Designership Birth Story

10554511256_99842b55dd_zA journey has to start somewhere.

Sometimes it is hard to pinpoint the exact moment in time when an idea started to gain its legs. And more often than not, it is not really the moment that you remember but a combination of moments before it. This is what is tricky about asking someone to start from the beginning of the story. But if I were to try to, I think it has to do with a series of stand-out moments that fit together like a puzzle that caused me to get to where I am now and spark this designership into action.

For me, it all began back in 2011 when I first started joining in on education conversations. I approached these conversations as I had approached community development before that, exhibit design before that and architecture before that. I wanted to contribute, I wanted to be a part of changing lives, I wanted to make a difference.

And for each one of these conversations there was something that gnawed at me, something that didn’t feel quite right and kept me looking for more. And finally I realized what I needed was to weave these conversations together rather than try and fit myself into each conversation separately. It is this systemic approach that I have that makes things complicated and clearer all at the same time.

One conversation in particular always sticks out for me as a moment I look back on as fuel to my flame. During a set of introductions, someone looked at me puzzled and said,

“Wait, you’re not a teacher or parent…why do you care about education?”

This has always been a catalyst for why I am a part of education conversations. I think everyone should included, heard and want to be a part of shaping the future of education.

This moment and many more like it define my position and place within this work. I believe that the designership is the place where all kinds of minds, perspectives and ideas can convene around the future of education.

I am proud to be known as an “outsider” to education and yet still push people’s thinking and perspectives. I find myself lucky to be able to do that. To have the confidence to say, I am not like you but my voice still belongs here. It took me time to own this position and to take it on as my brand.

And then there are the multiple times I have had the same conversation over and over again with people who want more; more tools to come up with solutions, more than just one day to connect with other thinkers, more commitment from others to do more and more from themselves. I want that for myself too.

Let’s take all the moments that have led to this moment and start something new. 

So the designership was born to start a network of thinking partners to create time, space and resources to take action, provide resources to activate systems change and hone in on the gap between community and education. We cannot do this work alone and the designership relies on problem solvers coming together in new ways to test out the theory that different minds, design tools and forward-thinking can ignite new solutions. This inaugural year of the designership is just another part of the journey and the first cohort will be pivotal in shaping the future of education, both inside and outside the designership. If you feel like I do, that you have more to give and you want more then apply for the designership today. It is your time. #learnwithquestions