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Prospectus for RENAISSANCE UNIVERSITY
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Renaissance University:
        Science Program (Very Preliminary Description):

Photo courtesy of Elan Sun StarWe intend to rapidly become one of the world's leading universities in the sciences, not only the arts and academics. Yet at the onset, we can expect not to possess or be soon endowed with the expensive capital equipment which in our times appears to be prerequisite to scientific function and performance. So we have a certain practical issue to overcome: how to develop first-class science faculty, students, and contributions to the field without literally billions of dollars of scientific equipment?

 

 

Tactical example:

Please take a look at the Team Brainstorming page as well as the main Idea Generator article generally. Here we see an example of a most simple instructional — and idea-generating — technique in practice of science and/or science education, a technique which can, essentially without capital equipment, generate hindreds of likely highly significant original hypotheses to test. Counterparts of this simple brainstorming-of-observations method can be readily found, not only for high-energy physics but within each branch and specialty throughout the sciences. From there it is a fairly straightforward matter to write many of these hypotheses into articles and proposals for funded projects. Some of those projects will be performed at the university and some in partnership with (faculty from) other universities. Some of the equipment and experience that accumulates from these projects will be world-class because most of the proposed projects will be very visibly cutting-edge.

The history of science and technology show that much of the discovery and invention which have paced the advance of science have been from remarkably informal initial insights and observations, confirmed later on a much more formal — and capitalized — basis. Moreover, this kind of basic investigation and thinking-through is a key part of what we wish to characterize science at Renaissance University, even when we become heavily capitalized.

Some preference in our engaging of science faculty, especially in our beginnings, among our other criteria will be one's ability to conceptualize and invent similar basic observe-and-brainstorm think-through procedures and topics in his own field or specialty. His input can then not only be made part of the teaching curriculum, but can then be used to generate eventually funded cutting-edge projects of investigation. Our incentive program will also encourage continued creation of further such basic observe-and-brainstorm procedures and topics, in all sciences — and also encourage invention of altogether different procedures which are as productive. A good many other such procedures have already been created, to be featured in a forthcoming book of creativity techniques for scientists.

 

 

General thrusts of our sciences program:

As seen from the tactical description just above, from the earliest days Renaissance University's science program will feature emphasis on very basic investigation of very basic questions, with a creative but highly rigorous thinking-through process whose assimilation we believe will quickly put our graduates in high demand at scientific endeavors throughout the world. These will remain in emphasis, even after our science program becomes fully capitalized and broadened.

Departmental politics and playing to the stakes of capitalized wealth, both have adversely affected the advance of science. Our emphasis on basics will be eventually copied and used elsewhere, broadening the base and the productivity of scientific inquiry. Also contributing to the advance of science will be our conveying to new generations of scientists the perspective of science as a disciplined let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may observation-and-inquiry system. Whatever the contents of classical and contemporary science, whatever even our own findings along the way, the core of what is taught in Renaissance University's science program will be the values of a rigorous system of observation and inquiry, thinking-through, and testing.

 

 

Our Science Graduates in Demand:

Our graduates will be much in demand, because —

  1. They will exemplify these basic core values in scientific inquiry, and will have participated in the active and practical skills and processes which are needed in that core.

  2. They will have assimilated extensive scientific knowledge by methods which emphasize a critical and highly creative understanding, whereas many of their counterparts from other institutions have proceeded mostly by mere memorization to become only technicians and plodders.

  3. They will have professionally published original concepts and findings and arguments even before they graduate into their intended fields.

  4. They will be already involved with the world's leading enquirers in each of the fields where our program of world conferences manages to bring those enquirers to interact at Renaissance University.

  5. They will command a broad multidisciplinary background which allows them to much more readily follow out lines of investigation, many or most of which cross specialist discipline boundaries. [The universe behaves according to one set of laws, no matter through which specialist lenses we peer at it.]

Necessarily, the first two or three years of graduates will have to pave the way, but eventually the record of achievements of our graduates should place our subsequent graduates into highest demand.

 

 

Polymath Multidisciplinary:

This fifth advantage cited for our graduates, is one of the key ones, right from the start. Graduates of Renaissance University will be truly Renaissance men and women, masters of several disciplines, not merely of one narrow specialty. They will know and appreciate and find it useful, that we are in one universe with one set of natural laws, and appreciate as well that we are as yet a very long way from understanding all or even most of those laws whatever the specialties through which they are discovered. They will engage directly in the search for isomorphisms between disciplines, as part of their training.

