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The Artist’s Delimma

The next few weeks will become Nikki and Monica’s Great Adventure, two friends committed to weekly coffee and figuring out how to fill our days with work that is meaningful and deeply gratifying.

Growing Talent – The Ongoing End

In a month we will come upon our year anniversary of starting this journey of school reaching out to industry.  It started with the school district connecting with the community. A simple talk at a Chamber of Commerce event set the stage. Listening ears perked up and responded. It’s a dance. The more we collaborate, the more we continue to gain a deeper understanding of each other and that the times they really are a changin’. None of us can continue doing school and business like we have been. Last week I was listening to the president of Murray State University speak about the new …

Hackable Cities – Re imagine Your Neighborhood

Hackable Cities is a way for a anyone to get about the business of making their community a better place. This project was my first attempt as an agile scrum master, and I fell in love with the process immediately. Using agile, we produced this book in about 8 weeks. I had a star cast of the brightest people I have ever had the privilege to work with. Fellow community developer, Jonathan Rewers, and I did final edits and helped lead the team through the actual the process in the Eixample neighborhood in Barcelona, Spain. We ended up winning a Design for …

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Growing Talent – The Nudge

Last month I experienced one of the most powerful things we’ve done so far to connect students and teachers with industry. I’ve described in recent posts how in our journey to build talent in tech, we’ve started the conversation with school leaders, industry, and higher education. We’ve examined the student journey to see where we connect and disconnect. But none of this has gotten the traction or even the power to change attitudes so quickly as our most recent endeavor which was to get out of the building and put the target customer (aka the student) in the space. We created a …

Growing Talent – Understanding the Student Experience

As an experience designer, research that involves understanding and communicating the student journey is my favorite. In that journey are the key motivators and insights into student behavior. Surprisingly many tend to skip this research phase. I think this happens for a few reasons. One, we think we already know. Why ask when I can just assume? It’s less time consuming and of course, I’m probably  right anyway! If you take this point of view, you will design something for that little world in your head and be left wondering why no one is responding to your great new initiatives. Rule #1: Don’t …

Growing Talent – Starting the Conversation

When I received a last minute invitation from my superintendent to attend a round table discussion with a local tech company, I  had no idea what I was in for. As I approached the beautiful stone and glass office space with its lush and meticulously landscaped grounds, I wondered how our students would feel entering this beautiful, yet imposing space or if they even knew of its existence. At the meeting were higher education leaders, department heads of the college and university’s technology departments, other K-12 school district leaders in the area, economic development professionals, and the company leadership. The company was being proactive and …