.
Grasp is the world’s first generative AI platform for finance professionals.

We build domain-specific AI systems that address the complex needs of investment bankers and management consultants.

By automating finance workflows, Grasp dramatically increases employee productivity and satisfaction.

 

Why Teachers Quit + What You Can Do Instead — from devlinpeck.com by Devlin Peck

Today we’ll dive into the main reasons behind why teachers quit and signs to look for if you’re considering quitting teaching too.

Instructional design
Instructional design is the process of developing learning experiences for higher education, the corporate world, or for organizations such as non-profits. Many teachers transition into the field because of overlapping tasks that allow you to continue teaching, all while learning a new skill set. But instructional design also offers:

  • Higher rates of pay than teaching. Instructional design is a better paid industry than teaching. You can also work when and where you like.
  • Better work-life balance. 94% of instructional designers said they were happy with their work-life balance in our recent survey.
  • Less stress. Instructional design is a less demanding role than teaching as you don’t have the same safety considerations or unreasonable expectations as you have in many teaching jobs.

From DSC:
I hesitate to post this, as I don’t want to discourage teachers already dealing with all kinds of challenges. But I’m posting it for the teachers who are tired of fighting a broken one-size-fits-all system that answers to their state’s legislators (vs. their students/families/communities). For those teachers hanging in there, please fight for change where you think it’s needed.  We trust your judgment, as you are on the front lines. And I always try to support people working on the front lines — whether in business or in schools.

 

The New Academic Arms Race | Competition over amenities is over. The next battleground is technology. — from chronicle.com by Jeffrey J. Selingo

Now, after the pandemic, with the value of the bachelor’s degree foremost in the minds of students and families, a new academic arms race is emerging. This one is centered around academic innovation. The winners will be those institutions that in the decade ahead better apply technology in teaching and learning and develop different approaches to credentialing.

Sure, technology is often seen as plumbing on campuses — as long as it works, we don’t worry about it. And rarely do prospective students on a tour ever ask about academic innovations like extended reality or microcredentials. Campus tours prefer to show off the bells and whistles of residential life within dorms and dining halls.

That’s too bad.

The problem is not a lack of learners, but rather a lack of alignment in what colleges offer to a generation of learners surrounded by Amazon, Netflix, and Instagram, where they can stream entertainment and music anytime, anywhere.

From DSC:
When I worked for Calvin (then College, now University) from 2007-2017, that’s exactly how technologies and the entire IT Department were viewed — as infrastructure providers. We were not viewed as being able to enhance the core business/offerings of the institution. We weren’t relevant in that area. In fact, the IT Department was shoved down in the basement of the library. Our Teaching & Learning Digital Studio was sidelined in a part of the library where few students went to. The Digitial Studio’s marketing efforts didn’t help much, as faculty members didn’t offer assignments that called for multimedia-based deliverables. It was a very tough and steep hill to climb.

Also the Presidents and Provosts over the last couple of decades (not currently though) didn’t think much of online-based learning, and the top administrators dissed the Internet’s ability to provide 24/7 worldwide conversations and learning. They missed the biggest thing to come along in education in 500 years (since the invention of the printing press). Our Teaching & Learning Group provided leadership by starting a Calvin Online pilot. We had 13-14 courses built and inquiries from Christian-based high schools were coming in for dual enrollment scenarios, but when it came time for the College to make a decision, it never happened. The topic/vote never made it to the floor of the Faculty Senate. The faculty and administration missed an enormous opportunity.

When Calvin College became Calvin University in 2019, they were forced to offer online-based classes. Had they supported our T&L Group’s efforts back in the early to mid-2010’s, they would have dove-tailed very nicely into offering more courses to working adults. They would have built up the internal expertise to offer these courses/programs. But the culture of the college put a stop to online-based learning at that time. They now regret that decision I’m sure (as they’ve had to outsource many things and they now offer numerous online-based courses and even entire programs — at a high cost most likely).