Systems theory will be one element in their multidisciplinary understanding as will it's cousin complexity theory, and this is expected to lead to some meaningful discoveries as the insights from these fields are underrepresented throughout the rest of science. For example, medical science has yet to be penetrated by general systems theory to an extent sufficient to lead physicians and researchers to the obvious realization that qualities and traits of brain function, from specific skills to general levels of "intelligence," are equilibria, and that by discovering what they are equilibria of, they can much more readily reset those equilibria to more desired levels. The same concept should enable more effective address also of patterns of the functioning of other organs, tissues and cells. This equilibrium focus has already led to some meaningful breakthroughs in the socio-behavioral area [see, for example, the procedure Win-Win Finder].

As with general systems theory, several other phenomenological topics have, or point to, a conceptual structure of descriptive natural laws which appear to be isomorphic with laws in other fields and specialties. Resonance is one such field; Intermodulation is another. These topics are now studied separately by about a dozen specialties each without reference to each other. Simply to unify the descriptions from these dozens into one frame would in itself meaningfully serve the advance of science.

 

 

Special Challenge:

The advance of physics is currently held up by an impasse in string theory whose mathematics have made some most interesting propositions, hypotheses which make sense of a wide range of otherwise inconvenient phenomena - but whose advocates claim there is no way to test to verify. Without testing to verify, we hardly have science. Once we have a qualified string theorist or so on Project Renaissance's faculty, and willing to work with some of our creative problem-solving and discovery methods, we will very probably find ways to test key propositions of string theory. Project Renaissance also offers at any time to work directly with any string theorist or theorists with these methods, to help discover ways to empirically test string theory. One to three days of training with these methods should suffice. This is a standing invitation. Any string theorist willing to explore such methods to find practical ways to test propositions of his field, please write to Win Wenger.

 

 

Pretty Is As Pretty Does:

Ultimately, the Renaissance University program will be valued by what it does. We intend both to teach science at Renaissance University but to do science, both solid and adventurous. While much of it will be as basic as possible, much of it also will be on issues which really matter, whose outcomes can make significant positive differences in human lives and in our understanding of the universe.

 

 

Earth map - image courtesy of Elan Sun Star
Image courtesy of Elan Sun Star

 

 

Renaissance University:

        The College of Economics and Enterprise

 

Although it will support a standard curriculum nucleus in terms of basic courses taught, the College of Economics and Enterprise will also reflect features which are special to Renaissance University overall. These features, general to Renaissance University, include:

 

  1. Advanced methods of teaching and learning.

     

  2. Strong incentive systems, one to faculty and staff based upon how well and how rapidly their students advance in proficiency across a broad spectrum of measures, and one to students to encourage their advance. A strong emphasis in this College will be the setting of objectives and meeting them.

     

  3. Strong integration of curriculum content around the general theory of systems and complexity theory—in the instance of this College, especially in macro and micro economics and in management theory. This College will strongly interface with Liberal Arts' history and sociology via courses in civilization theory and in political economy; with physical sciences via ecology-related courses; and with the Department of Creative Studies.

     

  4. A strong emphasis toward independent student research. Some of that research will orient toward topical modified symposia with world enterprise leadership involvement. Some will orient toward the requirement that the main degree students, at least, find formal or trade publication in their own chosen field(s) before graduating, thereby strengthening their career prospects.

     

  5. Our main degree graduates will command more than one discipline. As Renaissance men and women, this is a realistic preparation for rapidly-changing economic, vocational, professional and world conditions.

     

  6. Our students and graduates will be competent in the Internet, in computers, telecommunications and other information media.

     

  7.  As will the rest of the University, the program will feature strong international content and involvement.

     

  8. From the first moments of the students’ main-degree career with the University, they will be pursuing a strong program to build up personal developmental resources, each at their own level. The impaired becomes more whole; the average bright or even gifted; the bright or gifted becomes genius; the genius goes beyond.

 

Special features

 

In addition, there are certain features which are special to this College, even within the University:

 

  1. The curriculum content will be determined at least as much from broad consultation with leaders of the business world, rooted in realities of commerce and management, as from academic convention. Many of the proficiency goals to be measured for in the incentive programs will be in terms of qualities sought and valued by enterprise (and usually found lacking in college graduates). Other goals are also respected, but there is some basis for belief that better support for this College and the University will be forthcoming if its students are actually prepared for the roles they move into. There is also some reason to believe that thus prepared, our graduates will enjoy brighter prospects of employment and career.

     

  2.  A very strong program in personal career-building skills.

     

  3. A strong preparation for small-scale, professional-level, independent and semi-independent enterprise proficient with high-quality information technology. More and more, economic activity is being conducted out of small offices operating independently or under contract to other enterprises. While large-scale corporate and agency structures will remain important and our graduates will also be well prepared for that milieu, this College will give at least as much emphasis to preparing skills and proficiencies associated with the activities of independent small offices in a highly technological milieu.

