I thought I hated improv, but…

YUNoListenAs you know (right???), I recently became a faculty member at Academy of the Impossible, a collaborative adult learning facility. Last week, this new role took me outside my comfort zone when I facilitated an improv-based session on the “performance” of online identity with the inimitable Dan Speerin. It was actually awesome and liberating and inclusive and super-fun. And we’re doing it again!

This Saturday February 2nd, Dan and I are working with Academy co-founder Jesse Hirsh to facilitate an improv-based session on media relations for activists and other muckrakers. Dan and I planned the session via Skype last night and we have a bunch of fun improv exercises in store that will liven up more traditional discussion about how to best present you and your cause to the media (print, broadcast, web, whatev).

If you’re involved with any organization or issue that you’d like to shine some light on by sharing your perspective with journalists, this session is for you. Hope to see you there!

Impossible pedagogies

Are you a Torontonian who hasn’t yet visited the Academy of the Impossible? If so, you must go. It is a magical place where people learn as they teach others, which IMHO is exactly what pedagogy should be.

Unfortunately, too often learning takes place in broadcast format: I teach, you learn. The reality is that there are no “experts” – we can all learn more, even in the fields in which we’re most well-versed. In fact, the people in the best position to teach you about your field of specialization are often people who have no specialization in that area at all (unless you want to preach to the choir forever).

I facilitated two events at the Academy in fall 2012: a city-building workshop with Women in Toronto Politics, and a discussion about online identity and accountability. Thanks to the brilliant and diverse people who shared their thoughts, I learned just as much as attendees at both events. This lines up beautifully with the Academy’s philosophy of fostering the potential for collaborative meaning-making inherent in the Internet and the knowledge economy.

I’m very excited to announce that I am now a faculty member at the Academy, so I’ll be learning a lot more in the months and years to come! I hope it works out to be something like this.

My next events on the Academy docket:

  • January 24: hybrid discussion/improv session co-facilitated by newly-minted faculty member Dan Speerin, where we’ll explore how we “perform” identity on the Internet, and
  • February 2: applying the same format to an interactive training session on effective media relations for activists, politicos, and other agitators.

If you can’t come to either of these, I encourage you to check out their event calendar for other sessions that may be of interest. Courses I highly recommend include Getting Paid in the Knowledge Economy and Impossible Law School. See you there!