My how times have changed.


For another item re: higher education at the 30,000-foot level, see:


Lifelong Learning Models for a Changing Higher Ed Marketplace — from changinghighered.com by Dr. Drumm McNaughton and Amrit Ahluwalia
Exploring the transformation of higher education into lifelong learning hubs for workforce development, with innovative models and continuing education’s role.

Higher education is undergoing transformational change to redefine its role as a facilitator of lifelong learning and workforce development. In this 200th episode of Changing Higher Ed, host Dr. Drumm McNaughton and guest Amrit Ahluwalia, incoming Executive Director for Continuing Studies at Western University, explore innovative models positioning universities as sustainable hubs for socioeconomic mobility.

The Consumer-Driven Educational Landscape
Over 60% of today’s jobs will be redefined by 2025, driving demand for continuous upskilling and reskilling to meet evolving workforce needs. However, higher education’s traditional model of imparting specific knowledge through multi-year degrees is hugely misaligned with this reality.

Soaring education costs have fueled a consumer mindset shift, with learners demanding a clear return on investment directly aligned with their career goals. The expectation is to see immediate skills application and professional impact from their educational investments, not just long-term outcomes years after completion.


 

How Generative AI Owns Higher Education. Now What? — from forbes.co by Steve Andriole

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

What about course videos? Professors can create them (by lecturing into a camera for several hours hopefully in different clothes) from the readings, from their interpretations of the readings, from their own case experiences – from anything they like. But now professors can direct the creation of the videos by talking – actually describing – to a CustomGPTabout what they’d like the video to communicate with their or another image. Wait. What? They can make a video by talking to a CustomGPT and even select the image they want the “actor” to use? Yes. They can also add a British accent and insert some (GenAI-developed) jokes into the videos if they like. All this and much more is now possible. This means that a professor can specify how long the video should be, what sources should be consulted and describe the demeanor the professor wants the video to project.

From DSC:
Though I wasn’t crazy about the clickbait type of title here, I still thought that the article was solid and thought-provoking. It contained several good ideas for using AI.


Excerpt from a recent EdSurge Higher Ed newsletter:


There are darker metaphors though — ones that focus on the hazards for humanity of the tech. Some professors worry that AI bots are simply replacing hired essay-writers for many students, doing work for a student that they can then pass off as their own (and doing it for free).

From DSC:
Hmmm…the use of essay writers was around long before AI became mainstream within higher education. So we already had a serious problem where students didn’t see the why in what they were being asked to do. Some students still aren’t sold on the why of the work in the first place. The situation seems to involve ethics, yes, but it also seems to say that we haven’t sold students on the benefits of putting in the work. Students seem to be saying I don’t care about this stuff…I just need the degree so I can exit stage left.

My main point: The issue didn’t start with AI…it started long before that.

And somewhat relevant here, also see:

I Have Bigger Fish to Fry: Why K12 Education is Not Thinking About AI — from medium.com by Maurie Beasley, M.Ed. (Edited by Jim Beasley)

This financial stagnation is occurring as we face a multitude of escalating challenges. These challenges include but are in no way limited to, chronic absenteeism, widespread student mental health issues, critical staff shortages, rampant classroom behavior issues, a palpable sense of apathy for education in students, and even, I dare say, hatred towards education among parents and policymakers.

Our current focus is on keeping our heads above water, ensuring our students’ safety and mental well-being, and simply keeping our schools staffed and our doors open.


Meet Ed: Ed is an educational friend designed to help students reach their limitless potential. — from lausd.org (Los Angeles School District, the second largest in the U.S.)

What is Ed?
An easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement. It offers personalized guidance and resources to students and families 24/7 in over 100 languages.

Ed is an easy-to-understand learning platform designed by Los Angeles Unified to increase student achievement.

