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When Yasmin Abdi discovered her love of photography, she was a Somali refugee in Saudi Arabia with little more than a dream.
As Abdi came to realize her passion for capturing powerful images, she searched for ways to learn more about photography but had very limited access to formal education. When she found CreativeLive, Abdi didn’t even own a camera, “but I knew this is something I wanted to do.”
Now a professional photographer in the US, Abdi is just one of the millions of CreativeLive students worldwide who have transformed their lives and turned their dreams into reality through education. We’ve reached a total of 10 million students and streamed a combined 50 million hours of CreativeLive video courses.
When we started CreativeLive in 2010, our goal was to transform creative education by knocking down the geographic and financial barriers to access that had long kept people like Abdi from realizing their goals in career, hobby and life.
Now, thanks to the support from the IBM Cloud Video Ustream platform, we’ve taken the world’s top experts in creativity, self-improvement and entrepreneurship far beyond the confines of a classroom, bringing them to anyone with a connected device.
CreativeLive has attracted some of the top names in their fields: Pulitzer, Grammy and Oscar winners; New York Times bestselling authors; thought leaders and legendary entrepreneurs. These are experts who have earned their stripes by not just teaching but doing; doers who can speak to what happens outside the comfort of the classroom. For example, Tim Ferriss — one of Fast Company’s “most innovative business people” and the seventh “most powerful” personality on Newsweek’s Digital 100 power index — teaches a wildly popular class on money and life skills.
Students can learn psychology, personal finance and entrepreneurship from New York Times best-selling author Ramit Sethi, personal branding from Debbie Millman (one of Graphic Design USA’s “most influential designers working today”), or the craft of storytelling from Alex Blumberg (host of NPR’s Planet Money and contributor to This American Life).
But the world’s top experts aren’t a complete solution. We also needed the right technology to deliver their instruction to a global audience. The worldwide growth of the internet has given us reach that was unimaginable just a few decades ago and to take full advantage of that we knew CreativeLive had to provide an engaging experience that spoke the visual language of this new, internet-native audience via best-in-class production values. It’s been said that the medium is the message, and we believe that’s never been more true than now.
The IBM Cloud Video Ustream platform, which underpins every class we stream, provided a solution for delivering this rich content to a global audience. By placing the power of high-quality education taught by the world’s top experts in the hands and on the screens of our students, we’re empowering them to pursue their passions, hone their creative skills and use their talents to create the careers and lives of their dreams.
No matter their backgrounds, experiences or locations, today’s students have unprecedented access to a world-class education. For the first time in history, anyone with an internet connection can learn skills directly from the world’s top experts. In an ever-changing international job market, the ability to rapidly acquire new skills is more important than ever.
We can see the transformational power of this new educational paradigm through people like Abdi. When she began her first CreativeLive photography course, she spoke only limited English. After immigrating to the United States in 2012, she’s now the founder of a successful photography studio in Sacramento.
As powerful as her story is, what’s equally inspiring is that there are countless more like it. We are in the middle of a tectonic shift as millions turn their passions into their careers
As we work to reach millions more students and broadcast millions more hours of education, I couldn’t be more excited to hear more stories about our students unlocking their creative potential, finding further fulfillment in their professions and adding to our vibrant community. The future of education is here.
Learn more about IBM Cloud video solutions.