As we're getting deeper into building our badges, lining up more badge partners and increasing our pilot population of students, it's becoming more and more apparent that we need to develop a Badge Eco-system in tandem.
I see the Badge Eco-system three key interconnected elements:
- Badge Creators
- Badge Earners
- Badge Acceptors
1. Badge Creators - Individuals and Organizations that create and distribute badges. Badge Creators leverage their ability to instruct the Earners to master their content. Creators need the Earners to value their available badges. The Creators build this value by having their badges accepted by other individuals and institutions that the Earners want to impress.The reputation of the badge is backed by the Creator.
2. Badge Earners - Individuals who want to prove their mastery of skills, and who want to disseminate their skill mastery. Earners need to be able to choose from a vast inventory of badges made available by the Creators. They also need to be able to choose badges that will recognized by the Acceptors.
3. Badge Acceptors - Individuals and Organizations that want efficient ways to identify and acquire talent. Acceptors need a significant pool of Earners that are earning badges made by the Creators to justify the effort systems change to become an Acceptor. They rely on the Creators to develop high quality content and instruction that creates highly skilled Earners.
Creators, Earners and Acceptors all need each other and must be developed simultaneously or this experiment will fail.
- There must be enough Earners earning the right badges made by the Creators to peak the interest of Acceptors
- There must be enough Acceptors to motivate Earners to seek out badges made by the Creators
- There must be enough Creators so that Earners can acquire enough badges to peak the interest of Acceptors
Right now we, and the all the other Creators are building our badge inventory and partnering with organizations to acquire Earners.
I feel we are lacking in developing a class of Acceptors to round out the eco-system.
Once the Earners fill their badge backpack, how do they leverage that? Where is the value? The Earner has spend hours acquiring the skills and related badges, but for this hard work to pay off we need to Acceptors to accept these badges. We need to work with potential acceptors to understand the value of the badges and implement systems for them to easily accept the badges and be alerted to when Earners earn the badges that the Acceptors want.
Once we reach a critical mass of Creators, Earners and Acceptors, the eco-system's density and natural gravitational force will attract more and more Creators, Earners and Acceptors