This morning a picture from three years ago popped up on my Facebook feed. Usually I disregard these because I’ve seen them already and I’ve lived through it. This particular picture struck me because it reminded me of when I started questioning education in my Disrupt Education movement. The picture (above) is me in Paris, France on a river cruise with The Eiffel Tower behind us. It looks like any other tourist picture but to me it has much deeper meaning.
This trip was put together by an esteemed colleague of mine who asked me to go on it. It was a trip in which we took 30 high school students on and traveled throughout Europe. We set this trip up a whole year in advance. It was definitely not an easy task. We worked with parents, teachers, students, and administrators to find ways that we could take a diverse group of students on the spectacular 10 day journey. Some kids were able to fund the trip as they had the resources to do so. Some kids barely had a dime to their family’s name. We scrambled throughout the year finding donors and figuring out how to raise cash for all students to go.
The trip was officially called the Global Student Leader Summit. We traveled from Chicago to Germany to Amsterdam to Paris to Geneva and ended in Davos, Switzerland. There was a three day summit that changed my worldview of education in Switzerland. I was able to see and hear three individuals speak who are truly amazing. Among them were Clint Smith, Cesar Shahid, and one of my favorite authors of all time Sir Ken Robinson. Actually being in the same room with all three of these individual was amazing enough. The information I received was outstanding.
I realized that traditional education needed to be changed immediately.
There was so much information it was almost overwhelming. The summit worked around the idea of design thinking. There’s a lot of power and design thinking in education. Looking at how design thinking works and adding education to it was how disrupt education was born.
On June 27, 2015 I signed a summit challenge and pledge that I hold today.
The challenge states “How might we redesign education to meet the needs of the future?“ The summit pledge reads “I except the summer challenge and will continue to seek new and innovative solutions when I return home.
”From that day forward I promised myself that I would continue to look for new innovative solutions in education for the rest of my life. This journey is only three years old and I can honestly say I have learned so much from the people who I have talked to. Listening to people's stories and understanding their views of education continues to inspire me to be a part of disrupt education.
Thank you all for following this journey and supporting my effort to changing education for the better.