Also relevant/see:

  • Los Angeles Unified Bets Big on ‘Ed,’ an AI Tool for Students — from by Lauraine Langreo
    The Los Angeles Unified School District has launched an AI-powered learning tool that will serve as a “personal assistant” to students and their parents.The tool, named “Ed,” can provide students from the nation’s second-largest district information about their grades, attendance, upcoming tests, and suggested resources to help them improve their academic skills on their own time, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced March 20. Students can also use the app to find social-emotional-learning resources, see what’s for lunch, and determine when their bus will arrive.

Could OpenAI’s Sora be a big deal for elementary school kids? — from futureofbeinghuman.com by Andrew Maynard
Despite all the challenges it comes with, AI-generated video could unleash the creativity of young children and provide insights into their inner worlds – if it’s developed and used responsibly

Like many others, I’m concerned about the challenges that come with hyper-realistic AI-generated video. From deep fakes and disinformation to blurring the lines between fact and fiction, generative AI video is calling into question what we can trust, and what we cannot.

And yet despite all the issues the technology is raising, it also holds quite incredible potential, including as a learning and development tool — as long as we develop and use it responsibly.

I was reminded of this a few days back while watching the latest videos from OpenAI created by their AI video engine Sora — including the one below generated from the prompt “an elephant made of leaves running in the jungle”

What struck me while watching this — perhaps more than any of the other videos OpenAI has been posting on its TikTok channel — is the potential Sora has for translating the incredibly creative but often hard to articulate ideas someone may have in their head, into something others can experience.


Can AI Aid the Early Education Workforce? — from edsurge.com by Emily Tate Sullivan
During a panel at SXSW EDU 2024, early education leaders discussed the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children.

While the vast majority of the conversations about AI in education have centered on K-12 and higher education, few have considered the potential of this innovation in early care and education settings.

At the conference, a panel of early education leaders gathered to do just that, in a session exploring the potential of AI to support and empower the adults who help our nation’s youngest children, titled, “ChatECE: How AI Could Aid the Early Educator Workforce.”

Hau shared that K-12 educators are using the technology to improve efficiency in a number of ways, including to draft individualized education programs (IEPs), create templates for communicating with parents and administrators, and in some cases, to support building lesson plans.


From EIEIO…Seasons Of Change

Again, we’ve never seen change happen as fast as it’s happening.


Enhancing World Language Instruction With AI Image Generators — from eduoptia.org by Rachel Paparone
By crafting an AI prompt in the target language to create an image, students can get immediate feedback on their communication skills.

Educators are, perhaps rightfully so, cautious about incorporating AI in their classrooms. With thoughtful implementation, however, AI image generators, with their ability to use any language, can provide powerful ways for students to engage with the target language and increase their proficiency.


AI in the Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit for Transformation — from esheninger.blogspot.com by Eric Sheninger

While AI offers numerous benefits, it’s crucial to remember that it is a tool to empower educators, not replace them. The human connection between teacher and student remains central to fostering creativity, critical thinking, and social-emotional development. The role of teachers will shift towards becoming facilitators, curators, and mentors who guide students through personalized learning journeys. By harnessing the power of AI, educators can create dynamic and effective classrooms that cater to each student’s individual needs. This paves the way for a more engaging and enriching learning experience that empowers students to thrive.


Teachers Are Using AI to Create New Worlds, Help Students with Homework, and Teach English — from themarkup.org by Ross Teixeira; via Matthew Tower
Around the world, these seven teachers are making AI work for them and their students

In this article, seven teachers across the world share their insights on AI tools for educators. You will hear a host of varied opinions and perspectives on everything from whether AI could hasten the decline of learning foreign languages to whether AI-generated lesson plans are an infringement on teachers’ rights. A common theme emerged from those we spoke with: just as the internet changed education, AI tools are here to stay, and it is prudent for teachers to adapt.


Teachers Desperately Need AI Training. How Many Are Getting It? — from edweek.org by Lauraine Langreo

Even though it’s been more than a year since ChatGPT made a big splash in the K-12 world, many teachers say they are still not receiving any training on using artificial intelligence tools in the classroom.

