Michelle Blanchet: The primacy of purpose and the need for agility | Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

March 24, 2023

In this episode, I speak with Michelle Blanchet. Michelle is the founder of the Educatorsā€™ Lab, which supports teacher-driven solutions to educational challenges. Michelle is the co-author of The Startup Teacher Playbook, and Preventing Polarization: 50 Strategies for Teaching Kids About Empathy, Politics, and Civic Responsibility. She has worked with organizations like PBS Education, the Center for Transformative Teaching and Learning, the Center for Curriculum Redesign, and Ashoka. We discuss:

šŸ„„ Social entrepreneurship as purpose that changes our understanding of process and outcome;

šŸ„„ The important of students learning the skills they will need, which depend on the students, but also on the coherence with the world we want to bring about;

šŸ„„ How critical it is to engage in civic society in order to shape policy, the most effective means of change on a larger scale.

Check out the Coconut Thinking website https://coconut-thinking.design, where you’ll find our articles, podcasts, conference presentations, resources, and more.

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Benjamin Freud, Ph.D.

Benjamin Freud, Ph.D. is the co-founder of Coconut Thinking, an advisory that supports schools and learning organizations to co-create, co-develop, co-stress test, and co-implement ideas that nurture the conditions for emergent learning. Benjamin is also the Head of Upper School at Green School, Bali. He was previously the Whole School Leader of Learning and Teaching at Prem Tinsulanonda International School in Thailand. He was the Academic Coordinator at Misk Schools, one of 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, Thailand, and now Bali, Indonesia. 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 entrepreneurship.