Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April Fools

April 1, 2013

So many holidays just crammed into such a short amount of time!  Today was a normal ship day.  No one really pulled a good April fools day joke that I know of yet.

I shot an interview with George Kembel of Standford's D.School this morning.  He's going to be the main narrator of our episode for South Africa.  We're trying something new and double-dipping with Semester at Sea.  Our episode will double for their video upload for the week.

George is an interesting and very passionate guy who started out as an entrepreneur and ended up at Standford teaching students from multiple disciplines the design thinking process.  The design thinking process is a way to go about innovation.  It's a process that uses action and "rapid ideation" to begin finding solutions for problems rather than the usual: get a problem, don't question the problem, think really hard, work really hard, try the solution, then realize you're solving the wrong problem after years of work.  His process jumps right in and makes quick, gnarly prototypes that immediately test ideas and use action to move forward the innovation process without losing precious time and money.  We've sat through a couple of his workshops, both filming and also participating, and it's something very good.  I can't wait to implement it as we keep moving forward with Mass FX Media and our future plans.

His interview went really well, and our focus was on the future of education.  He, like many people, believes that the higher education bubble in the US is on the verge of popping, and we need to find out what the next iteration of higher education is.  He talked about what online school needs to look like and about the lecture method of teaching and how school needs to fit the learner not go with the tradition of what school has always been.

During out visit to South Africa, George's class, which he co-teaches with Daniel, went on their field lab.  Field labs are required for all classes, and they are a way of going into the countries and implementing what the students have been learning in the classroom.  George's class partnered with the Girl Effect through the Nike Foundation to partner with a township in Cape Town and join the students from the class with local youth in Cape Town for a design thinking workshop to look at what kind of issues the girls are facing in South Africa right now.

This was the day that Matt and I had just gotten back to the ship, so we didn't go along, but as the editor, I get to vicariously experience it, and after hearing George talk so passionately about it, it makes me excited to share the story with everyone on video.  So far, I think this will be a powerful episode to meld what we're doing with Unreasonable with what the students are doing and learning on the ship.

I agree with George in that I feel like the most powerful thing that the Unreasonable Institute and the founders have given to the students on the ship is the permission to live their life doing something that follows their passions.  The rule isn't: graduate and get a nine-to-five.  There actually is no rule.  I think students need to hear that.  I would be a shining example.  Once I was given the permission to follow my dreams, I planned for it, and I made it happen, and here I sit on a ship traveling around the world doing what I love with the person and the people I love: filmmaking.  It doesn't get better than this, and the risks are worth it if you're aware of them.  Calculate them.  Plan for them.  Then jump!

The reception in the Glazer Lounge.
So, I'll be digging into those themes this week with our South Africa episode.

After a long day of editing, the Deans invited all the staff to a reception in the Tipsy Toucan.  At random intervals on our journey, they do a nice reception where everybody gets together to chat, and we get free wine and appetizers.  It's lovely.  This particular reception was Mexican themed, and I got my taco and burrito fix.  There's nothing like guacomole after three months of not having guacamole.  In the photo to the right, you can see how crazed I am about my tacos.  No foolin'.