Friends of Africa International Advisory Board Member
Curtis Pickering, Founder & CEO of World Education University
Founder, Chairman and CEO of World Education University (WEU), the world’s first online, tuition-free, degree granting institution of higher learning, Curtis Pickering joins the Friends of Africa International Advisory Board with decades of high-level business expertise and a natural penchant for outside-of-the-box thinking to his credit. Mr. Pickering has enjoyed considerable success in large asset development and enhancement, including real estate and property development, both as a principal, owner, founder, and senior manager. His drive and enthusiasm for entrepreneurship began at an early age. He launched his first cottage industry in the fifth grade and has run his own companies ever since.
Projects in which Mr. Pickering has had principal interest include: a 9,000-acre master plan development, hotels, office buildings, apartments, subdivisions, and commercial buildings in Southern California, where he employed a fresh and innovative approach to real estate development and management. He has extensive experience in guiding business augmentation towards market dominance, where he has used his skills in developing high growth asset accretion models to achieve success for entrepreneurial companies. An example of this latter skill can be found in his founding and building of one of America’s most successful digital advertising companies. His company quickly became one of the nation’s leading digital signage networks. With access to more than 40,000 high traffic retail venues, the company’s locations and screen placement allowed advertisers to reach consumers where and when it matters most—at the moment they are making a purchasing decision.
Mr. Pickering sold his interest in the digital signage business so he could pursue his true lifetime passion, education, which stems from his own personal experience as an economically disadvantaged, but academically gifted youth whose only opportunity to attend college came from an athletic scholarship and student loans. Having attended community college when he was 15 years old and Lewis and Clark College by the age of 17, he learned firsthand that working full time was not enough to cover the costs of attending school. At that time, Mr. Pickering envisioned a better system for obtaining a quality college education, one that everyone could afford. WEU is the realization of that vision.
Mr. Pickering founded World Education University to use his knowledge and contacts to build the first sustainable and scalable education eco system, with no public monies. Mr. Pickering believes the only way education can be truly free to the student is by using entrepreneurial innovations blended with best practices in education. He is the creator of Live ED, concerts promoting peace and prosperity through education, which debuts October 4, 2014 in Palm Desert, California. Live ED endeavors to build WEU’s capacity to education millions of people globally. Friends of Africa is a proud partner of WEU and a beneficiary of Live ED.