October 25, 2010

What if we could see the ingredients of everything around us?

Christien Meindertsma hasn't stopped appearing in my life for the past ten days. The TED Talk, above, and her appearance in FastCompany as one of the designers set to save the world are one thing. But her compelling passion for labelling what is known about what everything around us might be made from hasn't stopped ratlling around inside my head. Over three years her quest was simple: to find out how pig parts make the world turn, and start getting people to realise what goes into every object around them.

From meat to shaving brush hairs to bullets, pigs are some of our dearest economic assets, and what do they get in return?

More importantly, though, bullets?! Those are just one of the surprising things in which a bit of pork goes a long way. Her wish that we perhaps knew a lot more about the ingredients of the world around us is a powerful one, as only by knowing can we begin to have meaningful conversations about what sustainability actually means.

Ingredients of learning Stephen Heppell's use of the word "ingredients" is an intriguing one, too, in reference to learning - he, like me, picks up learning ingredients from all over the world and seeks to blend them into intriguing recipes for those who want to have a taste. But what are those ingredients? Is there a list? A handy set of things that tend to go together well? Other things that have been proven the educational equivalent of basil and coffee (try it - it's awful).

While Christien works on pigs, plastics and plasterboard, I'm going to start compiling my own ingredients lists. You can write your own recipe book with them, and wouldn't it be great if every blog post about good or interesting practice also came with its virtual post-it note of "ingredients used in this learning", and maybe that must-have of "if you can't get hold of this ingredient, then try x - it works just as well".

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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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