Last summer, my husband and I took our weekly walks to our local farmer’s market. When I am not traveling we always include the Farmer’s Market in our Saturday plans. The popularity of Farmer’s Markets in our area speaks to a whole fascinating disruption in how we buy and consume food that adds flavor to local communities, neighborhood interaction, and the joy of city and suburban life.
On this particular Saturday, I was approached by a woman who complimented our family dog and spoke in pleasantries for a few minutes. She then said, “I hope you don’t mind my asking, but I thought it was you. We went to high school together and you started the Save the Children Club. I want you to know that as soon as I started working, I started supporting Save the Children and still do. You really impressed me with that club. Thank you.”
Well, I was impressed. A small act of giving can have wide and long ripple effects in ways far beyond our knowing. The bake sales the club members held to raise money to support the monthly fees were fun and getting to know the child we were supporting was eye-opening. But the thanks don’t go to me. In third grade, my teacher, Mrs. June Drusin, assigned a book report about a foreign country. I chose Sweden. I can still remember sitting at my father’s desk in our den reading about Sweden, writing about it, and coloring in the flag of Sweden on the book report cover. For me, this one assignment started a lifelong interest and caring about the education and employment systems of other countries which still continues today. Every time I board a plane to the Middle East or Africa or some other distant part of the world, I want to understand how children are faring and how the pipeline from school to talent is serving them.
Today, I lead New Learning Ventures, a global consulting firm. I travel a great deal and am able to see the school to talent ecosystem firsthand. Recently, we were honored to announce a new partnership with the Global Parliament of Mayors. Based in The Hague, the Global Parliament of Mayors is a government body that acts like a Parliament support debate and policy in the many aspects of building resilient cities. Together the Global Parliament of Mayors and New Learning Ventures have created Global Parliament of Mayors Talent Cities which supports mayors in building new talent ecosystems that align education, employment and entrepreneurial systems for inclusion and achievement of city economic aspirations.
I have particularly enjoyed introducing the EdLab to many of my partners around the world and often bringing them to campus where together we envision and enact the new learning ecosystem of the 21st century.
The world is changing. Silos are disappearing. Cities are agents of change. I am pleased to be able to play a part.