Micah Saul: This project is built on a hypothesis. There are moments in history when the status quo fails. Political systems prove insufficient, religious ideas unsatisfactory, social structures intolerable. These are moments of crisis.
Aengus Anderson: During some of these moments, great minds have entered into conversation and torn apart inherited ideas, dethroning truths, combining old thoughts, and creating new ideas. They’ve shaped the norms of future generations.
Saul: Every era has its issues, but do ours warrant The Conversation? If they do, is it happening?
Anderson: We’ll be exploring these sorts of questions through conversations with a cross‐section of American thinkers, people who are critiquing some aspect of normality and offering an alternative vision of the future. People who might be having The Conversation.
Saul: Like a real conversation, this project is going to be subjective. It will frequently change directions, connect unexpected ideas, and wander between the tangible and the abstract. It will leave us with far more questions than answers because after all, nobody has a monopoly on dreaming about the future.
Anderson: I’m Aengus Anderson.
Saul: And I’m Micah Saul. And you’re listening to The Conversation.
Micah Saul: Ahoy.
Aengus Anderson: How goes it?
Saul: Not bad. Yourself?
Anderson: I’m glad we survived editing that last episode.
Saul: I’m…still recovering.
Anderson: Well, let’s go from the heavily philosophical into the tangible.
Saul: Sounds good. So today, talking with Lisa Petrides.
Anderson: Yes. Hopping on the motorcycle, riding down the coast over Devil’s Slide to Half Moon Bay.
Saul: Never heard of it.
Anderson: Yeah, it’s a funny little town. I know strange people from there.
Saul: God, it really just sounds like it produces the weirdest people in the world.
Anderson: Folks like you, maybe.
Anderson: So, Lisa. Do you want to do a little intro on her?
Saul: Sure. So, Lisa is the founder of a ISKME, which is…
Anderson: The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education.
Saul: Exactly. She’s really interested in looking at education, looking at how people learn, looking at how things are taught, and trying to figure out how things should be taught.
Anderson: Yeah. Which I think is really intriguing. She takes a perspective that well, makes me think a lot of social science in its heyday of really focusing on a lot of rigorous research and trying to go from statistics about how things are operating now and make the jump to a better system.
Anderson: Which is funny because that’s something that has come up in a lot of other conversations, and how you make that jump.
Anderson: It’s David Hume’s fallacy, going from is to ought. But, that’s where policy comes from—
Anderson: —and I think it’s gonna be really cool to see how she assesses the state of education now, which is something that surprisingly has only come up in our conversation with Andrew Keen thus far, and he just sort of swept it aside.
Saul: So, Andrew Keen I know will dispute me on this, fact but I think education is absolutely one of the most important topics to be having the Conversation about.
Anderson: Especially in a world where…we’ve talked a lot about information and an abundance of information, and how do you sift through that. Where do you get the tools to sift through that? Education.
Anderson: You know, there are a lot of sources we talk so much about value in this project, or morality or the good. It matters in the same way that like, religion matters, or family matters, or vague cultural norms matter. It is one of those sites—
Anderson: —of creating what we value. At the same time I think there’s a an interesting discussion of, should education be one of those sites at all? What purposes should education actually serve? And I’ll be curious to talk to her about that. Like, what can we learn about it through statistics? What goals should we be pursuing? How do we decide on those? Should education be something that is just helping people get jobs?
Saul: Here’s the question of the liberal arts and are they still relevant—
Saul: —in today’s society.
Anderson: And that’s a question of the good.
Saul: And whether, even if they’re not relevant in today’s society or not valued in today’s society, should they be?
Saul: Yeah. I’m intrigued to see where this one goes.
Lisa Petrides: So, I founded ISKME, The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, ten years ago. And I did that because I was looking for an opportunity. I was at the time a professor at Columbia University Teachers College. I was teaching in the Department of Organizational Leadership. And I was really looking for a way to take the ideas and the concepts we were thinking about around education and information‐sharing, how we created knowledge… I was looking for a way to really put this work in practice. And I felt like that wasn’t happening and I didn’t have the same kinds of opportunities to do in the academic environment.
Before that, just sort of briefly, my background was in information science in education. So I was bringing a lot of these ideas about thinking about how information helps us do what we do, and about information and data as a means of continuous improvement. So, kind of combining this kind of information science and education is something that’s sort of unique in education, at least certainly was twenty years ago when I was getting educated myself.
