Last weekend, I was honored to be part of Student Voice Live, an event held in conjunction with Dell and the Student Voice organization, and streamed live. In my official role at the event, I helped to lead an open and collaborative dialogue with students about the connections between education and entrepreneurship. You can read more about that dialogue, and the role Windows 8 played at the event, here. But unofficially, I sat back, observed and marveled at the creativity, insight and sheer energy of the participating students.
Nearly 200 people attended the event in New York, with thousands more participated in satellite summits around the world, generating a Twitter reach of more than 5 million. Some of the day’s highlights can be viewed here and included a keynote by Andrew Jenks, award-winning filmmaker and star of his own MTV show.
For me, one of the highlights was seeing so many Daily Edventures alumni and hearing how their ideas are inspiring future leaders. Many of the topics we’ve covered in this space over the past one-plus years were reinforced by the conversation, and many of the educators we’ve talked to played a key role in moving that conversation forward. Educators like social media advocate and high school principal, Eric Sheninger, and Big Bad Tomato founder Terry Thoren come to mind. So do 17-year old author Nikhil Goyal and Girls Who Code founder Reshma Saujani, who has inspired so many girls – like Nikita Rau — to take up STEM subjects.
Of course, students were the real stars at this event, and the fact that participating students were so engaged in creating a new future for education, and so committed to doing the work necessary to make that change real was inspiring, to say the least. These students not only had innovative ideas, but they were completely unafraid of expressing those ideas, and sharing them with the world (note the 5 million Twitter reach…). One of the best tweets came from U.S. Secretary of Education @arneduncan: “Students are today’s leaders. Your voice & recommendations to re-imagine our school experience is vital. #StuVoice”
All of this brought to mind something Daily Edventures alum Angela Maiers shared with us recently: “The essence of mattering is two-fold: to know that you matter and that you have a genius, or you have an ability to solve a problem and make an impact that nobody else in the world has, and that any action that can move forward counts, because things are connected.” These students and their ideas matter, and listening to their voices is a crucial component in transforming education around the world. I’m proud to have played a small part in giving these students who matter a voice, and I’m looking forward to hearing from more students as we continue to explore change in education here at Daily Edventures.