Project Details

A group of people at a creative workshop


The place to 'learn anything from anyone'.

Project URL:
Project Twitter: @skillshare

  • Community Engagement
  • Education
  • Audiovisual
  • Social Software

In the early 1970s the philosopher and savant Ivan Illich imagined a city with a directory where people who wanted to learn could easily find people who wanted to teach: piano, wordworking, cookery. Skillshare claims to have brought that vision to life, allowing anyone to learn anything from anyone.

SkillShare’s key principles include:

• That learning is life long, non-linear, and driven by curiosity, as opposed to “education”, which describes the bulk of formalised learning that starts with a predetermined curriculum.

• That you learn by doing – through trial and error, experimentation, incremental development. And that the proof is in the pudding – baking the cake, wireframing your website, framing the picture – rather than in a certificate or grade handed down to you by an authority.

Started in 2012, Skillshare had 100 users in their first month offering classes from jewellery making to investing on the stock market. Within their first year they were supporting thousands of teachers to offer over 15,000 hours of classes. Some teachers have even left their standard day jobs to offer classes full time – perhaps the best evidence that SkillShare is on the right trajectory to hit their ultimate ambition of re-imagining the education system to focus on learning by doing.

With an initial cluster in their home town of New York City, Skillshare is already seeing growth in new communities from San Francisco to Boston and Chicago.

Image 'Fibre Arts' courtesy of edlabdesigner

Last updated: 09th of May, 2014

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