Anderson: So you founded ISKME based on wanting to study different types of education. What did you want to study?
Petrides: Well, what I wanted to study was how people created or made access to data for people to be able to use for decision‐making. How that data really got sort of transformed into information that was usable, that could be applied to problems. But the real important piece to study also for us was the component around action. So, how you take that and turn that into real action, and then how that cycle begins again. So that was kind of the… In fact, our tagline is “Turning Knowledge Into Action.” So that’s a big important component of the picture.
Anderson: You’re thinking about aggregating knowledge on sort of an educational system, and what you can learn from that in all these different ways I assume. Different bits of data you can bring together to think about what the system is doing? And then there’s a jump there where you go from looking at and measuring what the system is doing to improving the system?
Petrides: Absolutely. I mean, it really is about continuous improvement. And the work is really about change. It’s about how you create change and innovation in education. I would say in some ways that’s a subtext, but I think most people working in education that is the subtext. That things aren’t working as they are currently structured and configured and how do you do it differently. So this whole area of education reform. It’s kind of why people go into education, I think. They’re trying to understand how to do something better.
The context could be how in a classroom you use real‐time data on your students to understand what they need. Or whether it’s at a big district level, you’re understanding how a certain program is impacting that region of the country. To much larger systems, you know, looking at countries or other kinds of systems that go across those sort of boundaries. So the unit of analysis really can go from the classroom to the world.
Anderson: Okay, so it’s more a way of thought.
Anderson: Okay. So that of course seems to imply that the education system today isn’t perfect.
Petrides: You could say that.
Anderson: So, with everyone I talk to, of course I was mentioning earlier but I’m sort of interested in the present and where we go from here. So let’s look at the present for a moment, and talk about today’s education system. Education has not popped up much in the maybe ten conversations I’ve recorded thus far.
Petrides: That’s interesting.
Anderson: Except in one with a media critic named Andrew Keen. And he mentioned it more or less in passing, saying that he felt we have all of these sort of social issues, and generally when people didn’t know what to do they said, “Well, the problem’s education. Leave it to the teachers.” And he felt that that was just a way for people to get out of the conversation. And he felt that the teachers were people who were part of this sort of 19th century model of education. He thinks of us moving into this world of brands were everyone must be a brand and must survive in this sort of level digital economy, and these these are people who are sort of like, career‐wise can’t survive themselves and shouldn’t be teaching our children. That’s been the only mention, just for your background [crosstalk] that’s popped up in this project.
Petrides: That’s really interesting, and sort of not surprising. Well you know, to kind of respond to what Andrew said, I mean, in some ways I can’t read a newspaper or hear the news or look on the web and not see some of the problems, not see almost any problem and look at it and say, “Education education education,” right? I can look and if you really trace it back in that way… Now, do we mean education as a school? Do we mean education more generally? Do you mean more education as a society and how we learn our culture and norms, right? So, education can can be a lot of different things.
So in one sense I would agree that when you can you keep going back, you keep going to education, I think, to bring us today where we are in education, I think part of the problem is that the non‐education world thinks, you know, “Shouldn’t teachers solve this problem? They’re with the kids all day long, shouldn’t they do that?” But there’s a real disconnect between what’s happening on the outside and then what actually the teacher gets handed in terms of a classroom. And I can say this in terms of whether we’re talking about primary school or secondary school or college education. It’s the same thing. You don’t still have a choice as a teacher who comes your way.
So the complex social issues especially around children in education, it’s become such a political issue. You know, political like from the policy perspective. So people’s political careers are dependent. Governments run education, you know. State governments run education and they they’re re‐elected, and other things taking place. So here’s this thing that’s sort of the fabric of our society but has sort of been at the whims of politics and policy.
And then of course there’s the issues of friends who I have a teach in schools where they tell me that 75% of their kids have come in with fetal alcohol syndrome when they were born, or they’re born addicted to crack cocaine. That wasn’t what teachers did a hundred years ago, right? So, we’re using an old model of how the teacher works and what needs to fix in this whole other society that’s not really equipped in that way. So that’s just kind of one starting point to say what’s going on with education today. So it’s very complex at that level.
