Zadra Creative Blog

Re-imagining Education

 350 teachers unleash inspiring “what if’s” at GE Conference

Dan GE Photo for BlogOn July 17, I gave the final keynote speech at the Annual GE Education Conference in Orlando, Florida. The conference theme was “Re-imagining Education.” What an honor—and what an exciting and heart-warming outcome.

To set the tone for the speech, everyone in the audience received a copy of Kobi Yamada’s award-winning and best-selling children’s book, “What Do You Do With an Idea?”

The answer to that question, by the way, is revealed at the end of the book: What do you do with an idea? “You change the world with it.” It was the perfect message and spirit to cap off one of the most inspiring educational conferences I’ve ever attended.

But there’s more: At the end of the speech, everyone in the audience was invited to write down a personal dream or “what if?” for American education—and the ideas flew! In 15 minutes more than 350 educators and business leaders submitted a torrent of breakthrough ideas and possibilities for our students and schools. Many were shared right on the spot, as runners with live microphones circulated through the audience.

In the end, all the ideas were collected by GE Foundation leaders Kelli Wells and Karen Kariuki. (Stay tuned. The entire outpouring of ideas may form the basis for an upcoming e-book on Re-imagining Education.) Hats off to GE and all the educators and business leaders who attended the 2014 GE Education Conference. Thunderous applause for inspiring, affirming and celebrating creativity and breakthrough thinking throughout our schools and districts.


2 thoughts on “Re-imagining Education

  1. Brilliant conference topic. How necessary, and to read your enthusiasm it’s sort of infectious.
    Hope someone videoed a lot of it – would be worthwhile seeing it and maybe I could help creating some sort of ground swell. Too important to keep it a secret.
    Well done CHAMP.

  2. Michael, thanks for the great feedback. We DID have videographers there, and I am waiting for the vids to arrive. When they do, I will forward a copy. The speech was an hour, so I will probably send an edited version. It was an exciting day, and an inspiring outcome. Shows you what 350 educators can do in a very short period of time when they let their imagination fly!

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