More than 7 in 10 teachers said they haven’t received any professional development on using AI in the classroom, according to a nationally representative EdWeek Research Center survey of 953 educators, including 553 teachers, conducted between Jan. 31 and March 4.

From DSC:
This article mentioned the following resource:

Artificial Intelligence Explorations for Educators — from iste.org


 

How to Make the Dream of Education Equity (or Most of It) a Reality — from nataliewexler.substack.com by Natalie Wexler
Studies on the effects of tutoring–by humans or computers–point to ways to improve regular classroom instruction.

One problem, of course, is that it’s prohibitively expensive to hire a tutor for every average or struggling student, or even one for every two or three of them. This was the two-sigma “problem” that Bloom alluded to in the title of his essay: how can the massive benefits of tutoring possibly be scaled up? Both Khan and Zuckerberg have argued that the answer is to have computers, maybe powered by artificial intelligence, serve as tutors instead of humans.

From DSC:
I’m hoping that AI-backed learning platforms WILL help many people of all ages and backgrounds. But I realize — and appreciate what Natalie is saying here as well — that human beings are needed in the learning process (especially at younger ages). 

But without the human element, that’s unlikely to be enough. Students are more likely to work hard to please a teacher than to please a computer.

Natalie goes on to talk about training all teachers in cognitive science — a solid idea for sure. That’s what I was trying to get at with this graphic:
.

We need to take more of the research from learning science and apply it in our learning spaces.

.
But I’m not as hopeful in all teachers getting trained in cognitive science…as it should have happened (in the Schools of Education and in the K12 learning ecosystem at large) by now. Perhaps it will happen, given enough time.

And with more homeschooling and blended programs of education occurring, that idea gets stretched even further. 

K-12 Hybrid Schooling Is in High Demand — from realcleareducation.com by Keri D. Ingraham (emphasis below from DSC); via GSV

Parents are looking for a different kind of education for their children. A 2024 poll of parents reveals that 72% are considering, 63% are searching for, and 44% have selected a new K-12 school option for their children over the past few years. So, what type of education are they seeking?

Additional polling data reveals that 49% of parents would prefer their child learn from home at least one day a week. While 10% want full-time homeschooling, the remaining 39% of parents desire their child to learn at home one to four days a week, with the remaining days attending school on-campus. Another parent poll released this month indicates that an astonishing 64% of parents indicated that if they were looking for a new school for their child, they would enroll him or her in a hybrid school.

 

…that doesn’t mean everyone is having an easy time of it. Some Americans feel increasingly pressured by the surge in the cost of carrying their debt. Delinquency rates on their credit card debt and auto loans are now at the highest in more than a decade.

Just a serious note of caution for you and for your future families. 


And speaking of youth and personal finances — and seeing as it’s tax time — also see:

Topic no. 501, Should I itemize?

Deductions reduce the amount of your taxable income. In general, individuals not in a trade or business or an activity for profit, may take a standard deduction or itemize their deductions.

You should itemize deductions on Schedule A (Form 1040), Itemized Deductions if the total amount of your allowable itemized deductions is greater than your standard deduction or if you must itemize deductions because you can’t use the standard deduction. You may also want to itemize deductions if your standard deduction is limited because another taxpayer claims you as a dependent. Itemized deductions, subject to certain dollar limitations, include amounts you paid, during the taxable year, for state and local income or sales taxes, real property taxes, personal property taxes, mortgage interest, disaster losses, gifts to charities, and part of the amount you paid for medical and dental expenses.

