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March 10, 2008 / Ben Chun

Dave’s Wish

Dave Eggers won the TED prize. This particular prize comes with a wish, making it probably the coolest thing you could ever win. And I can’t think of anyone more deserving — his wish demonstrates exactly why:

I wish that you — you personally and every creative individual and organization you know — will find a way to directly engage with a public school in your area and that you’ll then tell the story of how you got involved, so that within a year we have 1,000 examples of innovative public-private partnerships.

The video of his talk hasn’t been released yet (as far as I can tell), and there are conflicting accounts of the final phrase of the wish. The official web site has it as quoted here: “1,000 examples of innovative public-private partnerships.” But the Tech Chronicles reported it as “1,000 examples of transformative change.”

In a way, I like this second version better. Why? Because that transformative change isn’t unidirectional. If you are not involved with schools right now, I guarantee that directly engaging with one will transform your understanding of the problems and challenges we face in education. I see this as an amazing invitation and opportunity for our public educational institutions to be much more deeply connected to the communities — beyond parents of students, beyond friends of teachers, beyond the school board and voting on funding initiatives. This is real, and it’s personal, and Dave Eggers asked you to do it.

So, in terms of fulfilling that wish, there are 18 of 1,000 stories so far… let’s get on it!

3 Comments

Leave a Comment
  1. Joel / Mar 11 2008 3:59 pm

    Hi Ben,

    The wish is ongoing. If you know teachers or companies that are already engaging each other, let them know that they can publish their stories here: http://www.onceuponaschool.org

  2. patrickD / Mar 13 2008 1:34 pm

    If this is a “decently trafficked blog,” I hereby lay claim to the neologism “tele-teering,” to refer to the active involvement of Boomer (and other) volunteers in the community effort of public education through use of web tools that benefit teachers and students, with a special focus on such telecommuting volunteers working through the central resource center of the schools’ libraries.

    And, as I’ve told Joel on several occasions, Eggers’ wish should take “tele-teering” into account in fulfilling his wish.

  3. Ben Chun / Mar 13 2008 2:33 pm

    Well there, Patrick Delaney, I think you have a googlewhack in the term “tele-teering”. There are no hits as of now for either “tele-teering” or “teleteering”. However, there are about 1,300 results for “volunteering from home”. So you’ve got a new coinage here, if not a completely new idea.

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