“You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
The VisionForce Academy (VFA) has been nearly 15 years in the making. Originating as a concept and clear, compelling vision for Michael Ivan Skye in 1997, the Academy is finally beginning to take form. That was the year he supported each of his three younger brothers launch into entrepreneurship, and mentoring/training them day by day. He watched their rapid evolution from boys to men, learning about themselves, their world and responsibility in a tremendously exciting context.
Michael had long seen entrepreneurship and individual initiatives as the way the world would most easily change–Through creating solutions, rather than forcing change. For Michael, entrepreneurs were humanity’s hope.
The concept for the VFA originated as a vehicle for young men to learn about life and entrepreneurship, while evolving their minds and empowering themselves. As an attractive alternative to college, military service or the 9-to-5 job for many young men, the VFA would be a path to the freedom and power of entrepreneurship.
Rather than go to school to learn about business or entrepreneurship, participants would start a small service business and build it for the duration of their time in the academy, applying everything they learned to their business directly, and thus experiencing the real world application of learning.
Upon completing their time at the academy, the young man would have a four incredible values:
1 – Cash flow from a business that is practically running itself.
2 – A profitable business that they can sell or continue to grow.
3 – The confidence, vision and self-identification of oneself as Entrepreneur with the experience or facing and rising from challenge after challenge that comes with it.
4 – An alliance of fellow entrepreneurs who operate in the world with a higher code of honor than most in business.
The next year Michael started his own small service business again, used his business as a training ground for young men, and supported more young men in starting their own businesses.
Ten years in the making, the VisionForce Academy existed in online and workshop formats. 2007 was the year that Michael began to shift his focus from working with entrepreneurs to working with enterprising social entrepreneurs, activists, artists, non-profit leaders and revolutionaries, beginning with the March 2007 VisionForce Boot Camp.
He stood for these enterprising change agents the way he had stood for entrepreneurial change agents. And in early 2008 at a VisionForce Summit at Jim Channon’s Arcturus bioport in Hawaii, Michael and members of his team envisioned an open, self-generated life-experience curriculum model for the academy.
With this new model, individuals map construct their own curriculums by assigning themselves global missions, visionary challenges, and entrepreneurial undertakings supported by VisionForce concepts, tools, allies, mentors, trainings and other engagements. In this way they construct their own Visionary Resume, which identifies their experience, skills, strengths and weaknesses in terms of creating a world that works.