What if we blurred the boundaries between “school work” and “real-world work?” What if we set the conditions for high-quality collaboration among students, business directors, company executives, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, and school faculty? How might we ignite and nurture life-long curiosity? How might we create School 3.0?
These are some of the major, guiding questions that drove the third annual Council on Innovation, hosted by the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School. As explained on the Council on Innovation website (mvifi.org/coi),
The Council on Innovation comprises about 20 members — experts and visionaries in entrepreneurship, education, business, and community leadership. Called together as a league of advisors, the Council provides insights and inspiration to Mount Vernon Presbyterian School and the Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation. The Council serves as a major spoke of Mount Vernon’s efforts to lead in practitioner research and design for PK-12 education. As a school of inquiry, innovation, and impact, Mount Vernon believes inviting such perspective and partnership enhances the School’s capacity to develop learners who engage real-life challenges and contribute as strong citizen leaders in a complex and rapidly changing world. The Council, inaugurated in 2013, focuses annually on a specific topic or theme — this year’s theme is Disruptive Curiosity.
On Friday, October 23, 2015, the third Council on Innovation met for an intriguing and exciting day of collaboration and disruptive curiosity. Among the Council members were leaders from Google, Georgia Tech, Coca-Cola, and many other varied-industry businesses.
Throughout the day, the event and program teams from MVIFI and MVPS facilitated purposefully created sessions to enable and empower connections and exchanges among the students and faculty at Mount Vernon with the extraordinary individuals on the 2015 Council. Overall, our intent was to continue testing our currently implemented and continuously emerging methods for mashing up everyday work in the business world with that in the school world.
Based on immediate feedback from Council members, faculty, students and Innovation Diploma members, the day was a smashing success. Before the event had even ended, MVIFI and the iDiploma cohorts had offers for continuing collaborations and “consultivations” using our DEEP design thinking methodology and other practices for organizational innovation.
And we at the School and MVIFI are eternally grateful to the Council on Innovation members. By giving of their time and their talents, they help us immeasurably to gain perspective on how we might enhance and improve education and learning for the needs of a modern world and citizenry. The relationships built, the possibilities explored, and the practices employed truly help us to reimagine and drive ever closer to exceptional learning and leadership that bridges and extends the dynamic work happening in our business sectors and our School – for the benefit not just of MVPS students and Atlanta companies, but for educational, business, and difference-making impact at large.
Below you can scroll through the #MVIFI Twitter feed that amassed during the 2015 Council on Innovation. The embedded Storify contains a number of images, captures, and insights, as well as links to already published pieces about the Council experience. Other stories are likely to be shared in the near future. Also, an MVPS News feature from Oct. 14 can be accessed here.
Council on Innovation 2015 – Disruptive Curiosity (Storify by Jim Tiffin, Jr.)