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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 4.12.2024

“Are you with me now” A J Ryder


“Today, before any audience in the world, I can hold a Visa card overhead and ask, “How many of you recognize this?” Every hand in the room will go up. When I ask, “How many of you can tell me who owns it, how it’s governed, or where to buy shares?” a dead silence comes over the room. Something incredible happened, but what, and how?”  Dee Hock 

This quote exemplifies the way a small group changed the world. Their reach is massive. Visa continues to grow and sustain itself at incredible rates. What groups in and outside of traditional learning centers must form to make the same thing happen in the education landscape?


Merging emergences  

For about two months Anthonette, Pam and I have been working with Working Wardrobes in Orange County, CA. This already established group gets youth and adults ready to enter the workforce as well as placing them in work. What Working Wardrobes hasn’t done is what we do i.e. allow youth and adults to follow their interests into places where everyone gets to know one another and learn through the relationship before they are potentially hired. To go along with this work, Anthonette suggested that if these Working Wardrobes alums stay together as a meshwork, they could support one another when they want to pursue other meaningful work by becoming co-navigators. Can we develop the B-U platform to do this second line work? Then, yesterday, when I had my next meeting with their CEO Bonni Pomush and Pam, I asked about advancing their entrepreneur efforts using our entrepreneur work involving Real World Scholars, E-360 and B-U. The answer was a resounding, YES! All this said: Is this part of how we do the work described in the Dee Hock quote? We have instantiations of it but never quite bring it all together. Lots to do. 


International meetings

We had a really good International meeting facilitated by Scott and Sonn. Australia, Barbados, Canada, Ireland, Italy, UK, US and Indonesia were all represented. That’s a pretty good turnout considering time zones. We discussed the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC) where we found out that Gabby had one of her students get accepted to a university in Canada using the IBPLC. That’s yet another pin in the map. The organic nature of spreading to different countries has only started to reveal its potential as a means for changing the learnscape.


In other meetings with Viv, Joanne, Jax from Australia and Andrea, we discussed doing a Guided Experience to Australia focused around the IBPLC. These types of join ups and gatherings are all part of the International BPL work going forward.


And Sonn and I had our first Zoom with three principals from Winnipeg School District becoming BPL schools. There are two groups here. This one that is already committed to becoming BPL and another group of middle and high school principals learning about BPL. I’m facilitating this latter group. This is exciting work given the 15 years we have been working in the Seven Oaks School District in Winnipeg. This work is spreading mostly through long-term relationships that are transformational and not transactional.


Up the Lazy River – Hoagy Carmichael


You can look anywhere in the mediasphere and quickly find a headline like this one that appeared today in Ed Week. There were some interesting reactions from teachers who mostly feel voiceless in a system that doesn’t allow them to address the issue of knowing students well. On the other end there were also responses that put the onus on the students and families. In the end, all of these responses kept students and teachers inside the building doing what they always do. The result is loads of students feeling disengaged in content that has little meaning or joy.


Can anyone say The Deeper Four?

A few days before in a huddle with the American Student Assistance (ASA) crew and Michael Horn from the Christenson Institute in preparation for a talk Jean Eddy, CEO of ASA and Michael as facilitator and me, Michael asked if there were any further topics we should deal with. I suggested how our collective work around getting youth connected to doing meaningful work with adults outside of school moves the needle on student mental health and absenteeism. You can’t solve these issues just by keeping students locked inside of school. They need to GET OUT and as Ken Robinson stated, “Get Out of Their Minds.” Everyone loved the notion and I think, these topics will drive a good part of the discussion. Our session will be “zoomed” in real time to all attending the conference virtually.

 Next week, I’m in ASU GSV land with our BPL crew where I’ve set up lots of 1:1 meetings and will be at our presentations and events including the 20th Anniversary party of the San Diego Met. And not to be missed there’s another great Leadership Journeys on the docket.

Finally, a board member at New Village and long-time friend, David Abel set up a call with me and Mark Sadovnich about Nonflict group whose mission is to develop a group of one million youth peacemakers worldwide. You can go direct to their website or get in touch with me.


Enjoy the weekend!


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