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  • Writer's pictureElliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF 4.22.2023

“Are you with me now?” AJ Ryder

And the band played on….. Obesity, Life Expectancy and Poverty rates in the US

Mapping U.S. Obesity Rates at the County Level

Age-adjusted obesity rates by U.S. county (2008). Click to enlarge, or view the large PNG or SVG. Higher obesity rates are darker.

Gatherings, Meetings and Journeys … “Mingling with, Muddling through, Mattering to”

For me, the beauty of ASU GSV is: the gatherings 1:1 meetings; and Leadership Journeys. In one sense, BPL puts the conference on pause when on the first night people from the conference come over to our home for music, chat and dinner. This year, DJ Mickey Breeze played while everyone mingled. It was a great time and a welcome reprieve from a hotel conference with a cast of thousands. Everything changes when you are in a different environment. There’s always lots of people saying how grateful they are to get out to a home setting for a change of pace. Another type of getaway was provided by us in the form of a Leaving to Learn to the San Diego Met. For many of the 50 people from around the country who spent the morning there, it was the highlight of the conference. Our students ran the program and the feedback was that most of the educators never experienced anything like it.

Next, the book signing of Learning to Leave: How Real-world Learning Transforms Education was just a great experience. Over the years, I’ve learned to really spend 1:1 time with each and every person I sign a book for and then, write a note that is meaningful from our talk. At the signing, I spoke with former students and friends from over 30 years ago. Last week, I wrote about the feedback I got from people who have read the book. One of the best ‘back at ya’ lines this week was from Karla who remarked, Learning to Leave sounds like a book about euthanasia. ‘Nuff said.

During the conference, my 1:1 meetings were mostly about the International Big Picture Learning Credential. I met with the Dean of Education, the Chief Operations Officer and the President of ASU. All of them green lighted process going forward. A partner like ASU in the IBPLC work can really be a game-changer. They have all the pieces we don’t have i.e. size and a level of credibility in the vetting and warranting process for the credential. There’s lots more to do but I’m hopeful about the potential of this partnership. Also in the midst of the conference, Viv, Andrea and I along with Bo Stjerne Thomsen from the LEGO Foundation did a webinar for Grantmakers for Education on making the kind of investment that the LEGO Foundation made using the International Big Picture Learning Credential (IBPLC) as an example. Bo made a great case for why it is important to make this grant for a cutting edge initiative like the IBPLC. It has international ramifications for changing assessment systems that most in the education world already deem unfair and inaccurate in measuring how you are smart but few have any way of making significant meaningful changes.

For some reason at ASU GSV, I had loads of meetings with people from Texas which is where I am today. Michael Lyescas from the Fossil Foundation and George Tang from the Community Foundation of Texas spent time with many of us from BPL. Both George and Michael attended Leadership Journeys and were blown away. It goes without saying that each of the Leadership Journeys is different and without talking about the content, this LJ was different because of process. Thanks to the behind the scenes work of Karla and Chris, everyone seemed even more comfortable and more in the swing of things which makes the presenters more comfortable and the participant audience more receptive.

One more thing…

I loved stopping by the TYBO meeting this week and giving some history and perspective. After many years of dormancy, TYBO is back! Much thanks go to Jen and Co. for its return. At the conference, there were probably a half dozen people who remarked about our sustainability. In large part, this is due to our principal PD and succession planning.

Right now I’m in Texas doing some recon for Big Bang and next I’ll be back in San Diego and up with Dennis in Oakland where we connect around College Unbound.

Be well!

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