But let me sort of jump up a whole ‘nother level and say that I think we are really at a moment and time where there really has been sort of this perfect storm of variables in the world which certainly have to do with technology and the Internet. They also have to do with this whole idea of sort of personalization. Again, these are sort of the opportunities that are right here in front of us, but our education systems aren’t anywhere close to being able to even think about how to address that. I mean, most education looks like what it looked like fifty years ago, a hundred years ago, two hundred years ago.
Anderson: There is something then to what Andrew was saying about them having this cultural legacy that goes back a long way. The structures are sort of in place to how they operate. But it also seems like we have these new structures of technology coming in that are making new things optional. I’m sort of curious… Well, first what happens if the system doesn’t change? If it doesn’t embrace any of these new things. If say we continue on with the educational status quo? Some of what I’m sure draws you into this field is the notion that if things are left alone, then we end up with a worse system, right? And what does that world look like that we’re trying to avoid? Why change the status quo?
Petrides: Right. Well, unfortunately I feel like the worse system is kind of here already in a lot of ways. And it’s there in the schools that are really poorly served. It’s there in dropout rates in some communities in this country that are 50% of high school students drop out. The national average is less than that, but in certain communities it is that high.
Of course, if you look around demographics you’ll find you know huge differences there, as well. We see the failure of it, the colossal failure of it. I just was reading something recently about prisons, and I might not have the number exactly right, but it was something like 80% of the inmates here at San Quentin, which is a male prison, are illiterate. So that means they read at the fourth grade level or below. And I’ve heard another number which is something like a high percentage of those would be considered gifted, with a learning disorder, if they were in traditional schools.
So, you start thinking what bigger failure, you know? Can we actually fail any more than that, right? And sometimes I think we’ve hit bottom, you know. What could be worse? I…what could be worse than that? That we have a society that is by and large mathematically illiterate. A lot in our society also not literate from a reading and writing perspective. Or a critical thinking perspective. Again, you can look at where you want to apply those. So, in some ways you say, “What’s the doomsday situation?” It’s like uh…maybe we’re like, in it?
Anderson: How does that manifest in terms of a society that’s democratic, where you need an educated electorate?
Petrides: It’s huge. Huge. And many people have spoken more eloquently than I about this, that you know you cannot have a democracy without the education of its people.
Anderson: So maybe there’s a question of, what is education doing? Is it preparing people for a place in an economy? Is it fulfilling them as individuals? Is it socializing them to work in a certain type of culture?
Petrides: Right. And of course those are sort of the age‐old debates within education. There are those who argue that you don’t need college if all you have is a vocation, and vice versa. There’s a lot of debates and disagreement. But I think today what we can sort of safely say is we need to be able to prepare individuals to sort of live in the 21s century. And what does that mean? Well, it means they need to learn how to read and to think critically. They need to know some conflict resolution. They need to understand mathematical concepts or analysis. They need a whole set of skills, no matter what they’re going to do in the world.
So sort of 21st century living, of course we’re still working and we need jobs. We should bring in income. So your education needs to take you to a point where you can do that viably. But it also needs to give you the skills that you need to live in the greater society. So I would say that’s the the real mission and purpose of education.
I think sometimes we see this very directive, like everybody must go to college, and must get this kind of job, and obviously that’s nonsensical. I mean, we know certain trends, like jobs today are requiring more technology skills than most of our high school graduates have. Okay, problem. Let’s solve that problem, right? But other than that, really it’s all of those things.
Anderson: So those seem like those are where where every conversation eventually moves into, or as I said earlier, maybe degenerates into the philosophical conversation about the good. It seems like those are some of the ideas of the good. To some extent, it is trying to help you survive, in a way.
Petrides: That’s right. Yes, survive and I might say thrive, also. What does that mean?
Anderson: What does that mean?
Petrides: Well, we we can’t thrive if there’s a nuclear accident 5,000 miles away where there’s going to be fallout contaminating our water. That’s not thriving. Okay. And what does that mean? Well, I’m educated, I’m all set? No. It means that somehow I have to know how to work with others, how we might troubleshoot that, how we might problem‐solve. What do we do locally? What do we do by state? What do we do for our water? I mean obviously I’m talking about Japan and Fukushima an example or an analogy.
