What allows people to bare their closest held dreams and their personal pain in front of a group of 200 strangers? I think it is an overwhelming passion to make the world a better place, and that is what we heard in the brief MoVe talks to kick off #fuse14. (Won’t try to make hyperlinks here; got to jet to the sessions.) But we heard from a social entrepreneur who left a very well-paying job to figure out how to tackle and solve big problems with MLK as a north star. We heard Mary Cantwell talk about overcoming physical pain and the knowledge that perhaps she was just a “mediocre” student…until she get the chance to dig into problems with her hands and found the transformational power of direct experience in learning. Julie Wilson shared, somehow, her personal loss of divorce and her life-best-friend, and the power of resurrection through those around us. She challenged everyone in the room to “before 3 pm today, take a risk outside the margin of your comfort zone, share it with some colleagues in the room, and ask them for help.” Wow; what if everyone at each of our schools did THAT once a week or once a month?
A panel of MVP School teachers shared how DT helps their student become better learners. I asked them what it is about this school that so powerfully promotes the mindset that allows rapid innovation to take place when so many other schools struggle to overcome the seven types of fear that we heard about. The answers pretty much were: “we are supported in our taking of risks; the safety measures are removed; I learned that teaching should be more like a messy reality show than a canned sitcom.”
The audience this morning, packed together around a small stage in a nightclub-type setting, did not hear a bit about the process of design thinking. They heard about the deep passions that drive us to KNOW, not think, that creating learning around student-teacher exploration is a fun, exciting, fulfilling way to spend a life.