Nov 1, 2022
How can the most innovative square mile on the planet also be plagued by racial injustice 2 blocks away? And what can we do about it?
This is just one of the many difficult questions teens at 'Innovators For Purpose' are tackling through project-based experiences they design in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
They are building installations. Publishing books. Creating augmented reality simulations. Building educational games. And producing podcasts.
And they are using a few simple, innovative tools to guide them.
In this interview, we unpack some of these innovative tools including the 'Innovators Compass,' with its creator Ela Bur, and co-founders of 'Innovators For a Purpose' Michael and Donna Dawson. Through our short chat you will learn how to use similar tools to seamlessly facilitate a multitude of student projects within your own context, and transform the community as a result.
Sample Innovators' Compass for Two Blocks Project:
Connect with Ela on LinkedIn, Twitter (@elabenur)
Connect with Donna on LinkedIn.
Connect with Michael on LinkedIn.
Learn more about the 'Innovators' Compass' and '2 Blocks Project:' https://innovatorsforpurpose.org/2blocks
Michael Dawson's Bio: Co-founder and CEO of IFp, career has spanned engineering, marketing and sales in High Tech as well as entrepreneurial endeavors resulting in a hybrid of technical skills, business acumen, design savviness, relationship building abilities and an undeniable entrepreneurial spirit. Holds Bachelor & Master in Electrical Engineering Degrees from the University of South Florida and an MBA from Babson College.
Donna Dawson's Bio: Co-founder of iFp, VP Youth Empowerment, visionary thinker with a zeal for art and the art making process. Inventive art educator with a proven capacity for promoting a respectful, caring, safe and inclusive classroom. Creates engaging learning experiences focused on Human Centered Design Principles, Character Development and Professional Identity that inspires youth to pursue Design and STEM careers. Holds a Bachelor of Arts in Art Education with over 20 years teaching experience and a certified K-12 instructor.
Ela's Bio: Ela supports educators and organizations making postive change with Design Thinking. Over 13 prior years at innovation firm IDEO, Ela was a design practitioner, project leader, team coach, facilitator for clients, and co-founder of IDEO’s Leadership Studio. Ela teaches courses from product design to life design at pioneering Olin College. She has led featured workshops at venues from MIT (her alma mater) to the National Science Teachers’ Association, AIGA, International Development Design Summit, and US Conference on AIDS. With many co-experimenters, she developed Innovators’ Compass (#innovatorscompass, innovatorscompass.org), 5 powerful questions in one visual tool used from preschools to companies and communities to creatively and collaboratively navigate challenges. Ela’s daughters are her inspiration.