But those are the kinds of problems we’re going to have. We’re so interrelated. We we travel. There’s pollution in our oceans. There’s climate change. I mean, there’s really big problems facing us. So the idea that we can just sort of know our job, do our thing, and act in that way is I think going to become untenable.
Anderson: This is making me think of the second conversation I had with a guy named Dr. Max More, and I always like to ask people at the end sort of a question that they would leave off with. The question that he would want to ask later people on The Conversation was, “How do you develop a process for making better choices?” As we were just having that conversation about what education should do, I’ve suddenly remembered that question of his. In a way our conversation about education has me thinking about its role socially, and how do we make better choices?
Petrides: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, I like the simplicity of that, because in a lot of ways that is what we’re trying to do. It is both the discernment, really. It’s complex thinking. There’s a lot of variables in being able just to kind of answer that question. But I think that is a lot around what critical thinking is, and being able to reason and have analytical thought. Those are some huge pieces, I think, that many teachers are committed to try to teach their students, whether the students are twelve or twenty. Yeah, I would say that definitely would fall under “how do we make better choices.”
And I think there is another element that many of us would agree, certainly not everybody, that…you know, education really does have a civic component to it. And that it is about it’s not just your choice like, I don’t want this trash so I’m going to burn in my backyard. That’s a good choice for me, but what does it do for my neighbor? Does it put toxins in the air? And it isn’t sort of this thing like, “Well it’s about me, it’s not about you.” It’s about understanding how the choices you make impact others, or that you’re part of a bigger whole. That you can’t make your choices in full isolation from the rest of the world. Why does one person bike to work and why does somebody carpool, right? They’re making a choice that shows that they understand that they’re part of a larger ecosystem.
Obviously there’s human rights that have to do with water and air and safety and shelter, but I think education is right there with it because it really is a public good. I have such a hard time with people who say, for example, who don’t have children and say, “Well why should I pay those taxes. I don’t have anybody in the schools. It’s not benefiting me.” And I think how can you possibly say that? Those are the people that are servicing you, whether they’re servicing your roads or your supermarket or your medical offices.
Anderson: Or they’re not mugging you.
Petrides: Exactly. I mean, how can this not be a public good? It impacts all of us.
Anderson: Right. That really seems like kind of, one of the very lowest level ideas of good in there. Where does that idea come from? Is that pure, kind of utilitarian survival?
Petrides: I was going to say, it could be fairly Darwinian. When I was an undergraduate, I studied ecology and forestry, when we’d go out into all these forests and look at the tree and say well, why is this tree here, today? What are all the variables? And there were many? It had to do with water, and sun, and the anti‐logging measure. You know what I mean, there were all kinds of variables. I love talking to evolutionary biologists or people like that, who understand how those things in fact impact. I’m not sure if I’m hitting your question squarely on the head, but…
So where does that come from? When when you think about how communities survived, right, it was because certain people did certain things. I mean everybody contributed to whatever their piece was. Was it you brought some food, and you grew vegetables, and you… I mean we turned that into kind of a market commodity idea. I don’t do it, but I can buy it. But still, ultimately if you look at how people survived back then, they absolutely worked as a community for their survival, in that sense.
Anderson: This connects in in a really interesting way to the last two conversations I had, and both of them talked about the idea of thinking about things in a larger time scale, thinking about things in a larger space scale. And this seems to directly connect with what we’re talking about here, in that… Or maybe one of the ways to talk about education working well is to talk about it expanding our sense of connectedness, so we make better decisions?
Petrides: Well, I think that’s spot‐on to the example of the Qatar Foundation International did a teacher exchange, with teachers from Doha and teachers in Chicago, And they went and did a whole sort of science series, science classes, around looking at the water in Lake Michigan. So just a whole kind of learning about water and sustainability. Then those kids went back to Qatar and started doing interviews with their parents and people and said, “Where does our water come from, and how do we…?” And so that sense of the interconnectedness between those students showed them not only there’s water issues in the United States and there’s water issues in a desert region of the Middle East. It starts to sort of make you think about those sort of commonalities. So not only might there be actually solutions in those sort of disparate‐seeming geographic areas, but there might be something in common. So we have that part of it. And then we have the societal, the more civic piece as well. I mean obviously these exchanges are made between Arabic‐speaking and English‐speaking young people so that they can see themselves as collaborators and not as people who they should fear. Any amount of that interconnectedness is a huge part of what education should be about, also.
