Monday, March 04, 2013

Early Monday - The Importance of "Stupid Ideas" and How That Relates to Education

Join me Monday, March 4th, for an early live and interactive conversation with return guest Richie Norton on his new book, The Power of Starting Something Stupid. Richie's previous book, Resumes are Dead, is currently available for free on Kindle, was the subject of a previous Future of Education show, and formed the basis for a huge discussion group at Mightybell.

There’s magic to The Power of Starting Something Stupid: ideas which seem to be stupid often turn out to be brilliant—they only looked stupid because we hadn’t seen them before, and it took courage for their creators to stick to their visions and bring them to light. History is replete with examples of "stupid" ideas that ended up changing our world: e.g., the telephone, the automobile, the radio, the airplane, the personal computer.... Learning to curate, cultivate, and play with ideas that others don’t understand (or are openly critical of!) is not just a hallmark of great innovators, but also of great thinkers. This becomes an interesting test for education: how well do we help every students to believe in themselves and their projects that require commitment, courage, and personal vision? Do we even think that is realistic?

As a sobering reminder of the inherent potential in every child--and the difficulty of seeing it--comes when  Richie quotes Thomas Edison:
I don’t know now what it was, but I was always at the foot of the class. I used to feel that the teachers never sympathized with me and that my father thought that I was stupid, and at last I almost decided that I must really be a dunce. . . . One day I overheard the teacher tell the inspector that I was ‘addled’ and it would not be worthwhile keeping me in school any longer.
There's a second aspect to this discussion as it relates to education--how do we feel about new ideas or innovations in teaching and learning? Do innovative teachers face this same challenge or being misunderstood (yes, of course), and will they find support from his message (yes, again). Richie also makes a distinction between ideas where we don't recognize the value because of our cultural blinders, and ideas that are not well-informed or where the real work hasn't been applied. Which of the recent education reform efforts are "stupid-smart," which ones aren't, and how do we tell the difference?

Please join us.

Date: Monday, March 4th, 2013
Time: 10am Pacific / 1pm Eastern (international times here)
Duration: 1 hour
Location: In Blackboard Collaborate (formerly Elluminate). Log in at The Blackboard Collaborate room will be open up to 30 minutes before the event if you want to come in early. To make sure that your computer is configured for Blackboard Collaborate, please visit the support and configuration page.
Recording:  A full Blackboard Collaborate recording is at and an audio mp3 recording is available at and at
Mightybell:  A Mightybell space with interview resources and to continue the conversation is at

Richie Norton was named one of Hawaii’s Top Forty Under 40 “best and brightest young businesspersons” by Pacific Business News at age 29. He is a ChangeAid award winner for outstanding accomplishment in international development, international relations, humanitarian aid and academic achievement. He is also a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

Richie is the CEO of Global Consulting Circle, a boutique international business development consultancy. He is a sought after speaker and consultant for the corporate growth and personal development industries.

A more personal bio worth reading is here.
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