 

Also see:

Cognition Labs Blob

 

This week in 5 numbers: Another faith-based college plans to close — from by Natalie Schwartz
We’re rounding up some of our top recent stories, from Notre Dame College’s planned closure to Valparaiso’s potential academic cuts.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • 1,444
    The number of students who were enrolled at Notre Dame College in fall 2022, down 37% from 2014. The Roman Catholic college recently said it would close after the spring term, citing declining enrollment, along with rising costs and significant debt.
  • 28
    The number of academic programs that Valparaiso University may eliminate. Eric Johnson, the Indiana institution’s provost, said it offers too many majors, minors and graduate degrees in relation to its enrollment.

A couple of other items re: higher education that caught my eye were:

Universities Expect to Use More Tech in Future Classrooms—but Don’t Know How — from insidehighered.com by Lauren Coffey

University administrators see the need to implement education technology in their classrooms but are at a loss regarding how to do so, according to a new report.

The College Innovation Network released its first CIN Administrator EdTech survey today, which revealed that more than half (53 percent) of the 214 administrators surveyed do not feel extremely confident in choosing effective ed-tech products for their institutions.

“While administrators are excited about offering new ed-tech tools, they are lacking knowledge and data to help them make informed decisions that benefit students and faculty,” Omid Fotuhi, director of learning and innovation at WGU Labs, which funds the network, said in a statement.

From DSC:
I always appreciated our cross-disciplinary team at Calvin (then College). As we looked at enhancing our learning spaces, we had input from the Teaching & Learning Group, IT, A/V, the academic side of the house, and facilities. It was definitely a team-based approach. (As I think about it, it would have been helpful to have more channels for student feedback as well.)


Per Jeff Selingo:

Optionality. In my keynote, I pointed out that the academic calendar and credit hour in higher ed are like “shelf space” on the old television schedule that has been upended by streaming. In much the same way, we need similar optionality to meet the challenges of higher ed right now: in how students access learning (in-person, hybrid, online) to credentials (certificates, degrees) to how those experiences stack together for lifelong learning.

Culture in institutions. The common thread throughout the conference was how the culture of institutions (both universities and governments) need to change so our structures and practices can evolve. Too many people in higher ed right now are employing a scarcity mindset and seeing every change as a zero-sum game. If you’re not happy about the present, as many attendees suggested you’re not going to be excited about the future.

 

Immersive virtual reality tackles depression stigma says study — from inavateonthenet.net

A new study from the University of Tokyo has highlighted the positive effect that immersive virtual reality experiences have for depression anti-stigma and knowledge interventions compared to traditional video.

The study found that depression knowledge improved for both interventions, however, only the immersive VR intervention reduced stigma. The VR-powered intervention saw depression knowledge score positively associated with a neural response in the brain that is indicative of empathetic concern. The traditional video intervention saw the inverse, with participants demonstrating a brain-response which suggests a distress-related response.

From DSC:
This study makes me wonder why we haven’t heard of more VR-based uses in diversity training. I’m surprised we haven’t heard of situations where we are put in someone else’s mocassins so to speak. We could have a lot more empathy for someone — and better understand their situation — if we were to experience life as others might experience it. In the process, we would likely uncover some hidden biases that we have.


Addendum on 3/12/24:

Augmented reality provides benefit for Parkinson’s physical therapy — from inavateonthenet.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 John 3:18 (New International Version)

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

Psalm 120:1 (New International Version)

A song of ascents.
I call on the Lord in my distress, and he answers me.

 

From DSC:
This first item is related to the legal field being able to deal with today’s issues:

The Best Online Law School Programs (2024) — from abovethelaw.com by Staci Zaretsky
A tasty little rankings treat before the full Princeton Review best law schools ranking is released.

Several law schools now offer online JD programs that have become as rigorous as their on-campus counterparts. For many JD candidates, an online law degree might even be the smarter choice. Online programs offer flexibility, affordability, access to innovative technologies, students from a diversity of career backgrounds, and global opportunities.

