Education Through a Serendipity Vehicle, with David Perell

It’s an ultra-competitive market out there. David Perell and his North Star team know how to use social media and technology to help their clients communicate and grow.

“A lot of good parenting is letting things that might be difficult in the short-term, but good in the long-term - letting those things happen.” - David Perell

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David Perell is a bright, curious mind, dancing around important concepts with a global tribe. We hope that a lot of our 21st-century students will turn out just like him. His weekly podcast offers interviews with some of the most interesting people in the world. His blog is the voice of our society’s pioneers, laboring to come to terms with the impact of technology on our ideas. And his writing course - Write of Passage, shows us a new way to share our thoughts. Teachers and students fuse into a two-way learning network online.

David joins us to saunter through the education landscape as we consider how we consume information, take risks, design childhood, stunt “genius,” and can cultivate serendipity as the vehicle to a rich life.

Join us to explore the diverse possibilities unfolding in education, and the ways that unexpected discoveries result from an innovation mindset.

In our discussion, we cover:

02:00 Andrew asks David to talk about his love of learning.

06:12 David expands on the idea that the line between learning and entertainment will continue to blur.

08:55 Andrew asks David what he thinks the new role of teachers might look like in a student-led education model.

10:10 David talks about scootering around Washington, DC's museum and links that to place-based learning.

16:50 David talks about the advantages of allowing students to take risks in education, and how feedback loops contribute to learning.

20:15 David explores the lack of opportunities in our current educational system for “genius” to express itself.

23:40 Andrew and David discuss the natural tendency for parents to mitigate risk for their children.

26:50 Andrew offers the idea that parents tend to gravitate towards legible education outcomes like good grades, internships, and structured and controlled options for their children.

30:00 David explores the ways that state-sponsored education is unresponsive to the uniqueness of human beings.

32:27 Andrew asks - what change do you expect to see as people start to look for alternatives to the automatically assumed college path?

35:20 Andrew plays the devil’s advocate by offering the success stories of schools that lift children out of poverty by insisting that they follow the predictable college path.

40:02 David and Andrew discuss the weight of decision-making on students who are paying exorbitant college tuition fees that ultimately lead to enormous student debt.

43:40 David describes the path and approach to writing that students gain from taking his course - Write of Passage.

50:24 Andrew and David describe the way that motivation and passion can lead to serendipitous opportunities.


7:54 “We need to define what we mean by ‘education’ because it no longer needs to be this one-way transfer of information; it can now be collaborative and dynamic in a way that was never possible before.”

20:18 “‘Genius’ is hitting targets that nobody can see. Rather than trying to incentivize crazy thinking and ideas that have a lower chance of success, but a huge outcome if they do succeed… we are trying to cut off all the risk in society... to make sure that nobody really suffers.”

23:00 "Rather than allowing them to achieve these incredible, outlier, serendipitous outcomes, we are trying to eliminate all risks."

28:15 “A lot of good parenting is letting things that might be difficult in the short-term, but good in the long-term - letting those things happen.”

30:25 “The problem with the college system isn’t that it’s ‘the college system.’ It’s that it’s the ONLY system that a lot of people feel like they can go through in order to be successful.”

38:10 “My issue with the school system is that there is only one way to do things in terms of how to be successful; its the lack of diversity in the number of paths you can take. That’s not sustainable.”

49:45 “We live lives that are far more interesting than we think they are; if we can recognize how interesting our lives are through a conversation and then build processes to write, we can spend less time actually writing and more time living an interesting life. And by sharing our best ideas, we can become a magnet for serendipity and people, ideas, and opportunities.”

Here are some resources mentioned in our discussion:

Monday Musings

North Star Podcast, Neil DeGrasse Tyson -

North Star Podcast, Seth Godin -

North Star Podcast, Mason Hartman

The Write of Passage

Why Can't School Be Fun

Tweetstorm on Netflix

What The Hell Is Going On?

Timeless Learning book

Airbnb Experiences

Deschooling Society

Eric Weinstein

JONATHAN HAIDT, The Coddling of the American Mind,

Prenda school interview


Success Academy podcast:

Deschooling Society by Ivan Illich -

Where to learn more about the guest:

David’s Blog -

David’s Newsletter -

Twitter -

Linkedin -

Medium -

Where to learn more about Enrollhand:


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