For many people, right after hearing about The Knowledge Society many questions pop into their head.
The Knowledge Society… is it good? is it bad? is it a scam? is it legit?
These are all valid questions people can have when they think of The Knowledge Society (TKS).
On their website, TKS as a program describes itself as a human accelerator. You’ll hear a lot of success stories in how just 10 months, people are able to achieve amazing things like co-operate with top companies and pioneer solutions to major global problems.
And you gotta be thinking to yourself, this has to be too good to be true. Well lets break this down step-by-step and understand what TKS is all about.
This is my personal opinion of what TKS is in a review. This is aimed at someone who is deciding between going or not going to the program. If you want to see more about what I am doing in TKS, check out my website.
Introduction: You are Here
I was in a similar position like you, I just heard about the program from my local science fair committee (who usually recommended me with reputable sources) and even in the midst of many many positive reviews, there was still a seed of doubt about how this was actually possible.
There were a couple of poor reviews that I found on sites like Reddit which brought up some strong points in a pretty passionate format. Ultimately, I took the leap of faith. That’s why I am making this review, because overall, it’s important to be well-informed before taking major decisions.
The reason why many of us (including me at one point) are skeptical of the program to begin with is because the big results that accompany TKS are unlike what we usually see in society. Thinking in the future: I could be the person there doing X because of the passion or potential you have is appealing but at the moment it may seem unachievable.
There is something innate within you that has found the value this program might have, but its your job to make sure you’re making the right decision. If you are to visualize it on a timeline, you are on one side and whatever your passion or interest may be is on the other. The program seems too good to be true because often we don’t think about the steps that go into making a big impact, however the more you understand about what the program does, the easier it will be to grasp.
TKS: The Path to Make an Impact
TKS is not magic, TKS participants are able to make headlines because they are given the resources to thrive and grow. TKS is not magic really means that it doesn’t give you a secret recipe to success.
Instead, it takes already bright and smart people (probably like yourself) and creates a tool kit where you can take what you do to the next level. By the same metric, just because you have a tool, like a hammer doesn’t automatically mean you get a house. It just enables you to do so.
What do I mean when I say that TKS is a toolkit to make a huge impact?
Think of TKS as the hammer to build your house. TKS gives you lots resources, guidance and an environment but at the same time, you are expected to be self sufficient and extract the most potential without being spoon fed.
There aren’t deadlines, assessments or scores which is a big positive for building skills in the real world (the aren’t going to be 100s outside of school) but also means you have to have time management skills, focus and perseverance (or at least a solid effort to build and work on those skills). This is a prime example of how you will have to work to make your way to make an impact.
If we take a closer look at the resources, time and guidance in TKS, you will start to understand the actual value that TKS has.
First we have resources. We have programs like Emerging Technology Modules which give you a basic insight into a topic to see if it interests you. Similarly, TKS has lots exclusive opportunities that give you the chance to meet and be part of real world legitimate stuff. Furthermore TKS is built to give you mentors and create the “Focus process” where you go in depth into an area that interests you, like Artificial Intelligence.
The Focus process in specific, is a TKS pioneered system where you increase your knowledge into a specific topic not with theory but by doing. Your Focus can be action based (called a Technical Focus) where you learn, replicate and create or you can do a Scientific Focus where you learn, apply, review and ideate. At each of these steps you are recommended to make articles (like this one from my focus) and create videos to show the depth of your understanding.
Next we have guidance. This is really the people aspect, stuff like building a network, hustling out mentors and meaningful people, starting podcasts and more. You also get feedback from directors, braindates with other members and mindsets. In fact training your mental strength and behaviours with mindsets are so important that the co-founder of TKS, Navid Nathoo, said:
“The Foundation of The Knowledge Society are the Mindsets that We Recommend”
The final and highly important category is the environment. TKS is not a zero sum game. This means that just because one person succeeds, doesn't mean another person has to lose out. Yes there are competitions that encourage creativity and mindsets but ultimately the one part of TKS that is extremely unique is its environment.
Constantly, there is a motivating environment where directors are supportive, honest, and interested. There are TKS alumni and current participants who will become your close friends (many have even became startup co-founders) while keeping you accountable. There are outlets like the TKS Pride Initiative or places dedicated to Gaming that focus on the social values that TKS stands for.
TKS: The Long Term
Although TKS isn’t magic (as we talked about before), it has one huge benefit to consider when thinking about applying.
TKS is effective in the long run
We talked about the potential concerns people may have and we talked about the methods, but the reason why all of TKS’s theory is so effective, so life changing is because its targeted to youth like us.
The gradual changes that TKS is built upon is so effective because it changes the way you grow. Think of it like this:
Whenever a golf player misses their shot, when redoing it, they only make slight (even minuscule) changes to their position and angle. Yet their ball still travels in a completely different way.
In the same way that millimetres in a change of swing can result in hundreds of feet in difference when playing golf, the concepts and ideas that you learn about in TKS and the change you make, creates huge results as the 10 month program comes and goes and you enter the real world.
The key of TKS is that what you learn here doesn’t stay static but exponentially increases your output and by extension, changes the trajectory of your life for the better.
TKS and Cost
Now let’s address the last elephant in the room. TKS is $5,500 USD, and that is by no means an insignificant amount money.
I know that for me (and many of the people I talked to), the cost was a big talking point. If cost of entry is a barrier for you, financial support is the way to go. Applying is very easy and minimally invasive and this is only done after the application for TKS is accepted. It is a blind needs application and your socioeconomic status will never be a deciding factor for acceptance.
Furthermore, you can get scholarships based off the past work you’ve done and how you perform through the application process (see below).
For many people the fees are an investment towards their growth. I definitely have seen lots value with the money we invested.
Review Wrap up
The decision to apply is now one for you to make. But when considering what path you want to take, consider how much impact you can make and how to get there.
Like Neil Bohr said: “An expert is a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field.” TKS is the narrow field because it focuses on the real world. But only the parts of the real world that matter, allow you to make mistakes and grow.
Learning to make stuff happen in the real world can only be achieved by stepping out of theory and into practice.
TKS is not school, it is the real world. Instead of thinking of TKS as a magic wand that makes you successful, think about what it really means to you. Are you somebody who wants to deliver high impact change, someone who is self-sufficient, independent, and curious? Then TKS is built for you.
Now, are you up for the challenge?
Hey! I am Abhinav a 14-year-old who is passionate about the environment, people and technology. If you enjoyed this article, give it a clap! You can find me on LinkedIn, I would love to connect! Stay creative!🦄