Bringing about dramatic and lasting social change requires lifelong leadership and learning lessons along the way.
Typical Tuesday with Weezie Yancey-Siegel
Founder & Creative Catalyst of The Eduventurist Project
Mill Valley, CA
Weezie, we are interested in getting a picture of a Typical Tuesday for you, because we are fascinated by the individualized approach you are taking to your education. You write on Eduventurist: I took this past year off from formal higher ed to try out more of a self-designed, experiential approach to learning (check out my personal syllabus!). I have since decided to not return to Pitzer and am looking for alternative ways to receive a degree.
With that, let me ask you: How would you describe your “work” today?
I help weave and build the ecosystem for alternatives to college and spread the stories of people who have crafted creative learning paths.
What three qualities stand out to you as necessary qualities for someone who wants to take a similar entrepreneurial approach to education?
1) The confidence in themselves to take the path less traveled and do things differently from what is considered the norm, (2) Passion for the work they are doing, in order to be self-guided in their learning process (3) A genuine interest and ability to communicate with different kinds of people and to be a good storyteller.
Great! Can you tell us about a typical Tuesday (as if there were such a thing)?
You're right- there isn't really a typical day, but this is what my days have been like in the last month or so!
8:00 AM - Wake up and go on a jog through the woods
9:00 AM - Check and respond to an email from Joe Antenucci, an Eduventurist profilee, and a few emails from people regarding an upcoming design brainstorm on the future of learning. Spend some time checking out links to interesting articles on social entrepreneurship, videos on DIY learning, and email introductions to people that others have wanted to connect me to.
10:00 AM - Conduct a Skype interview with a young person in Europe who has decided to take time out of their college career to conduct their own "learning journey" by traveling around and engaging in various projects relating to sustainability. The individual is also teaching themselves to code for web development, as their college didn't offer classes in this area.
11:30 AM - Drive into San Francisco for a meeting at the Hub, a co-working space for changemakers. I'm meeting with a team of various young people as well as older people with experience in the social entrepreneurship space for a focus group session on designing a new kind of experiential learning program for aspiring changemakers (social intrapreneurs, entrepreneurs, innovators) in the Bay Area. I take notes, ask questions, and give a PowerPoint presentation on the programs I have studied to-date in order to give people an idea of the models I am looking at.
2:00 PM - Meet with a mentor for tea at her house. Ask for her advice on my current projects but also take the time to have her tell me about her own path in life. Leave feeling super inspired and filled with new ideas!
3:30 PM - Go to a café. Go online to check email, read relevant articles on Huffington Post, GOOD Magazine, or Shareable. Post helpful links for fellow Eduventurists on the Eduventurist Facebook page or Twitter, and begin transcribing the interview from earlier in the day to put up as a blog post.
6:15 PM - Go to a zumba or yoga class to allow my brain to have a break.
7:15 PM - Another skype interview with a creative entrepreneur in New York telling me about their vision of an ideal higher education for today’s entrepreneurs.
9:00 PM - Spend time with family and watch The Daily Show and Colbert Report.
11:00 PM - Go to sleep!
Before we conclude, could you give us one guiding principle/quote/idea for people who want to do what you are doing?
Follow your intuition and pay attention to what inspires you: that moment when you hear a word, phrase, or story that gives you goose bumps. That's your soul speaking to you and helping you to define your path.
Six guiding leadership principles can help private sector leaders build long-term relationships with nonprofit leaders.
Data from Echoing Green Fellowship applicants show that a new approach to finance and support that cultivates social entrepreneurs must emerge.