Wednesday, July 22, 2009

On Leadership and Vision

Reflecting on today, I would define leadership as a mix of three essentials: vision, communication, and decision-making. Vision is based upon wisdom—borne of actively listening, keenly observing, and reliably projecting into the future (often bred by experience). Communication is more difficult as it depends on hearing, balancing, and clearly elaborating. Decision-making is tougher. Often it can be looked at as saying yes or no but in reality it is taking responsibility for results. This in turn is dependent on believing strongly in the group that is being led—never micro-managing! Thus true leadership recognizes that the leader is really the servant. Ego has no part of true leadership. A very strong sense of identity, personal motivation, patience, and true strength IS required.

One of the people I admire for their wisdom on leadership is John Abele, the founder of Boston Scientific. I highly recommend his blog  for insight into leadership and collaboration. He is one who has consistently enabled innovation—the nearly impossible to happen, enriching our lives, despite major obstacles in the path.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Summer—a Time for Knowledge Sharing

There can be long stretches when life is too frantic there is no time to write. There are other times like today, when so much is happening that one has to record at least the main points. Today is such a day. It was fully a "meeting day" today and tomorrow promises to be much the same. Meetings can be soooo frustrating as there seems to be stacks of work that NEEDS to be done and meetings threaten to upend. The important piece about a good meeting, as I've learned from experience, is that is it can raise the bar. Voices of many can cut the work load by slicing through to the "best" solution. Properly delegated much can then be accomplished OR many can be reached. Today was such a day at the EMC. 

At the very end of the day, Brian and Jeremy presented to Ken and myself on their plan for the Masie iPhone application. Their challenge is to become proficient at developing the code behind the application so that at the October conference they can create an app in 3 days with  a community of advisors and two other Champlain students: a designer and an artist. This summer they are working to learn but they also are working creating on an innovate app to profile pre-conference.

Today Sarah, Ken, Ray and myself were involved in two interviews one for newspaper, the other for community radio. One interview focused on the Cystic Fibrosis project now in completion of the concept and testing of the games by patients. They are quite wonderful to play. It was good to share where they started, what they are, and likewise how we've come to appreciate that community.

The other was an interview was on the Violence Against Women game project. Let's hope it can raise awareness and bring new support to the project. The good news is that in the last few weeks, thank in part to the a generous donation by Population Media Center, we've raised $30,000 to bring the project out from under hiatus!!!!We will need much more to complete the project so we've begun a campaign - we're calling it the "It's a little thing" campaign in reference to the email that began it. To each donor, no matter the size of the gift they can give, we will bring them in on the creation process, presenting to them art assets, scripts, test results, etc. so they can follow and become part of our team.  

But back to today and this week the team presents work to date to the UNFPA tomorrow. We will share the video presentation with you through our web site Empowering Play  For over a year now, I've been writing about how incredible our students our, their creativity and their talent. In this video, it shines through clearly!

Last but not least, Thursday the team working on our Virtual Museum web presence project with VT. State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles share their concepts to the board of advisors for the project. Wish them luck—their idea(s) move way beyond the boxes of artifacts stored, way beyond museum exhibits, and into global knowledge sharing. And isn't that waht this is ALL about—global knowledge sharing?

Ok big breath, smile - as my friend Pat says -it's all good.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer is here!

It was such a jammed packed school year that we are finally catchin gour breath at the EMC. Not to say that we still don't have a lot going on but there is more time to spend on each project and to get out and play!

Many of us just coompleted the Governor's Institute of Vermont in Information Technology. Eight faculty members, ten Champlain college students as Resident Advisors((RAs)one of whom also took on a teaching load!),and 40 teens from through out Vermont! It was an awesome experience with us learning as much as we taught.

Other projects going on at the EMC are with the Vermont State Archeologist Giovanna Peebles on a "virtual museum", finalizing the Cystic Fibrosis game (now in testing, and IBM project in virtual worlds, mapping of Burlington in Google Earth with the college and soon the City of Burlington, and iPhone app with Elliott Masie for his Fall Learning 2009 conference.

What is going into hiatus - or maybe not is the UN game project to end violence against women. Funding from the UN ended July 1 but will resume in January. Especially cool is that the project became part of the Secretary General's UNite Campaign so will now be available for country funding under that banner. So last night we all celebrated with an old-fashioned grill complete with sparklers, a firepit, volleyball and of course DDR!

Till the UN funds come through again, we are in a people-to-people fundraising campaign of our own to keep the creativity and progress going in the meantime. Check out these links to learn more or get involved:
Project Website:
VAW Blog:

Here's our video to explain the project recently post to YouTube (thank you Ray and team!):