Aloha and Mahalo!
The past few months heading into our second year of operations have been full of learning, pivoting, growth, and tons of activity. We are so grateful for the opportunity to do the work we do with kids and communities, and excited to share it with all of you through our inaugural monthly newsletter!
INSIDE EDUCATION INCUBATOR…
REVERSE PITCHES and COMMUNITY CLIENTS
October was "reverse pitch" month at EI - from our Moonshot Lab Hawaiʻi program at Hālau ʻĪnana Ma Kapaʻakea, to our work with Kāneʻohe Elementary and Mālama Learning Center's partner schools in Nānākuli, students heard from a wide range of community stakeholders in search of audacious solutions to incredible challenges. In the entrepreneurial world, pitches are usually given by small startups to larger companies and investors in an effort to gain support for a new project or product idea. An EI reverse pitch is similar, but the roles are reversed - community stakeholders and organizations pitch the challenges they face in their community and industry to our student design teams to adopt and create innovations for. Local community clients came in to talk story with the students about the nature of their work, as well as any challenges or issues the students could potentially try to solve through their time with EI this school year. Mahalo to all the community stakeholders who took time out of their busy schedules to come and share their work with our student design teams!
MEANING + PURPOSE with
To develop a deeper sense of self and purpose in all of our work, our students and kumu explored Project Wayfinder activities in September and October. The Project Wayfinder Toolkit is an innovative year-long curriculum designed to help us unleash inner purpose in our everyday lives. Our approach at EI and the PW way combine elements of design thinking, social-emotional learning, and student empowerment to help unleash the creative good in each child. All students working with EI complete the Project Wayfinder Purpose Compass activity, which guides them through the process of identifying their strengths and skills, their interests and passions, as well as needs or problems in their community that they can harness their strengths and passions to solve. Students continue to astound us with their innovative and inspiring ideas to bring about positive change in the world. We are so looking forward to which projects they select to work on over the next few months - check back with us often for updates!
INNOVATION WITH ALOHA (IWA)
Our work at EI extends beyond student-focused innovation - to truly #rEInventlearning, we must also redesign our innovation economy and ecosystem. This foundation is built by embracing learners of all ages in engaging programming and conversations to build ʻōiwi and Hawaiʻi-grounded innovation, entrepreneurship, and leadership. In addition to our Innovation With Aloha (IWA) workshops and initiatives providing youth, educators, families and community members with opportunities to innovate and collaborate, we recently launched our Leadership Launa series -- in partnership with XLR8HI and Sultan Ventures, we hosted an informal conversation at Hālau ʻĪnana with Richard Tedlow - renowned historian, professor at Harvard Business School, and faculty member at Apple University. Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media to get more info on our next Leadership Launa!
PD IS ONLY A CLICK AWAY!
Professional (and Personal!) development is not limited to what you find at conferences and in courses - check out this sampling of Helpful Hints, Podcasts to Ponder and Tech Tips we've gathered this past month. If you have some to share, we would love to hear from you - email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Start a Gratitude Journal. Studies suggest that keeping a gratitude journal can have a greater impact on happiness than other forms of journaling. All you need is a blank journal or notebook; try to regularly jot down a few things for which you feel grateful.
PODCASTS TO PONDER
We love a good Podcast at EI! In honor of our Mahalo theme this month, we are happy to share with you The Gratitude Podcast. One of the top 10 Positive Thinking podcasts of 2018, The Gratitude Podcast is a weekly source of inspiration and motivation. Check it out wherever you get your podcasts.
Our team recently started using Airtable, a cloud-based spreadsheet-database hybrid -- it has all the affordances and features of a database, applied to and visualized as a spreadsheet. Users can create a database with unique tables, column types and records. We have found it to be an amazing collaborative organizational tool that helps us with everything from inventory to grant management to social media posts.
EI Book Nook
Orbiting the Giant Hairball, a Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace
by Gordon MacKenzie
At EI, we take our 20% time seriously - and create some seriously fun times together. Whether we are 3D printing or sewing or cooking (and eating!) or reading or just walaʻau-ing, we learn from and challenge each other to seek new perspectives and approach every day as a life-long learner.
Our first team read of the year came to us as a suggestion from our friends at the amazing Blue Valley CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) - Orbiting the Giant Hairball, a Corporate Fool's Guide to Surviving with Grace, by Gordon MacKenzie. MacKenzie takes the reader on a journey deep into the heart of a “giant hairball” - an entity made up of a tangled mass of rules, bureaucracy and systems that stifles the curious inventive “orbiters” who keep the company creative and innovative juices flowing. Whether the hairball is a large corporation like MacKenzie’s Hallmark, or the aging system of education most of us educators find ourselves in, MacKenzie’s storytelling helps us see pathways to evolving and challenging the traditional structures we may find ourselves in.
Some of our Favorite Lines:
"If we are to achieve the quantum leaps the future seems to be demanding of us, we must risk to leave our containers-turned-cages and find the grace to dance without stepping on toes. Others' or our own." (Maggie)
"To be fully free to create, we must first find the courage and willingness to let go:
Let go of the strategies that have worked for us in the past...
Let go of our biases, the foundation of our illusions...
Let go of our grievances, the root source of our victimhood...
Let go of our so-often-denied fear of being found unlovable...
Now when I say let go, I do not mean reject." (Hye Jung)
“Courage, courage, courage. Courage to cross boundaries. Courage to admit idiocy. Courage to acknowledge impasse. Courage to open up to being rescued. We need much courage if we are to respond successfully to the consequences of exploring beyond authorities’ sometimes-beneficial, sometimes-detrimental boundaries. And, if we are to grow, explore we must.” (Miki)