Season 2: Episode 25 – Most Likely to Succeed – Interview with Ted Dintersmith [Podcast]

Screen Shot 2016-03-15 at 8.19.51 PMIn this episode, we are talking with Ted Dintersmith. After a career in venture capital, Ted Dintersmith is focused on issues at the intersection of innovation and education. He is funding and supporting a range of initiatives that seek to improve the life prospects of youth around the nation and globe.  He executive produced Most Likely To Succeed and The Hunting Ground, two acclaimed documentaries that premiered at Sundance, 2015.  He wrote, along with co-author Tony Wagner, the book Most Likely To Succeed:  Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era. He is now leading a fifty-state campaign to encourage schools to support innovation. In the fall of 2012, Ted was selected by President Obama to represent the United States at the United Nations General Assembly, where he focused on global education and entrepreneurship.  Ted is a Partner Emeritus with Charles River Ventures, a leading early-stage venture capital firm, and has financed numerous successful start-ups. Ted served on the Board of the National Venture Capital Association, chairing its Public Policy Committee.  Independent industry analysts ranked Ted as the top-performing venture capitalist in the United States for the 1995-99 period.  Prior to venture capital, he was a senior executive at Analog Devices, and worked on Capitol Hill on science and technology policy. Ted earned a Ph.D. in Engineering from Stanford University, and his undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, where he earned High Honors in Physics and English. Here is what we talked about:

  1. What is the beautiful question behind your book and the documentary Most Likely to Succeed?
  2. What was so exciting about the book you co-wrote with Tony Wagner is the vision for a new education system in America. As I was reading, I made many connections to our work in defining the profile of a graduate. What kinds of knowledge, skills and dispositions must our graduates have to be successful in the world.
  3. In the movie, High Tech High is highlighted as a real-world example of a school that embraces the vision you’ve described. Tell us a little bit more about this school and what is different from most other schools.
  4. In what ways can we engage more parents and community members to take an active role in transforming our education system?
  5. While the vision is inspiring, it can also feel overwhelming to transform a system with such strong roots in history. What advice would you give leaders wanting to start transforming their own systems?
  6. What can teachers do as far as taking an inquiry stance into their practice to begin down the road of change?
  7. Is the current model of higher education relevant? Is it preparing learners to thrive in the “innovation era”?
  8. What “beautiful questions” are you currently thinking about?

Join the Conversation Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s questions:

  1. What is your vision for transforming education?
  2. What will be your first step in transforming your world within the current system?

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