Want to thank Brett from DeHavilland & Associates for being kind enough to pick me up at the airport a few hours ago ago in Charlotte, NC. Down here for a whirlwind day/night of meeting some great folks in the furniture end of the school design world, and had an extra or two before the meetings begin so we decided to try to solve the entire future of education question in one lunch. And the great British pub he took me to was a great bonus, too. We discussed:
- His 4 year old son's fascination with construction toys. Great story about his kid and his pj's.
- Montessori education and student-centered learning.
- How careers evolve, often in ways you can never predict. Helping kids in schools follow similar 'learning adventures', trusting that they'll pick up the key skills but should lead from passion and curiosity first. Scores a distanct second.
- Whether business people and educators can strike up a conversation using similar language. If their goals will ever be the same.
- And what the end-goal of bringing education and business together, beyond a 'need'. He's got great ideas. And he was forgiving when I peppered him with question after question, what-if after what-if.
I think we made some progress, too.
Brett, you probably recall, is a consultant and expert who sits at the intersection of business and education. He helps businesses figure out ways to help education. Good stuff that!
Ask him what his passion is, and he'll tell you that it's the 'dialogue'. Simple. Getting people to talk. Getting experts from both industries to step out of their day to day routines...and start a conversation. A conversation centered on where this entire school question is headed.
He's a smart guy who can manage to impress you with a range of solutions. Truth be told, however, he's more interested in asking questions. Helping these 2 industries become allies, listen better, ask each other better questions, seek more powerful answers, and see something good come of it. But what I really like is that he understands that without dialogue, it doesn't matter if you're right.
Nice to see once again that the blogosphere can lead to real face-to-face conversations. This was our first time meeting in person. All virtual until today. Fascinating, really. We originally ran into each other virtually through our respective blogging and research. Been spending a few hours here and there talking about business, where education is going, and ways to help foster true conversation and innovation. And now we put a real handshake together in real time in a real location across from the same table.
Funny. There really is NO separation between the real and the virtual. All that has changed is that we have more tools at our disposal to connect. And frankly, I'd hate to go back to the day when you only knew the people you could throw a stick at in proximity.
In any event, when time allows, go check out the continually improving Business and Education Forum that Brett and his DeHavilland efforts have recently given birth to. It's called the Business Education Partnership, but I prefer the Biz4Ed from the website name itself. Some great feedback from the business community has already come his way. Realizing that he has a knack for connecting the dots between so many individual programs that want to help spur great innovation in education.
And ask him the story behind the story on the naming of his firm, DeHavilland. Great symbol.