Let’s ask those big, existential questions: A conversation with Will Richardson | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

June 24, 2022

In this episode of the Meaningful Learning podcast, I speak with Will Richardson. Will is a former public school educator of 22 years and has spent the last 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Most recently, Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute, which was created to help educators use “fearless inquiry” to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future. In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global “Changemakers in Education” by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 “Edupreneurs to Follow” by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, led breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. (Come on Antartica!) He has also authored six books, and given TEDx Talks in New York, Melbourne, and Vancouver.

 In this podcast, Will and I discuss:

  • Why we so seldom ask “What do you mean by learning?” and other existential questions
  • How change in education may come from mini-schools or schools on the fringes
  • How we can turn the COVID situation into opportunities to foster curiosity and creativity in all learners

We hope you enjoy this episode and share your thoughts and feedback. 

You may also enjoy listening to more Coconut Thinking podcasts on Intrepid Ed News.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, which creates learning and action experiences where all learners have a common purpose; positive impact on the welfare of the bio-collective — any living thing, sentient or plant, that has an interest in the healthfulness of the planet. Benjamin also works as the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at an International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, which, as the school of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is the most prestigious and high profile school in the kingdom. In 2018-2019, he was also the Head of Upper Primary and Middle School at Misk. Prior to this, he was Vice Principal of the Middle School and High School at the Harbour School in Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. in History, an MSc in Education, an MBA, an MA in International Relations, and a BA in International Affairs. Benjamin was born and grew up in Paris, France. He moved to the U.S. when he was 15 and spent 11 years there in different cities, before living in the U.K., Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia, and now Thailand. He started his career in consulting for Internet start-ups in Silicon Valley in the late 1990s, working with people whose ambitions were no less than to change the world. This experience had a profound effect on Benjamin’s outlook on education, innovation, and entrepreneurialism.

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