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The Corporatization of Kindergarten

The Bjarke Ingels Group, the Danish firm designing WeGrow, says it will create a school that is "playful and transparent, yet homelike and structured." Courtesy of the Bjarke Ingels Group

The company WeWork will launch a school that teaches young children to be entrepreneurs.

The $20 billion company WeWork is best known for renting sleek co-working spaces to entrepreneurs and freelancers in cities across the globe, but in the past two years it has branched out into furnished apartments (WeLive) and a gym/spa (Rise by We). These forays into other facets of daily existence fit the company’s mission of conflating work and life. Rebekah Neumann, who co-founded WeWork with husband Adam Neumann, told Bloomberg that “there are no lines” between home and office in her family—that she and her husband “do what they love.” Adam Neumann described his vision to Israeli newspaper Haaretz as “making a capitalist kibbutz.”

WeWork’s latest venture takes on another area of daily life, this time for children. The company will open a private elementary school, called WeGrow, in New York City next fall. This academic year, seven students, ages five to eight (one of whom is a child of the Neumanns), are attending a pilot program in which they spend one day at a 60-acre farm outside the city and the rest of the week in a classroom near WeWork’s Manhattan headquarters.

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