     

  4.  Hands-on experience is vital.  We will arrange this in three main forms:

    a)          Internship with high-quality enterprise and agencies in the regions around each campus of the University, and generally.

     

    b)        Student-managed enterprises to supply various of the many possible educational services derived from the University's unique methodologies, to communities near each campus and eventually, as some of these ventures succeed, more broadly.

     

    c)          Student-managed enterprises as R & D firms and as invention-development firms. Student-run R & D and Invention-Development Firms.

 

Some of these firms will succeed, others will fail, all will be learned from.

 

These firms will be very modestly funded—including token funds from the students themselves to underscore their personal stakes in the outcome which will best sharpen their performance.

 

These enterprises will not be the customary student-run pizza parlors and game arcades.  Rather, these will be enterprises which involve and acquaint the student managers with a broad sector of the economy and of the factors controlling it.

 

At this very moment exists a pool of several thousand as-yet undeveloped inventions, very apparently workable and many apparently economic, which have emerged from years of creativity training by Project Renaissance. Each one of those several thousand inventions is the possible basis of a development venture enterprise. Until now only one of those inventions (the popular "sound and light machines" invented in one of our workshops in 1977 by Dr. Denis Gorges) has been developed; another, a device for greatly boosting circulation in various regions of the body, created by the founder of these programs, Win Wenger, Ph.D., is now formally under development.

 

Literally thousands more such invention concepts could be generated by a few dozen people in a few days using Project Renaissance procedures (especially with the "Beachhead" procedures, one version and example of which is free on the Web in self-taught form for your review or use).

 

A similarly major stock of thousands of such concepts to choose among could readily be built up from the students themselves in a matter of days without ever touching the original stock of ideas. Thus the supply of such invention concepts, available to this program, is truly inexhaustible.

 

There are few activities which interface more broadly with wide sectors of the economy and its controlling factors—in a most literal sense, few activities which are more educational—than that of attempting to develop and market various such new products and services.

 

Not only will the "failures" be instructive (and the token stakes of students compensated in some other form), but under University-controlled conditions, a body of uniquely valuable case studies can be built up for further studies at all levels.

 

The occasional successes—and there will definitely be some because in many instances the inventions are excellent and the available human ingenuity will be considerable—through shared ownership will grow to become an important source of support for the College and University, as well as become a source of valuable employment for some of the College's career-building graduates.

 

Eventually, the main sources of support for the College and for Renaissance University will be "earned" rather than "given," in terms of shared partial ownership of and sponsorship of these enterprises. Fundraising, however crucial in our first few years, will not be the permanent and overriding preoccupation in Renaissance University that it is in most other colleges and universities. We will cut our own path, focused on what is educationally beneficial.

 

Careful design of the system of satellite enterprises will render the many "failures" contained and the successes open-ended. Some enterprises will be wholly independent.  Others will be clustered, semi-independent, sharing some resources and pooled personnel, with most of the work therein done not by salaried positions but by defined tasks put out to bid among those personnel. Others will pursue yet other models of enterprise.

 

Each sufficiently different invention must face somewhat different rules from those which prevailed prior to its introduction. With appropriate guidance and careful, modest backing, young bright minds already in a rapid learning modality and with some personal stake, have as good a chance of cracking the barriers and successfully developing and marketing new products and services, as do most highly experienced R&D professionals. The recent history of the high-tech movement certainly demonstrates this point. To avoid recapitulating certain points of that recent history, some such highly experienced professionals will be sought and engaged— as a resource, though, not as a control.

 

 

General Aspects

As the portion of the Renaissance University program perhaps most immediately interfaced with changing world conditions, this College of Economics and Enterprise must continuously be evaluated and reshaped.

 

The personnel most responsible for this continuous review and reshaping will be given a personal stake in the immediate and long-term growth and quality development of this College, through an incentive pay oriented on defined goals.  Many or most of these goals, in turn, will be defined in terms of how well this College's students are serving in the changing world economy, and how well they themselves are prospering.

 

We will pursue and continue close consultation with high business leadership, regarding what qualities, skills and background are most valued in graduate students entering careers. These profiles are expected to change over time as the world economy itself changes. We will also maintain focus on those skills and understandings which will most enable our graduates, sooner or later, efficiently and with little effort to switch careers and even professions as they find appropriate in that changing world.

 

The Department of Creative Studies will be in service throughout the curriculum of the University. One of its primary responsibilities, however, will be in this College. It is in material innovation that expanded wealth occurs. In tandem with the College and in part via the satellite swarm of student-led ventures and enterprises, the Department of Creative Studies, as much as the College of Economics and Enterprise, will have the main roles in generating the means to pursue and support innovation in intellectual, aesthetic, personal and other regards, in our student body, among our graduates, and throughout human society.

 

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