Explaining To Learn
Everyone should teach. The younger the students, the better. Having to explain what you know, or think you do, to inquisitive youth keeps you honest. This week, I started leading a seminar on innovation and design (with a strong sustainability subtext, of course) to high schoolers from around the country. Formulating a lecture or discussion on a subject I practice just about every day forces me to question what exactly I do, how and why. Understanding your subject is just the first step. Figuring out how to effectively convey it to a diverse group is a completely different challenge. Some of Foresight's recent projects have really highlighted for me the extent to which, in sustainability circles, we're trying to initiate a shift while rarely questioning our approach. We use what we know. Which isn't necessarily bad, it's just that I'm finding that many issues require new strategies, or a coordinated combination of diverse efforts. Having to stop, reflect, organize and teach, inserts a self-reflective function that not only builds important future capacity, but helps us be smarter today.