“The partnership with the Big Questions Institute is the best I’ve had in my career.”
~Jason Fine, Superintendent, Bexley (OH) Schools
What might we create together?
Behind our work is a sense of urgency that schools need to shift away from structures that block relevance, equity, agency, and critical + creative thinking. We have been so entrenched in these structures that without close listening, inclusive conversations, relevant research, and honest questions, how will we get to the root of the matter? To uncover truths, we start with fearless inquiry, not fearless answering.
Education faces an epic design challenge - to serve humanity and our planet, and not simply focus on individual gain or data collection. While the challenges seem monumental (and individuals are exhausted), we can guide you to construct a shared vision for moving forward, to center well-being and equity, and empower bold thinking to action for modern learning.
We follow a path of: Provocation + Capacity Building + Design + Implementation, and we have developed various guiding frameworks so that innovation, change, and learning are experienced naturally, collectively, and joyfully.
If you’re curious, contact us to explore.
Here are some of our offerings to support schools and individuals:
Strategic Plan Prep - Planning for the Plan
NEED: In order to create a relevant plan for three or five or more years into the future, school communities need to be clear on why they actually need a new plan. They need to ask what has changed and is changing in the world, in education, and in their local contexts, and why these changes matter. In a moment of increasingly complex and fast change, however, most communities are finding it challenging to stay abreast of and understand the implications of those changes and therefore find themselves not fully ready to effectively plan for the future.
SOLUTION: We help school communities understand the nature and impacts of change before they turn to the work of planning. Through audits, workshops, discussion sessions, and more, we collaborate with schools over six months to a year to focus on global contexts, develop shared language, build trust, develop futuring skills and new leadership dispositions, better understand responsibilities in light of DEIJB needs, build an abundance mindset, and more.
(Note: We can also work with you throughout the actual process of strategic planning, too.)
BQI Futures - Scanning, Sensemaking, Skill Building
NEED: School leaders around the world are echoing the same refrain: “I can’t keep up!” Whether it’s the classroom implications of AI or other emerging technologies, youth and adult mental health crises, shifts in language and framing around diversity, equity, and belonging, growing impacts of climate change, threats to democracy or economic security, or the profound ways in which the purposes of education are quickly changing, we’re hearing more and more that educators have neither the time nor the intellectual bandwidth to stay abreast of what’s happening around them.
SOLUTION: BQI Futures is a subscription service that will allow you and your teams to save time, gain focus, build skills, and understand changes in the world more effectively. Via weekly curated resources, expert analysis, futuring skills development, futures-oriented webinars and workshops, and more, we build capacity in school communities to stay connected to change and its implications.
Building Imagination Infrastructures - Creating Aspirational Futures Together
NEED: There’s no doubt any longer that we’re going to have to imagine our way out of the current predicaments we face. And yet time and space for collective imagination about aspirational futures is rare, if not nonexistent in many schools and communities.
SOLUTION: Through highly focused workshops and longer-term projects, we work with schools to build up and flex their imagination muscles, dream constructively about what might be, and create a deeper sense of community and optimism for the future.
“Soulwork Before Schoolwork” - Look In. Look Out. Look Forward.
NEED: School leaders around the world are struggling to regain their footing after an incredibly challenging and exhausting few years. They need tools and mindsets that will carry them through increasingly change-filled times ahead.
SOLUTION: A six-part series of one-hour sessions using the BQI framework “Reflect, Reset, and Reinvent,” that helps leaders understand what’s changing, what it means for school and education moving forward, and helps build the personal dispositions they need to remain energized and curious for the work ahead.
Mastermind Cohorts - Leadership Doesn’t Have to Be Lonely
NEED: School leaders often feel isolated and alone in their jobs, and many rarely get an opportunity to connect and learn from other leaders worldwide on a regular basis.
SOLUTION: Our Mastermind cohorts offer school leaders a safe, trusted, provocative space for honest discussions around personal and professional topics of their choosing. In monthly virtual meetings, we share problems, design solutions, and offer support to one another in ways that energize and grow capacity to lead into the future.
Good Equity Leadership is Good Leadership
NEED: As schools grapple with complex challenges and a reckoning around diversity, equity, inclusion, justice and belonging, efforts are often stuck in isolated professional development that doesn’t connect to governance, strategy, leadership capacity building, and the larger aspirations of the school. Addressing DEIJB needs can feel like a “catch-up” game where the leadership team is continuously reacting to the next crisis instead of establishing a hoped-for culture of belonging.
SOLUTION: We work with Senior Leadership Teams, facilitate “governance 201” with Boards, and can help create and facilitate a Guiding Coalition to reflect the voices of diverse stakeholders that can create tangible outcomes to support belonging and community. Recognizing complexities of context, we integrate priorities of culture and curriculum, strategy and policy to build capacity to lead community building with courage, vision, and meaningful inclusion.