First and foremost, I want to thank you all for one of the most exciting years of my life: 2016 was Kadenze’s first full year of offering online courses. We’ve seen thousands of enrollments, and thousands of awe-inspiring creative works. The project-driven learning style finally makes online arts education a reality.

But with the shift in the American political climate, it is more clear than ever that we must figure out a solution to the rising cost of education. This doesn’t just fall on colleges and universities, nor is it a responsibility that we can just expect the government to take on. Innovative businesses are crucial.

I was invited by the White House to their Education Summit in November, about a week after the election. Even though the administration is about to undergo some major changes, there was and remains tremendous positivity for the future. Online education is an industry that’s still finding its place in the world, and that’s exciting.

At the summit, we spoke at length about improving the quality of—and access to—online education. Looking at the numbers, it’s clear that we as a society still have much work to do on making paths for veterans, low-income families, people with disabilities, and those reentering from the prison system.

One of the big avenues for this in online education has been coding. Bootcamps like General Assembly are a huge part, and EdX and Coursera have successful and effective computer engineering courses. But the fully capable student has training and education in the liberal arts. Innovation doesn’t come from learning JavaScript, but from learning to imagine, design, and invent. It comes from taking on projects, doing critique and iteration.

This is more than walking around shouting “STEAM!” It takes real action, and new ways of thinking. We all know there’s a disconnect between education and industry, and both sides of that equation must be willing to innovate to nurture talent & passion.

The MOOC movement, in the last year or so, has finally sparked some of this innovation to see how higher education will work in the future. For instance, IDEO is running an important design challenge to see and support the changing landscape, which I strongly encourage everyone to participate in. It’s time for startups like ours to make the voices of our students heard.

And now to the new year. We built partnerships with incredible schools and businesses last year, and we’ll be seeing the results of that throughout 2017. New courses and Programs will expand our catalog even further into animation, design, creative technology, and music. There will be some serious new features for the site as well to make it easier to communicate with fellow learners and develop your skills. More on that later. Keep on learning, everyone.