News and analysis
October 06, 2015

MacArthur Spins Off New Digital-Learning Nonprofit

The MacArthur foundation has spun off its work in digital media and education into a separate entity called Collective Shift, and provided the new nonprofit with $25 million in start-up cash.

The new organization’s mission is to "redesign social systems for the connected age."

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation has spent more than $200 million developing a new approach to education, which it calls "connected learning." Collective Shift will use this method in its first project, which is dubbed LRNG. The project will bring together different aspects of a student’s life, including schoolwork, personal interests, learning from peers, and employment into a curriculum that will include the use of "digital badges" as credentials for activities outside of traditional classroom work.

Julia Stasch, the Chicago grant maker’s president, said MacArthur created the new nonprofit to tap into other investors and types of support and to promote a more entrepreneurial and innovative approach to learning.

MacArthur announced in August its plan to spin off its digital-media and learning programs and to focus on making bigger investments in fewer program areas.

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