• Elliot Washor

Elliot Washor's TGIF "Are you with me now?" 11.13.21


Yesterday, I had a follow-up call with Joe Youcha. Joe brought his friend John Dillow, co-founder of SkillSmart to Zoom. John Dillow has worked with out-of-school youth in Baltimore for decades starting some amazing non-profits like Living Classroom Foundation. Presently, John took that work and started SkillSmart, an organization that works with industry to identify the skills needed for all sorts of work and then, matches up youth around their interests to that work letting them know what skills they need to get and where to get them. What they don’t do is what B-Unbound does which is to give youth access to adults around those interests in the workplace. We all thought this is a real good match-up. We will be having follow-up talks in the next few weeks.

Like ImBlaze, The International Big Picture Learning Credential made it to the Second Round of the 2021 Tools Competition sponsored by Schmidt Futures and Citadel founder and CEO Ken Griffin. This gives us lots of ways to get the word out through their network both to schools and B-U. We are gearing up for the next round. Also, lots of meetings with Big Picture Australia and BPL working on the IBPLC PD for schools in Washington. You gotta always be real appreciative of getting recognized for work BPL has done over decades and this paper, Family Engagement Reimagined: Innovations Strengthening Family School Connections to Help Students Thrive by Mahnaz Charania at The Christensen Institute is no exception. But how I wish Zelayne was here to read this. The best I can do is channel her reaction because, on another level, it barely scratches the surface of the work we do with families. Here, the story is that the story is much bigger than the story presented.

 

Random thoughts

How come? Why?, Cómo es que? / Por qué, Comment venir? / Pourquoi How come all these folks who are interested in “What’s your why?” don’t use “How come?” when it means the same thing or does it? I’m big on “How do you do it?” and once I establish WHY I don’t want to keep pondering or revisiting it but I will bring up “How come?” all the time. Perhaps, I like the word HOW because I’m dyslexic. HOW is the only question word of the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How genre that moves the w’s and h’s around. Many times, acting our way of thinking is delayed by the conversation about WHY? Once again, HOW is “the movement that gives it the sock.”

The VerdExchange is an annual cross-platform California conference gathering accomplished clean and green tech entrepreneurs, energy & water companies, blue economy mavens, advanced vehicle manufacturers, soft & hardware developers, public policymakers as well as: procurers, innovative financiers, and environmental stewards "under-one-roof" to assess what's needed in the market to propel the global, trillion-dollar Verde economy.

One thing left out is young people and I took care of that. This is our students from Santa Monica’s Michelle & Barack Obama Center For Inquiry & Exploration. The conference occurred right before COVID closed schools. These students were the surprise big hits at the conference. Keynotes referenced them and their presence was felt at the sessions they attended. The VerdExchange will be up and running “live” again this year. There are trillions of green infrastructure dollars that will create lots of opportunities for invention and work. We have tickets to the conference. Let’s get our youth there and then, into these fields of their interests.

 

Who's got the last laugh now?

On November 9th, The Met celebrated its 25th anniversary and I had my 70th birthday on the same day. What no one at The Met realized (except me) was that the Peace Street campus of the Met was officially opened on November 9th, 2001, 20 years ago as well. Our Mayor in Providence at the time, Buddy Cianci, and Governor Lincoln Almond were at the ribbon-cutting. Of course, the ‘larger than life’ Mayor Buddy stole the show when he said, “You might think you are here to celebrate the opening of the Met School but actually, we are all here to celebrate Elliot’s birthday.” How he knew it was my birthday, I’ll never know but Buddy was a master of the art of improvisation. After that comment, the house came down with a thunderous roar and the Governor couldn’t make a comeback. It was over and at that moment, like jazz, Buddy showed us through improvisation how to break rules that replaced the pursuit of perfection and organization with an invitation to experiment. Next week, the BPL Ashé Leaders Fellowship meets in San Diego. A long-time (25 years) connection to the word Ashé comes to us through our buildings at The Met that were designed by architect Steven Bingler from New Orleans. And, not by coincidence, Steven was also the architect of the Ashé Cultural Arts Center in New Orleans. Over the years, we have had many meetings at Ashé NOLA. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone in San Diego. Ashé! Thanks all for those great birthday warm wishes, fun thoughts, and affections. “Love you madly.” D. E. Be well!


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Elliot Washor

Co-Founder of Big Picture Learning

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