/pub




Wednesday, December 24, 2014

All We Want For Christmas - and Chanukah, Kwanzaa, and Winter Solstice: The Meritocracy Agenda, Part One


by Dr. Ellen Brandt

There still seems to be some confusion about what tasks the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project is going to tackle first - because they are easiest to tackle first - and which components of the project will require substantial coalition-building before we can move forward with them in any significant way.

So we thought it might be a good idea - at this point in the blog series and at this point in the project - to outline Bring Back the Meritocracy!'s two highest-priority Agenda items for the New Year 2015, followed by a discussion of the longer-term tasks we hope to begin tackling in the next twelve months.

We're going to put forth our Agenda as a three-part blog sequence, so readers can easily copy and send individual parts of the whole to those in their networks and circles who they believe might be interested in and need to know about the project. Those friends and acquaintances may include university administrators, professors, and researchers, as well as elected officials, foundation, think tank, NGO, and corporate executives, and media and Internet leaders.

This blog covers Priority Item One on the Bring Back the Meritocracy! 2015 Agenda: Persuading all eight Ivy League administrations to set up on-campus offices focused on helping their own financially-at-risk graduates and alumni, many of whom, we believe, will prove to be over the age of 40 and all of whom will fall into the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" category.

We also hope the Ivies will agree jointly to set up an All-Ivy Office focusing on financially-at-risk graduates and alums, which might also serve as our central office for the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project.

This office can be based on one of the eight campuses or, for purposes of convenience, in New York or Washington, D.C. As the project's Founder, I would naturally hope to be asked to administer this office and am willing to relocate to do so.

Among the major tasks of these offices, both on- and off-campus, in 2015:

*** Telling everyone they are there! Ivy alumni have to know they are finally welcome to be alumni, even if they are going through difficult times financially. The Ivies - and all the other schools which will subsequently launch such programs - desperately need to be proactive about this growing problem right under their noses, rather than dawdling and having to react only after the problem has turned into a bona fide worldwide crisis.

*** Setting up pools of (eventually substantial) funds from existing endowments or brand-new dedicated endowments which can grant immediate cash to alumni for extreme financial emergencies and later offer them more substantial funds under loan programs akin to existing student loan programs - albeit more efficient.

*** Offering emergency medical and dental services to alumni at low or no cost - programs already offered, in many cases, to "underserved populations" which have no real ties to our universities other than geographic proximity.

*** In certain cases, providing emergency housing on campus for alums in dire need, who would otherwise go homeless.

*** Working creatively to make sure no Ivy League alum, of whatever age, stays in a position of extreme financial distress for an extended period of time. This means helping each and every at-risk alum find lasting, productive work somewhere in the world to provide for his/her continued ability initially to survive and eventually to thrive once more, based on her/his education, experience, intelligence, and talents.

*** Working with each university's faculty and research staff to launch creative long-term studies which will identify at-risk alumni around the world - who they are, where they are, and why they are - and how top-tier universities can work both individually and collectively from this point on to ensure that in the future, there will be fewer and fewer "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" individuals - until there are none.

*** Coming up with a plan to replicate the eight Ivies' successes with the above program Agenda and extend it, first, to other top-tier universities in the U.S. and the rest of the developed world and subsequently to all universities and colleges in the U.S. and abroad.

Again, readers should feel free to copy and circulate this three-part blog sequence to anyone they wish, in the hope of getting greater and greater exposure for this important Agenda.

Part two of the blog sequence continues with a discussion of Bring Back the Meritocracy!'s second high-priority Agenda item for 2015: the formation and launch of "new-old-style" venture capital funds for founders and early-stage entrepreneurs in the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" group.


Agenda 2015, Part Two: Venture Capital Looks Backwards - and Forward: Time to Fund the Mature and Highly-Educated Once More:

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/venture-capital-looks-backwards-and.html

Agenda 2015, Part Three: The "Meat" of the Matter: For-Profit Peace Corps and Unmet Needs

http://destituteivyleaguer.blogspot.com/2014/12/the-meat-of-matter-for-profit-peace.html





Read about and consider joining with us in the Bring Back the Meritocracy! project, a non-profit, non-monetized, non-partisan, and non-controversial long-term project helping the "Highly-Educated But Under-Employed" in the U.S. and abroad:

https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/114091094386273464410/114091094386273464410/about/p/pub