Although we'll be going back and share the process and longer reflections on the experiences to date, here is some context for how the Atlanta K12 Design Challenge got started and what's ahead:
For 2 years, @thelovettschool and @WestminsterAtl worked with the local R.Howard Dobbs, Jr. Foundation and Fulton County Schools' developing charter network to define and launch an innovation partnership. It took way longer than it should, in part because we were trying to marry the less- structured independent schools with a charter network that was already deep into their first cohort and strategic planning. Design thinking was new to the public schools, and the education process (and buy-in) just took awhile. But, we got there!
Next step was to invite some of our other independent school buddies into the mix. No one said "no", and we're delighted to have Woodward Academy, Mount Vernon Presbyterian School, The Paideia School, and Atlanta International School as participants!
For Bob Ryshke, the Fulton County leadership team, and me it was really important to establish common language and connect closely with the experts. This fall we were delighted to finalize a tight partnership with @stanforddschool and a strategic d.school fellow for their new d.global initiative: @jscottsanchez! Scott's been amazing, and the d.school team is ready to help us MAKE CHANGE!
For the next 18 months, we have four goals in the initial Atlanta market:
#1 Build capacity for design thinking as a process for school innovation;
#2 launch pathways to solving complex issues
#3 develop institutional capacity for change;
#4 establish rich connections and collaborations across schools.
Kickoff on November 12th: Trained 4 mentors and 11 school-designated facilitators
Design Workshop on January 14th: Teams of 4-8 per school joined us for all day workshop.
First phase between now and a March summit: Develop empathy around our users and each school’s HMW.
In March we’ll spend 2 days unpacking the HMW; then refine, brainstorm and begin prototyping.
We have 3 foundations in the wings for Phase 2: 2014-15 school year $$ challenges to support each school team.
Gotta run moderate the session. Look for more here in the next few days! And, follow #ak12dc for all the buzz!
Co-Founder, Atlanta K12 Design Challenge
Director, Strategic Innovation at The Lovett School