A degree of disruption
While ‘vape’ and ‘disruption’ were leading buzzwords in 2014, you can’t get a degree in the former but you can snag a qualification in disruption at the University of Southern California, writes Maria Stadtmüller. The course focus is on invention and conceptual thinking, drawing on cross-industry talent ‘to empower the next generation of disruptive inventors and professional thought leaders’. Students need to demonstrate academic excellence as well as a proven ability for original thought to be accepted on the world’s first disruption degree programme. The university say successful graduates will leave USC with a qualification befitting an educational experience which is constantly asking the question, ‘why not?’.
USC president C L Max Nikias believes the new programme marks the beginning of something revolutionary, “something disruptive [yes] that will provide a unique education for a very special type of student.”
Students will get disruptive in Los Angeles so it’s no surprise that there’s a deal entertainment glitz involved. It’s provided by a partnership with the Iovine & Young Academy, which was founded by Jimmy Iovine, chairman of Interscope Geffen A&M Records, and co-founder of Beats Electronics, and Andre Young, aka Dr Dre, who created Beats By Dr Dre together with Iovine.
By the way, Pres Nikias likes to compare the USC Iovine and Young Academy with Plato’s Academy, ‘an exclusive 4th century BC club for great thinkers’, in case you are out of the loop on that.
Erica Muhl, the dean of USC Roski School of Fine Arts, is the academy’s inaugural director and she is very much on message. “Academy students will have the freedom to move easily from classroom to lab, from studio to workshop, individually, or in groups, and blow past any academic or structural barriers to spontaneous creativity,” she maintains. We like the blow past bit.
It’s hard to suss out what they mean over at headquarters, but Disruption Corporation was founded on the premise that ‘the private market is where the public markets were 30 years ago and its evolution is making for better data and insight’.