Friday, the students from my course at the University of Amsterdam Graduate Business School (AgBS) evaluated what they had learned and, at the same time, took pride in what they had created together - an alumni brand.
What made this this course different from previous times was the advantage of social media. This class worked with a blog and wiki. They used their blog to capture their discussions of what emerged from their collaboration in class and on the wiki. They learned how to track and aggregate intelligence on the internet using RSS and tagging, building the basis for a personal knowledge management system.
What emerged from this course - Brands, Identity & Concepts: working with dynamic network structures using Applied Connective Dynamics - was an alumni brand that will potentially serve as a knowledge society "to foster their personal development by uniting their alumni community". For Anglo-Saxon academic institutions, this is not unusual - alumni have built the repuatations of their universities and positioned them competitively, often leaving these institutions material legacies. For The Netherlands, this is quite unique. Here, alumni associations are simply university-funded social clubs.
These MBA students have defined an integrated value concept that will feed and support them over time as it grows and develops. To reach this goal, they had to struggle with innovative processes and let go of ingrained old-fashioned concepts of doing business in order to learn the impact of inter-dependencies of purpose, values and human behavior in contextual scenarios. And, they had to apply this in real-life by building a brand together.
I wish them the realization of their dreams and the success that goes with it. This group of 10 - The Creators - really got it.