A Movement is About Community

There’s a very popular TED talk from Derek Sivers, “How to Start a Movement,” that I find myself coming back to time and time again. As I prepared to hit “send” on the first issue of the 9 Billion Schools newsletter, I re-watched Derek’s talk, which features a very funny video of a man dancing wildly (and enthusiastically) at an outdoor concert.

Eventually, the first free spirit joined by a second. They skip, they twirl, they attempt handstands. Derek says at this point in his talk, “It takes guts to stand out like that. The first follower is what transforms a lone nut into a leader.”

One by one, others join them, and before you know it, dozens of people are gyrating, jumping and dancing like no one is watching. A movement has been born.

That’s exactly what’s happening at 9 Billion Schools. If you’re receiving this newsletter, it’s because you’ve bought into the notion that personalized, lifelong isn’t just possible, but imperative. You agree that human dignity and our ability to flourish as global citizens is inextricably tied to education. And you’re excited to start putting some theories into practice to create new ways of delivering learning that is life-long, life-wide and life-deep.

In other words, you’re the gutsy folks who are making the 9 Billion Schools dream a reality. And I no longer feel like a “lone nut,” dancing in the grass to the beat of my own drum. I couldn’t be prouder of or more grateful for your support.

So what’s next? Well, for starters, we’re forming a steering committee to help drive the direction of 9BillionSchools.org, our social media channels, blog and newsletter. As Derek pointed out in his TED talk, once a movement has launched, it becomes about the community. You’re our community; we need you!

We’re also trying to keep the conversation going over on Facebook. Social media can be a fantastic outlet for new ideas and thought-provoking discussion! In the coming weeks, you’ll start to see even more activity on the page, so be sure you’re following along (and joining in!).

Of course, you can always email me if you have questions to ask, articles to share, thought-provoking ideas to discuss. I can be reached at lauren@9BillionSchools.org, or tweet me at @ldellabella. (Speaking of which, be sure to follow 9 Billion Schools on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for in-the-moment updates!)