May 05, 2008

Ben Saunders' Purple Haze a real inspiration to young people

Ben_saunders_2008

In my final few hours in the tent, waiting for the helicopter and staring into the abyss of self-pity, I had a wonderfully apt text message on my satphone from a dear friend, Oli Barrett. “Stories about journeys”, he wrote, “are always better than ones about arrivals.” So this, then, is a story about a journey but not an arrival. At least not where I expected to end up, anway.

Ben Saunders came up against it in his high-speed attempt to cross to the North Pole. His journey, though, has not been in vain, not from his perspective of having tried to do something no-one had done quite as quickly yet, and not from the perspective of some students who picked up his trail after reading about the race against the clock on this blog.

Lorraine Leo, who I bumped into on a cruise around Boston Harbour last year, has been using real-life adventurers in her classroom for years, namely Skipper Rich Wilson, the solo global sailor. Having left a comment on Ben's blog, and emailed several others from students, each with their own inspired takeaway, Ben responded within ten minutes to them, with his own personal message of thanks.

The thing is, from both perspectives - Ben's, alone somewhere on the ice, and the students, inspired and amazed by this one man's nerve - the exchange was a winner. And nothing like this could have happened without the whole combination of technologies bringing text (the blog), photography (Flickr) and video.

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About Ewan

Ewan McIntosh is the founder of NoTosh, the no-nonsense company that makes accessible the creative process required to innovate: to find meaningful problems and solve them.

Ewan wrote How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen, a manual that does what is says for education leaders, innovators and people who want to be both.

What does Ewan do?

Module Masterclass

School leaders and innovators struggle to make the most of educators' and students' potential. My team at NoTosh cut the time and cost of making significant change in physical spaces, digital and curricular innovation programmes. We work long term to help make that change last, even as educators come and go.

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