About

This blog is part of my personal online presence, and all ideas are my own. Opinions expressed here do not reflect those of my primary employer(s). My writing on this blog should not be mistaken for formal writing, not even refined thoughts. This blog largely represents tentative thoughts about trends and possibilities in education and society. Expect to find my candid and rough draft ideas, typos and all.

I lead. 

I love to create, inspire and empower high-impact communities of purpose and possibility. From 2006 through 2018, I served in a variety of capacities at Concordia University Wisconsin (professor of education, founding director of the instructional design center, Assistant Vice President of Academics, Chief Innovation Officer, and Vice Provost of Curriculum and Academic Innovation). Now I am honored to serve as President of one of the great higher education experiments in learner-centered  education, Goddard College. In 2021 I accepted the call to become the next President of Concordia University Nebraska. God willing, I begin that grand journey in August 2021.

I think and write.

Writing about life, education, learning, innovation, transcendentals, curiosity and wonder, meaning and purpose, futures in education, educational entrepreneurship, faith, and leadership in a connected world is one of my greatest passions.

I experiment and create.

I thrive on learning through formal and informal experimentation. I’m quite comfortable sharing and testing early draft experiments as rough, rudimentary, and flawed as they might be. Over time, I use these to refine my skills, deepen my knowledge, add perspective, and to come up with future experiments.

I love to explore new possibilities and pressing problems through empathetic design, action research, scenario planning, process mapping, conceptual modeling, and a variety of forecasting and innovative strategies.

I design.

I sympathize with Buckminster Fuller when he claimed that design has a potentially greater impact on the world than politics. Much of my design work and thinking focuses on learning experience design; educational policy design; new program development; and devising plans for new educational models, methods, frameworks or products. I value simple, elegant, and meaning-rich design. I’m especially interested in exploring learning experience design beyond traditional schooling environments.

I connect and collaborate. 

I love working with people and organizations who/that embrace a spirit of social good and social entrepreneurship, and people who want to join in helping to create a better, more hopeful, more humane, and more empowering educational ecosystem.

I speak and consult.

I accept a limited number of invitations each year. I’ve worked with P-20 learning organizations, think tanks, a variety of non-profits, education startups, professional associations, education companies, and other organizations with a focus on educational innovation and entrepreneurship.

Educational Background

I have a B.A. in history and education, a M.A. in curriculum and instruction, a Master of Liberal Studies, and a doctorate in instructional technology.

Here is the less standard response. Education is so much larger than credentials and formal study. I’m grateful for the mentoring that I received amid my formal education, but that is a fraction of my education (or anyone else’s). I read and think. I’m constantly reviewing the emerging popular and peer-reviewed literature on a myriad of topics. I have a wonderfully inspiring and informative personal learning network that extends around the globe. I have a largely ethnographic approach to learning through visiting, observation, participant observation, interviews, and correspondence with those who are engaged in educational innovation and entrepreneurship.  I organize my thoughts and make sense of the world through writing. Action research, informal and formal experimentation, rapid prototyping, and short-term “life experiments” are also favorite ways to learn.

What are some of your favorite quotes about education, educational innovation, and related topics?

  • “Mercy triumphs over judgement.” – James 2:13
  • “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” – Aristotle
  • “The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth.” – Albert Einstein
  • “Every avalanche begins with the movement of a single snowflake. With each new project, my goal is to move a snowflake.” – Thomas Frey
  • “You cannot grow a beard in a moment of passion.” – G.K. Chesterton
  • ”When something is important enough, you do it even if the odds are not in your favor.” – Elon Musk
  • “Thinking about the future will cause it to change.” – Thomas Frey
  • “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” – James
  • “Language is never neutral.” – Paulo Freire
  • “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” – Buckminster Fuller
  • ”No serious futurist deals in prediction. These are left for television oracles and newspaper astrologers.” – Alvin Toffler
  • “But the end is reconciliation; the end is redemption; the end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends. It is this type of understanding goodwill that will transform the deep gloom of the old age into the exuberant gladness of the new age. It is this love which will bring about miracles in the hearts of men.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. from “Facing the Challenge of a New Age,” 1956
  • “The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.” – Paulo Coelho
  • “I was always a filmmaker before I was anything else. If I was always anything, I was a storyteller, and it never really made much of a difference to me what medium I worked in.” – Nicholas Meyer
  • “Everything that is done in the world is done by hope.” – Martin Luther
  • “Storytelling is the essential human activity. The harder the situation, the more essential it is.” – Tim O’Brien
  • “Whoever marries the spirit of the age today will find himself a widower in the next.” – Inge
  • “Do you want to sell sugar-water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” – Steve Jobs
  • ‘I wish it would not happen when I was alive’ said Frodo. ‘So do I’ Said Gandalf, ‘and so do all those who live in hard times. But they can’t choose what time they are born in. All we can choose is what to do with that time.“ – Lord of the Rings film script
  • “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien
  • “In order to win a man to your cause, you must first reach his heart, the great high road to his reason.” ­- Abraham Lincoln
  • ”I learned most, not from those who taught me but from those who talked with me.” –  St. Augustine
  • “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry.” – Bill Drayton
  • “For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to your royal position for such a time as this?“ – Mordecai to Esther
  • “There is nothing more practical than a good theory.” – Kurt Lewin

Soli Deo gloria