Life-Building Blueprints

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Kio Stark designs and distributes blueprints. Not physical ones. Metaphorical blueprints that people can use to build their own lives. I first encountered Kio's blueprints when I read the remarkable Cult of Done Manifesto, co-authored with her partner, talented maker Bre Pettis.

The last statement in this manifesto, “Done is the engine of more,” should be chiseled in a huge font above the main door to the U.S. Department of Commerce, in Washington, D.C.. Can you think of anything more appropriate to write there? To my mind, if Benjamin Franklin and Ralph Waldo Emerson went to a restaurant together today, “done is the engine of more,” is the conclusion they would come to before shaking hands and returning to their respective centuries. Before doing that, though, both would join the Facebook group for The Cult of Done Manifesto. This group currently numbers over 2,800 “doners.”

Now Kio Stark is working on a new book titled Don't Go Back to School: a handbook for learning anything, explaining how you can save the money you spend on graduate school (or just about any other school) by doing it yourself. She has launched a kickstarter campaign to help finish the book. In this way, she is asking doners to be donors. I'm in. All it takes is switching one vowel--and a little money--for you to be in, too. Done.

Phil Shapiro

The blogger, a member of the Internet Press Guild, is an educator at a public library in the Washington, D.C., area and teaches an occasional graduate educational technology class at American University, in Washington, D.C. He can be reached at and on Twitter at

Grateful thanks to my friend Yusuf Abdi who has helped me think more deeply about how schooling needs to change to fit the modern world.

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