Making the Impossible Possible
What are the key aspects of innovation in education today? In this keynote, Bill Strickland grounds listeners in his powerful story of transformation and emphasizes how all students and humans are investments and “assets, not liabilities." How do we curate healthy and vibrant partnerships for students to thrive and connect with others? Surround them with stories of success and possibility in order to nurture the innate beauty within them. Via Manchester Bidwell Corporation, Bill pioneered the gold standard in what an innovative, higher education institution looks like: a rare hybrid of learning, public and private sector initiative, as well as artistic creativity and collaboration. "Give people -- teachers, students, citizens -- the integrity, resources and tools they need," he emphasizes. Each of Bill's centers include continuing and higher education programs for communities at large, which underlies Bill's dedication and belief that if we offer all citizens with access to learning, fill them with purpose and passion, they will perform miraculous deeds.
Bill's experiences, learning model and revolutions is an exciting dialogue on education and society today -- that is, nurturing the whole human to draw out the best at any and every age. He has tremendous reach and resonance across audiences -- from schools and local communities to media and film projects and entrepreneurial collaborations with leading investors like Jeff Bezos of Amazon. Bill will focus on how to revaluate education overall, consider the broader implications of what it means to invest in student success, and build a society and culture that is accepting of others and their inherent value in others' abilities around them.
For thirty years, Bill Strickland has used his innovative arts and training centers to transform the lives of thousands of impoverished adults and teenagers. Bill Strickland has changed lives, restored our faith in ethical leadership, and reshaped the business of social change. As president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corporation—an extraordinary jobs training center and community arts program—he and his staff work with corporations, community leaders, and schools to give disadvantaged kids and adults the opportunities they need to build a better future. (Centers are already running in Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Grand Rapids, New Haven, Boston, and Buffalo; with many more in the planning stages, including international centers in Israel, London, and Japan.)
Recently, Strickland was named as one of the 25 members of the White House Council for Community Solutions by President Obama. And for years now, in front of enraptured audiences, this MacArthur Genius has shared his unshakable message of leadership, self-worth and the intrinsic ability in all of us to achieve remarkable transformation in our lives. He was also honored by the US Senate for his contribution to social innovation.
Strickland is also the author of Make the Impossible Possible, a recipient of The White House’s “Coming Up Taller” Award, and the founder of the Grammy-winning MCG Jazz, the most successful jazz subscription series in America.
Welcome: Mary Ellen Petrisko, President, WASC Senior College and University Commission; Bill Ladusaw, Chair, WASC Senior College and University Commission