Thanks for visiting.
I spent the better part of the last decade in senior editorial leadership roles at Edutopia, published by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, where I worked closely with educators, researchers, parents, and students to understand the skills young people need to thrive—in their own lives, and in a complex and uncertain world.
I uncovered replicable, evidence-based practices and pedagogies that help students from all socio-economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds foster deeper and broader skill sets around building resilience. I saw first-hand what sorts of environments and experiences help young people develop curiosity and grit. I talked to thousands of students who told me how they developed critical thinking, creativity, collaboration, communication, empathy, and other crucial 21st century skills.
Yet the more I explored, the more I felt like we were ignoring something important: The inner life of the child.
Social and emotional learning is a good start, but I believe we need to take it further. Students need to know who they are, and what they stand for. They need a sense of purpose.
I left my wonderful job to attend Teachers College, Columbia University where for two years I explored the question:
How might we design educational experiences that cultivate the inner life of young people so that they know their own purpose, and can apply that purpose to solving some of the most vexing problems we face today?
I discovered many evidence-based practices that can help, and I am eager to share them in a presentation, workshop, interview, or article.
I look forward to hearing from you!
Keynotes and Presentations
Workshops and Coaching
“Who Cares?” Empowering Students With Purpose
With all the disruptive chaos in today’s world, now is not the time to neglect our students’ sense of who they are or what matters to them. Indeed, to cultivate resilient, passionate, engaged adults, we must design educational experiences that strengthen students' inner awareness, so they can know their strengths more deeply and apply themselves to solving the world’s most vexing problems. This keynote provides inspirational stories and a framework to support educators looking to build purpose-based experiences in their schools.
Contemporary Rites of Passage for Tomorrow's Leaders
Since we first put pigment to cave walls, we humans have prepared our young people for adulthood via an organized, ritualized rite of passage. I believe modern education ignores this more soulful process, and that our young people suffer a crisis of meaning and purpose as a result. In this presentation, I present a customizable model that can be used by parents, educators, and other community leaders to design a contemporary rite of passage experiences for young people that prepares them in mind, body, soul, and spirit for the complex future they will inherit.
Soul School: Creating a more (lower-case "s") soulful school environment
Given the challenges to our essential humanity that are mounting on the horizon (geopolitical, climate, and sociocultural instability, to name a few), we need to dig deeper into our own essential humanity to create solutions from a place of heart and meaning. To be able to thrive in this world, our young people must cultivate a deeper sense of purpose that can sustain them and give them an inner moral compass to design solutions to the challenges in their communities and on the planet. This workshop is designed for educators who are interested in bringing more (lower-case “s”) soulful practices to their schools and classrooms.
1:1 Coaching Services
I work with young people 12-18 to help them design meaningful rites of passage as a way to mark their coming of age. Typically, engagement is for 9 months. Please reach out to me directly and we can discuss your needs.