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Anant Agarwal
Most Creative People 2017

Anant Agarwal

CEO, EdX

For mastering online education

As one of the leading pro­viders of online education, nonprofit digital university edX—founded in 2012 as a partnership between Harvard and MIT—has signed up more than 11 million people around the world. In fall 2016, CEO Anant Agarwal made a key move toward further legitimizing online learning by debuting graduate-level programs called MicroMasters, which offer coursework roughly equivalent to the first year of a regular master’s program. There are almost three dozen options, which are taught in conjunction with respected universities and are often partially developed and sponsored by companies such as GE and IBM. Certificate earners can count coursework toward a traditional degree if they’re later accepted into a program. “We’ve done a lot of work to make universities comfortable,” Agarwal says. “Credit is the gold coin of the realm.”

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