Marc Ecko on Education and Inspiration

Credit :@Art_Instigators

Yesterday, we attended the tech event in New York called Uncubed. While the event featured founder stories and tales of building tech startups of all kinds from the ground up, the topic of education also made its way into the discussion as it so often does. Marc Ecko, founder of Marc Ecko Enterprises and Artists & instigators spoke on the importance of preserving a sense of creativity.

He began by asserting that we shouldn’t let “the system” beat the artist out of us. Marc raised questions around the current education system, arguing that it should be more supportive of students of all kinds. Similar to Seth Godin, he seems to agree with the train of thought that schools would be better served to encourage entrepreneurship and creativity rather than rote memorization. We’ve written before about the troubling decline in creativity among students. While there is a huge focus on STEM education, a handful of innovators like Marc and Launchpad Toys are stepping forward and asserting the importance of creativity.

Marc noted that despite the fact that our current education underserves many students, the ability to hustle is the ultimate equalizer. Marc also lampooned the concept of assessments, arguing that education shouldn’t be about judgement or fitting students into a certain box. Instead, he asserts that education should help students realize their dreams, whatever that dream may be. He explained that we make education seem like a chore but that it should instead be empowering and even enjoyable. Perhaps emerging education technology and innovation can make Marc’s dream a reality. He challenged the audience to make education more meaningful and enjoyable, saying education is broccoli but let’s make it cake.

What if education prioritized fostering creativity, encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation? Should schools be teaching students to think outside the box rather than to fill in the box of a multiple choice test?