Voila! Feast your eyes upon the Best Online JD Programs at Law School for 2024 (in alphabetical order):

  • Mitchell Hamline School of Law – Hybrid J.D.
  • Monterey College of Law – Hybrid Online J.D.
  • Purdue Global Law School – Online J.D.
  • Southwestern Law School – Online J.D.
  • Syracuse University – J.D. Interactive
  • University of Dayton School of Law – Online Hybrid J.D.
  • University of New Hampshire – Hybrid J.D.

DSC: FINALLY!!! Online learning hits law schools (at least in a limited fashion)!!! Maybe there’s hope yet for the American Bar Association and for America’s legal system to be able to deal with the emerging technologies — and the issues presented therein — in the 21st century!!! Because if we can’t even get caught up to where numerous institutions of higher education were back at the turn of this century, we don’t have as much hope in the legal field being able to address things like AI, XR, cryptocurrency, blockchain, and more.


Meet KL3M: the first Legal Large Language Model. — from 273ventures.com
KL3M is the first model family trained from scratch on clean, legally-permissible data for enterprise use.


Advocate, advise, and accompany — from jordanfurlong.substack.com by Jordan Furlong
These are the three essential roles lawyers will play in the post-AI era. We need to start preparing legal education, lawyer licensing, and law practices to adapt.

Consider this scenario:

Ten years from now, Generative AI has proven capable of a stunning range of legal activities. Not only can it accurately write legal documents and conduct legal research and apply law to facts, it can reliably oversee legal document production, handle contract negotiations, monitor regulatory compliance, render legal opinions, and much more. Lawyers are no longer needed to carry out these previously billable tasks or even to double-check the AI’s performance. Tasks that once occupied 80% of lawyers’ billable time have been automated.

What are the chances this scenario unfolds within the next ten years? You can decide that likelihood for yourself, but I think anything above 1% represents the potential for major disruption to the legal profession.

Also from Jordan, see:


Top 5 Strategies to Excel in the 2024 Legal Sector with Colin Levy — from discrepancyai.com by Lisen Kaci

We have gathered, from Colin Levy’s insights, the top five strategies that legal professionals can implement to excel in this transformational era – bringing them together with technology.


Legal Tech’s Predictions for AI, Workflow Automation, and Data Analytics in 2024 — from jdsupra.com by Mitratech Holdings, Inc.

They need information like:

  • Why did we go over budget?
  • Why did we go to trial?
  • How many invoices sat with each attorney?

Going further than just legal spend, analytics on volume of work and diversity metrics can help legal teams make the business case they need to drive important initiatives and decisions forward. And a key differentiator of top-performing companies is the ability to get all of this data in one place, which is why Mitratech was thrilled to unveil PlatoBI, an embedded analytics platform powered by Snowflake, earlier this year with several exciting AI and Analytic enhancements.


DOJ appoints first-ever chief AI officer – Will law firms follow? — from legaltechnology.com by Emma Griffiths


AI’s promise and problem for law and learning — from reuters.com by John Bandler

Also worrisome is that AI will be used as a crutch that short circuits learning. Some people look for shortcuts. What effect of AI on that learning process and the result, for students and when lawyers use AI to draft documents and research?


 

From DSC:
I recently ran into the following item:


UK university opens VR classroom — from inavateonthenet.net

Students at the University of Nottingham will be learning through a dedicated VR classroom, enabling remote viewing and teaching for students and lecturers.

Based in the university’s Engineering Science and Learning Centre (ELSC), this classroom, believed to be the first in the UK to use a dedicated VR classroom, using 40 VR headsets, 35 of which are tethered overhead to individual PCs, with five available as traditional, desk-based systems with display screens.


I admit that I was excited to see this article and I congratulate the University of Nottingham on their vision here. I hope that they can introduce more use cases and applications to provide evidence of VR’s headway.

