P2PU Appoints Board of Directors

I am happy to announce that Peer 2 Peer University has appointed eight amazing open education innovators to its board of directors.

“As a board member and long-time champion of P2PU, I’ve been delighted to see it grow from a base of passionate volunteers into a significant grassroots community of peer learners. P2PU uses social software and open educational resources to radically reshape online learning in ways that promise to disrupt the higher education environment. Soon, P2PU will be able to recognize the achievements of its learners with certification opportunities.” – Cathy Casserly, CEO Creative Commons –

P2PU is fortunate to be guided and advised by a visionary and all-around butt-kicking board. The P2PU board includes my four co-founders Delia Browne, Stian Haklev, Neeru Paharia, and Joel Thierstein. And we are absolutely delighted to welcome four outstanding individuals to join them and help P2PU deliver on its potential: Ahrash Bissell, Program Manager, MITE; Cathy Casserly, CEO of Creative Commons; Nadeem Shabir, Head of Development at Talis Education; and Mark Surman, Executive Director of the Mozilla Foundation. I am not joining the board, but will be working for these guys as Executive Director of P2PU.

Together these eight incredible people will help us change the world. (No pressure!)

This is also a good moment to pause and acknowledge some of the inspired partners without whom P2PU would not be possible. The Shuttleworth Foundation has been unwavering in its support of our vision, so much so that the foundation even allows us to borrow its staff – in April this year Karen Gabriels, the Chief Financial Officer at TSF became P2PU’s very first Treasurer. The Hewlett Foundation recently committed funding to help us better understand the skills and competencies developed as a P2PU user, or “peer.” And Lila Bailey generously volunteers to help us keep our papers in order as the corporate secretary. We are indebted to these individuals and organisations for their foresight, spirit of adventure, and generosity.

The goal of P2PU has always been to take educational content that is available openly on the web, and help people create learning opportunities around it. We called it “the social wrapper for open educational resources” when a small gaggle of volunteers set out to turn content into learning. It was therefore kind of cool to hold our first full board meeting at MIT during the week that MIT celebrates the ten year anniversary of its ground-breaking OpenCourseWare project. And to meet in the same conference room, where the OpenCourseWare Consortium was incorporated in 2008. Historical is a strong word, but it’s fun to use anyway.


About jessykate

Jessy is a technologist, hacker, designer of experimental institutions, and community builder.


  1. Hello new P2PU board! I’d like to invite all of you to join the “Shaping P2PU” group at http://new.p2pu.org/en/groups/p2pu-the-course/ where you’ll find up-to-the-minute ideas and discussions about how to improve P2PU.

  2. With our powers combined.. we can do no wrong!
    Excited to work with the new board!

  3. What an excellent group of people to sit behind the P2PU community and help us formally become an official organisation. This is so great.

    I’d love to hear more from each board member about why they’re a part of P2PU and how they foresee our future.

  4. philipp

    @Joe: The best place for discussion of all things P2PU is the mailing list. To avoid fragmenting the conversation, I would like to invite everyone who wants to get involved in “building” the machine that is P2PU, to the community list:


    I’d also like to clarify that the board has legal and fiduciary responsibility for P2PU, but that it is not intended to replace the vibrant substantive discussions that take place on the community mailing list. P2PU’s great strength lies in the community of amazing people that are contributing to it – as part of the software developer community, or participating in the learning activities on the site, helping each other, and providing input to make the platform better. None of these things are the responsibility of the board.

    @Pippa: Excellent idea. I’ll ask them for short statements in preparation of the next board meeting (in July).

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