This startup wants to help you level up your knowledge in the most fun way possible

These days there’s a sense that if you’re not constantly looking to improve yourself, you might as well be standing still. Given the rate at which the sum total of human knowledge is expanding, there’s probably some merit to that. There are plenty of tools out there that aim to help you keep up, but the truth is very few of them are actually fun to use.

Enter 42Courses. This Edtech startup, founded by ex-head of Innovation for Ogilvy & Mather in Africa Chris Rawlinson, aims to make the digital world of education the best, fun and most speedily effective place for learning.

“Our working lives are changing dramatically. For career success and happiness, the need for continued learning is more vital than ever before. In general, existing online course are time consuming and make learning feel like a chore,” says Rawlinson.

Launched at the 2015 Web Summit in Dublin, the Cape Town and London-based startup uses a combination of story-telling and gamification to guide people through each course. When it comes time to test your knowledge of the course, for instance, you can get given lives to retake questions. There’s also the ability to chat to friends, along with videos, images and links to help you along your way.

“We have made our courses short and easy. Using design led thinking and the art of storytelling we are bringing subjects to life to help people stay ahead of the pack and learn the skills they are interested in,” Rawlinson says.

The first course, which is live on the sight right now, is a collaboration between between 42Courses and Ogilvy&Mather comes from renowned TED speaker and Ogilvy bigwig Rory Sutherland and looks at behavioural economics. That Ogilvy connection is hardly surprising. Aside from Rawlinson’s connections to the ad giant, the course was actually created as a collaboration with Ogilvy & Mather’s innovation hub, Ogilvy Labs.

“Our mission at Ogilvy Labs is to help educate, inspire and innovate so working with this new and exciting EdTech platform was a natural fit,” said Ogilvy’s Innovation Director, Nicole Yershon.

In the course, Sutherland aims to help users understand why it is that if you meet someone while holding a hot drink, it increases the chance you will like them, and that by wearing a rucksack to a meeting instead of carrying a briefcase, you will encourage more cooperative negotiations.

“What’s really great about this course is it helps you understand and influence the way people really think, behave and act,” says Sutherland.

Upon successful completion users get a personalised LinkedIn friendly certification from Rory Sutherland and Ogilvy & Mather.

According to 42Courses, a host of other global brands and thought leaders are due to launch courses on fintech, entrepreneurship, design thinking and more on the platform over the coming months.

The first 50 readers to use the promo code “memeburn” qualify for a 20% discount on the first course.



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