As I look at virtual reality…

  • On the plus side, I’ve spoken with people who love to use their VR-based headsets for fun workouts/exercises. I’ve witnessed the sweat, so I know that’s true. And I believe there is value in having the ability to walk through museums that one can’t afford to get to. And I’m sure that the gamers have found some incredibly entertaining competitions out there. The experience of being immersed can be highly engaging. So there are some niche use cases for sure.
  • But on the negative side, the technologies surrounding VR haven’t progressed as much as I thought they would have by now. For example, I’m disappointed Apple’s taken so long to put a product out there, and I don’t want to invest $3500 in their new product. From the reviews and items on social media that I’ve seen, the reception is lukewarm. At the most basic level, I’m not sure people want to wear a headset for more than a few minutes.

So overall, I’d like to see more use cases and less nausea.


Addendum on 2/27/24:

Leyard ‘wall of wonder’ wows visitors at Molecular Biology Lab — from inavateonthenet.net

 

From DSC:
After reading the book entitled “Love & Hate” by Bill Halamandaris — a book about Henri Landwirth, the founder of the Give Kids the World Village — and “On Purpose” by Pamela Landwirth, I was struck with several thoughts. Below are just some of them:

  • There is enormous power in a vision.
  • People want purpose and meaning in their lives. They want their lives to count. To matter.
  • People want to work for an organization that is concretely making the world a better place in which to live.
  • People want to buy from businesses that are making a positive contribution to the world.
  • Both love and hate are powerful. But let’s choose to go forward with love.
  • Parents, grandparents, and/or other guardians of critically-ill children carry enormous, hidden burdens. Let’s try to notice those burdens and help them out.
  • Life is precious.

Let's remember this -- Despite what we may hear and see, life is precious.


From DSC:
Recently, a group from our church went to serve down at the Give Kids the World Village, in Kissimee, Florida. I wanted to relay the specialness of this place and say a few words about the Founder of the Give Kids the World Village: a man by the name of Henri Landwirth. Over the last few weeks in the Orlando area, the Holy Spirit helped me to think about the power of a vision, as both Walt Disney and Henri Landwirth were visionaries.

But first, it’s important to note that Henri survived FIVE concentration camps during WWII. He had no name there. He was known only as B4343.

Henri:

  • Was in concentration camps from ages 13-18
  • He lost both of his parents to acts of mass murder
  • Henri survived FIVE YEARS of hunger, torture, and horrendous conditions
  • He faced what looked like certain death several times

Yet as I was reading the book entitled “Love & Hate”, I kept wondering if I was seeing the fingerprints of God on Henri’s life.

After the war, Henri went in search of former Nazis, for whom he was filled with hatred. And while I don’t have time to relay the fateful day that changed Henri’s perspective and his life, the bottom line was that he didn’t want to become like his former captors the Nazis. Surprisingly and amazingly, he chose love, not hate.

Fast forward to Henri’s coming to America, working very hard, and climbing up the ladder of the Holiday Inn organization.

Then fast forward even further to the time Henri was looking for a location to build his vision. Quoting from page 139:

Henri took his checkbook and began looking for a location for Give Kids the World Village. He found it almost immediately in Kissimmee. When Henry looked at the lot, he could already see the Village there. Where others might have seen rows of burned orange trees and wetlands, Henri saw villages, a place for kids to fish, and a castle. “I could see it all,” Henri says, “as if my dream had already come to life.”

A few last notable things about the Give Kids the World Village:

  • According to the book by Bill Halamandaris, the Village was built with ZERO CONTRACTS and NO ADVERTISEMENTS from those who helped create the village! This is underheard of for $60+ million worth of facilities and the millions of dollars’ worth of donated services.
  • The Village has thousands of volunteers and it takes 160 volunteers per day to keep it running
  • Since 1986, Give Kids The World Village has welcomed more than 188,000 families from all 50 states and 77 countries.

So I want to leave you with the idea that we were witnesses of – and participants in – the tremendous power of a vision.

 

 

A housekeeping item

Heads-up: I won’t be posting on this Learning Ecosystems blog until after 2/3/24. Thanks and have a good one all!

Peace be with you and with yours,
Daniel

 
© 2024 | Daniel Christian