Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Education by Design

I wrote recently about Bill McDonough and the idea of Designing for what we want to leave behind. I mentioned that I questioned if the educational system we have matches the dreams we have for the students we pass through our system (and sometimes we seem to do little more to them than pass them through). A few days later my wife called my attention to this video/slide-show by Bill Strickland. I was repeatedly amazed by what he has achieved in the most depressed areas of Pittsburgh. I loved one line, “The only thing wrong with poor people is that they don’t have any money….. and that’s a curable condition”. He offers a vision of what education could look like if it was designed by people who believed in the capacity of people to be great.

Bill Strickland has a simple message: "Harness the Power of Believing in People". His work has brought him a MacArthur Genius grant, a Grammy award, an invitation to lecture at Harvard University, and a seat on the board of the National Endowments for the Arts. With a message as simple as it is profound, he strikes a universal chord, mesmerizes audiences and brings them to their feet in appreciation. Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect, and they will perform miraculous deeds. From a sleeping bag on the second floor of a dilapidated building he built one of the most extraordinary organizations in America, employing and training thousands. Let Bill teach and inspire you to see the real person, and harness the power of believing in people.

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