"We get people to work together. It's the only way to make us stronger." --LCDR Jesse Harms, US Coast Guard
Any challenge facing youth and communities today worth solving is multi-disciplinary and requires cohesion and shared knowledge across sectors, generations, and especially among academic and practical ways of knowing and doing. Convergence is a term that can encompass all that.
We can expand and accelerate our capacity to meet our challenges by making sure as many problem solvers and change leaders are working together as possible. We are committed to moving forward faster and stronger together. You may have noticed that I have no 'projects,' and no 'clients.' DE4R has relationships and collaborations. We believe in mutuality and shared responsibility to create communities of care to stand against and replace systems of harm.
We are proud bridge builders and unafraid to break down the silos that are holding us back. Every problem worth solving is multi-disciplinary, and our present/future challenges demand convergence at every level. We believe now is the time to focus on solving the biggest challenges, and to lose the egos, the competitiveness, and the divisiveness that have marred our past. And when needed, long-lasting change is at stake, we want to be sure youth, educators, and lifelong learners are involved from the beginning in creating equitable, inclusive, multi-disciplinary solutions.
Sometimes design thinking excludes the people who need solutions, while expert designers do the solving. We center the community as the designers, whether that's a rural barrio in Puerto Rico, a crowded area of New London, CT, or a group of teachers and students. We take design thinking from "designing FOR" to designing "WITH" (co-design) to "designed BY" (community designed).