I love your ideas! Especially as I am already planing to do similair projects in my class next year! However I am going to finetune them à bit more according to the suggestions you just made! I will let you know if I have further questions.
I agree that professionals have a lot to offer to students. As a kind of compromise I am going to invite a professional twice this year!
As I observed other teachers who invited professionals and didn't incorporate their presentation or information into the curriculum I find this such a pity. So therefor I love your program as it incorporates the information and expertises the professional brings to your classroom. The students really need the professional to get from point a to point b and use his expertises and experience.
I teach social science. So I teach about politics, law and the multicultural society of the Netherlands cause I live there ;) This year a lawyer and a ex-criminal will visit my class. So that is kind of it haha! I would love to know if you have some more advise. In addition, I would love to know how you came up with the real world problems cause I find is sometimes difficult to come up with one with fits into the curriculum.