Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

Getting Smart Podcast

Aug 1, 2018

Recently, Tom went to Europe to visit the founders of MyMachine. MyMachine is a 10-year-old nonprofit in Belgium that helps brings dreams to life by recruiting college design students and high school prototypers to help bring to life the dreams of elementary students.


While visiting MyMachine, Tom asked the three co-founders — Jan Despiegelaere, Piet Grymonprez, and Filip Meuris — about the origin story of MyMachine and how they’ve scaled up to help over half a million students worldwide gain creativity, entrepreneurship, and agency. Tom and the founders also discuss some of their favorite, standout answers to, “If we can build a dream machine for you, what would that machine do?”; the steps and educational levels involved in the process; the growth they hope to see for MyMachine in the educational system; and all about the skill benefits students gain from MyMachine.


Key Takeaways:

[:14] About today’s podcast and guest.

[1:20] The MyMachine founders introduce themselves.

[1:44] Co-founder Jan describes the location of MyMachine.

[3:21] Do the co-founders feel that the education system is not keeping up with the thriving economy in Europe?

[4:25] Filip tells the story of the origin of MyMachine.

[6:30] When did Piet hear about this idea and come to think about it as an organization?

[8:25] What is the prompt MyMachine gives to elementary students in the classroom?

[9:30] Some of the answers from elementary students and the values and agency it builds for them.

[12:10] One of the MyMachine answers that stood out most for Jan.

[13:50] One of Filip’s favorite MyMachine ideas.

[15:33] Why are three groups of students (elementary, secondary, and higher ed) involved in the MyMachine process?

[18:13] The skill benefits that the students gain from MyMachine.

[21:07] What benefits do Jan’s corporate and philanthropic partners see in the program? Why do they support MyMachine?

[23:11] What does success look like to the founders? How will the world be better 5-10 years from now with the growth and success of MyMachine?

[25:10] Does Jan see MyMachine making schools better and different in the future?

[26:48] Filip’s thoughts on what success looks like a few years from now.


Mentioned in This Episode:

Teaching Students How to Bring Their Dreams to Life (Piet’s blog post on


For More on Design Thinking, Check Out:

S3:E35 “Whats Up With All the Design-Focused Schools?” for a review on design-focused schools and S3:E32 “Michael Fullan Sees Global Momentum for Deep Learning to learn why Michael Fullan is so optimistic that deeper learning is a global trend.


Get Involved:

Check out the blog at

Find the Getting Smart Podcast on iTunes, leave a review and subscribe.


Is There Somebody You’ve Been Wanting to Learn From or a Topic You’d Like Covered?

To get in contact: Email and include ‘Podcast’ in the subject line.

The Getting Smart team will be sure to add them to their list!