Seth Godin, Linchpin, Education & Travel

January 26, 2010


Family travel and education go hand in hand,  especially extended family travel or a creative ultra mobile lifestyle design that includes the whole family. When you are a parent, giving your child the best possible education in this new economy, preparing them for the future is foremost on ones mine.

That's why I'm so excited by Seth Grodin's new book, Linchpin, so I just dropped the post I was writing, to make sure that I could share these gems with you. My friend Andrew Warner (who interviewed us last year & we infected him with the digital nomad bug & now he's in Argentina for a long stay) has a great new  interview with Seth on Mixergy.

I love this video of Seth talking about education that I found on Lee Stranahan's fantastic site! I found it via Twitter that linked to another fab video he did on Huffington Post that explains that "We all live in Detroit now". As someone who was born in Michigan, not too far from Detroit, I have great empathy for the problems of the mid-west rust belt (as well as those in California, Spain and everywhere).

Huge Macleod (that I know from Dell's  Digital Nomads) at the always interesting Gapingvoid also did a fantastic interview with Seth and I particularly loved and agree with this quote:

It’s urgent. I don’t think most people realize the precarious nature of our current situation, how close we are to the edge, and how little time we have to get our act together.

 If you haven't read Seth Godin before, then check out his blog or some of his other books. I can't wait to read this new book because every thing I've read about it lines up with how we think and our lifestyle.

I agree with Mike Elgan that the new economy and digital nomad lifestyle is a fast growing trend.that's on it's way to mainstream. I love how inspiring GenY  folks & other communities are embracing it, but much of our focus is how this will affect families and education. 60% of all schools will be virtual by 2006 and you can see that trend growing strongly today. 

We've been so excited by the opportunities that we have had with education as we travel the world, not only though our travels (which alone is stupendous) but also through the local school in Spain which has allowed our daughter to immerse deeply in her second language. culture and literature, plus the collaboration that she has done with others online like her violin and piano lessons and John Hopkins CTY online classes that she does with students and teachers on another continent. We're excited that next year she will start immersing in her third language, Mandarin Chinese. We find our "world school" method has allowed us to get the best of all worlds and want others to know how easy and enjoyable it is. 

Food for thought in Video form. What's your take?

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Sandra Foyt

I LOVE this post, you're blowing my mind with all the great ways innovators are connecting global experience with creative thought. In today's connected world, there is absolutely no reason to keep on living as if we're still in the midst of the industrial age.

Now, the challenge is to make our own opportunities, while maintaining some kind of personal balance.

Thank YOU!

Transfer Smart

Thanks for the post, very informative, it really value education, very desirable, I'm proud to say I learned a lot upon reading this.

Nomadic Chick

I wholly agree with you on education going digital. In my recent push to go back to school, I tried both. My productivity was higher on the online course than the traditional classroom setting.

Thanks for posting these videos. Your continual efforts to show us that families can learn, travel and excel together forever inspire!

Loretta:  The leaders coach

Exciting material that is resonating with us all – goose bumps – and the way that this book has been marketed is phenomenal. A new era in education, business and culture is upon us! Thanks for sharing this material.

Loretta: The Leaders Coach


Very interesting video (Seth's interview). I agree with some of what he says, but have to admit I think he focuses a bit too much on the conspiracy side of things. Were there corporate interests in the creation of what became the middle class? Yes. Was it a grand conspiracy though? I don't think so.

Keep in mind the time frame during which this was taking place. The assembly line was a revolutionary approach to doing things. It's only logical that it was applied to education. In fact, it brought education on a mass scale to those who wouldn't otherwise have been able to.

Now - is that still the best system? Most definitely not. As he says, by today's standards it hinders creativity and channels children towards conformity. That shouldn't surprise us though. We have 100+ years of technological and social advancement.

The beauty of it is, that now we have the technology and infrastructure in place that we can offer mass education to the millions (billions?) who need it throughout the world, while re-integrating a special emphasis on individualism, accountability and experience.

The real issue is the teachers. They don't want to branch beyond their comfort zone. Beyond a one dimensional system where their word is gospel.

I believe you've already seen my old Educating Millennials post - I also wrote this one a few months ago exploring similar concepts:

I've managed a super long comment so I'll leave off there. Great post, thanks for the info and food for thought!


Sandra-Thanks so much! I thought with your passion on education that you would enjoy this post! So true, finding the balance in this new world will be key. Minimalism helps so with balance.

Transfer- Thanks! I'm glad that it was enlightening to you!

Nomadic Chick-Thanks so much for your kind words! We really are passionate to let others know, especially families that this really doable. Thanks too for sharing your virtual learning experience!

Loretta-So true! It is really fun too that Seth is doing all his marketing via bloggers. Thanks so much for your input & goose bumps! ;)


Thanks for sharing these awesome videos! Family travel and education does go hand in hand and, this doesn't hurt to repeat, traveling is an amazing learning experience in itself.


Alex-Thanks for your input as I know you have passion on this topic as well. Have you read any of John Taylor Gatto?

He is quite brilliant and very informed about the history of compulsive education in the U.S. & well worth reading. Lots on Youtube about him as well.

Here is a great quote of his that makes one think:

"Our form of compulsory schooling is an invention of the state of Massachusetts around 1850. It was resisted - sometimes with guns - by an estimated eighty per cent of the Massachusetts population, the last outpost in Barnstable on Cape Cod not surrendering its children until the 1880's when the area was seized by militia and children marched to school under guard.

Now here is a curious idea to ponder. Senator Ted Kennedy's office released a paper not too long ago claiming that prior to compulsory education the state literacy rate was 98% and after it the figure never again reached above 91% where it stands in 1990. I hope that interests you."


Very interesting, I'd love to see a link to the paper and learn more about it. I know that there were a series of conflicts and a lot of contention during that time period as groups worked to diminish child labor in the textile mills, etc.

It's been a long time since I toured the mills and that part of the country, so it's all a bit murky. I'd be vary curious to see how much is accurate when put into the context of the time period. Also, differentiation between compulsory education and public education is probably pretty important. Right now, I think the two are being lumped together. A 98% lit rate strikes me as impossibly high, no matter what system you're using.

I'll definitely check out John Taylor Gatto - It is possible i've seen some of his videos/read some of his articles without realizing it. Have not read his book though.


Hello ST3!

Thanks very much for this post. I've been heading Seth Godin's name for years and just started delving into his world a few months ago. It is so exciting to see all the changes that are happening in modern day lifestyles. I'm excited to be a part of it!


Great site! you should think about getting the kindle that way all three of you could share it and not have to carry around books everywhere you go.


Carrie-I appreciate that! I've also just really gotten into Seth & really love MUCH of what he says! This book launch was so exciting that it made me look deeper!

Kim Thanks so much! We've thought about the Kindle for a while, but can read e-books & free e-library books easily on our laptops.

Plus there is just something great about holding a book, ESPECIALLY for a young child & remember Mozart was only 5 when we left.

We're really glad we've had the books & the RV & winter home has made it quite easy.

BUT, now that she is older & we are going to start wintering in Asia for the Mandarin, we will probably get a Kindle or ipad ...primarily for books.

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