I heard Tony Wagner at an Olin College event in Palo Alto on Sunday and his thoughts about how to educate a generation of innovators as described in his book Creating Innovators. See the book trailer below:
The book is available in hardcover and kindle versions here.
Read my new article on the Huffington Post, Engineers Students Can Do X, here. One of the experiences described in the article is giving a talk and having a student ask the following questions:
How do you learn to have the courage to be present as a leader?”
I realized in the moment how central the question was to learning to lead and to effective education more generally. Read the article to see the larger set context and my answer to the student’s question.
Doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting a different result paraphrases Einstein’s definition of insanity, and one of the insanities of engineering education is the belief that the same old organizational structure (with the same old culture) will give us something substantially different in the delivery of an engineering education. The current organization of higher education goes back to the German idea of a university developed in the 19th century, which itself was built on the scholastic notion of universities of the middle ages. To move beyond University 2.0 of the 19th century requires some rethinking of structure (among other things), but one of the promising directions is the idea of an incubator as implemented at The Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (www.ifoundry.illinois.edu).
iFoundry connects across the organization to achieve lateral alignment not from the top-down or the bottom-up, but from the middle out. Two principles guide the design of iFoundry: respect for faculty governance and the open pilot of innovative programs. The normal departmental vote on curriculum essentially vetoes curriculum innovation (“transformation is fine, just don’t change my course”). An incubator cuts this Gordian knot, permitting innovation and requiring a vote for final change, thereby respecting faculty approval processes.
The model continues to function at Illinois, and it is being taken up by others, including schools in Singapore and Brazil. The generalization of these ideas is the notion of a respectful, structured space for innovation or an RSSI, in which a meso-level dot connector connects across an organization for lateral alignment. These topics are part of the ThreeJoy smooth change methodology used in change initiative engagements and change training courses. Write email@example.com for more information.
Dan Pink’s RSA Animate video from his bestseller Drive is a terrific way into the potential for intrinsic motivation in engineering education transformation.
8.7 million people have seen it already, but even you have, its worth watching again. Better yet, read the book (here).
Griffin, Price & Vojak have released their long-awaited book on serial innovators, Serial Innovators: How Individuals Create and Deliver Breakthrough Innovations in Mature Firms. The thinking in this book was instrumental to the formulation of iFoundry thinking about engineering education transformation (www.ifoundry.illinois.edu) and is baked into many of the offerings of ThreeJoy Associates.
An excerpt from the book on problem finding is up at Fast Company (here).
The Big Beacon is a global movement to transform engineering education. Read the manifesto in the viewer below,
Seth Godin’s book Linchpin: Are You Indispensable argues that the worker of the 21st century needs to develop a unique skill set that will make him or her a must-have, go-to-guy-or-gal, johnnie-or-janie-on-the spot rather than a body that takes up time and space and does a rote job that many others can do. ThreeJoy’s vision of the engineer of the future and engineering education is consistent with this vision in that the world needs indispensable category creator engineers, not just category enhancers.
Stanford prof Carol Dweck discusses the educational implications of her theories on growth mindset versus fixed mindset in the video below:
Students with a fixed mindset focus on results rather than learning and tend to respond negatively to adversity, whereas students with a growth mindset tend to focus on learning goals and are relatively resilient when faced with difficult challenges. Read more about mindset in Dweck’s book (here).
ThreeJoy President and Founder, Dave Goldberg, was recently named a Distinguished Academic Partner of Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA. Goldberg co-founded the Ilinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education (here) and the Olin-Illinois Partnership. Together with Mark Somerville he is the co-founder of the Big Beacon, a global movement to collaboratively disrupt engineering education (here). Goldberg joins MIT’s Woodie Flowers as the other person so designated (here).