Anderson: I’ve talk to everyone about sort of the present, right, and these different crises, whether they think of them as environmental or economic or no crisis at all. Do you think this is a particularly critical moment in history?
Petrides: Yes, I think that… I think this is a real historical moment. I mean, I’m older than you, but you’re older than the fourteen year‐olds right now who are saying, “What? What are you leaving us? What is the challenge I have?” If you talk to young kids today, they know they’re gonna have to solve some of these big problem. So it’s not like just, “Oh is there an opportunity now to do it?” It’s like, it’s there, it’s in their face. So in some ways I think our task, at least as the adults, [is] to kind of create the capacity in terms of the structures in these opportunities, and let people actually solve these problems. And again, I think the technology allows a lot of it. I don’t think it’s the cause, but I think it enables a lot of these things to take place. Mostly around communications, around the sharing of data and information. I mean, just those two things alone are enormous.
Anderson: So, sort of like setting a foundation of open communication, in a way. It’s not directly attacking the problems on a policy‐by‐policy level, but it’s sort of setting up the framework for people to do that?
Petrides: Yes. And I think that’s sort of some of the best that education can do, in a lot of ways.
Anderson: Something that I like to sort of always go to in the conversation is talking about the Conversation and about, is this a time where people are coming together and talking about the future?
Petrides: Well, I feel fortunate to to work in an area of education and innovation where that’s absolutely what people are talking about. In fact, we have this event every year called the Big Ideas Fest, and bring all different types of stakeholders in education together. So, everything from the high school principal, to the college student, to the provost of the community college, or a researcher, a policymaker. We bring them all together and we we put them in rooms together and say, “Okay, so here’s a design challenge that we’re going to solve for.” But at level one, what we’re doing is getting people, all stakeholders in education, to kind of have conversations and think about how they solve problems with people who they don’t normally do that with.
Anderson: As you’ve been bringing all these different people together in the world of education, does that make you optimistic that we can do that on a bigger level, where say we’re bringing educators and other people together to talk about what kind of future we jointly want as a society or as a globe, having actually given that a shot in your field?
Petrides: Yeah. I totally believe that’s what needs to happen. I can’t say that I’m really seeing that happen. Part of the dilemma and education is, especially as education has become a new kind of hot sexy topic, which it wasn’t for many years… And what that means is there’s a lot of investment dollars, there’s venture capitalists putting money… And we’re seeing a little bit about these conversations just being like, “How does it make money?”
I’ll probably get in trouble for saying this, but there’s a lot of condescension in the business community about education. And to me these are two of the biggest communities that need to really get together and solve these problems. In fact, I had an interesting conversation last year where I was trying to get somebody to come speak at Big Ideas Fest. And this person was a big Silicon Valley entrepreneur, high‐tech successful innovator. And I thought it would be great for educators to hear this person speak and tell us about that, kind of inspire us, right? So I tell him all about that the Big Ideas Fests and what it is, and what I think he can offer, you know. And he says, “Hold on. Let me get this straight. You’re saying that I’m going to come. I’m going to talk all about my years of experience as an innovator in these fields, and then they’re just going to go back to their classrooms on Monday?”
I said, “Yeah! You know, they’re going to go and we want them to think about how they can innovate there…”
And he’s like, “Well, why would I waste my time doing that?”
And I just…you know, my heart just sank a little. Luckily it was on the phone and not face to face with him. But I think that’s such the mindset. “We’re the innovator, we have money. You’re the educator. We’ll deliver you a product that you can use.” It’s sort of like the same system all over again. I mean, already educators talk to so many other people. Educators talk to librarians, and educators talk to researchers. So it’s not that those conversations don’t happen. But I think some of the real significant ones that have to happen around sort of how investments are made, how the future’s made in education… We’re seeing a disconnect between the educators being in those conversations together.
Anderson: That’s a dynamic I see at play a lot and I try to get to and every conversation I have. But some of these things like, here’s someone who actually believes that education is not a public good. How do you, when your world views are based on fundamentally different things…can that conversation happen?
Petrides: Yup. No, that’s a great question. I mean, I’d like to think it can. and I’m sure if we really tried to say, “Alright we don’t agree on that, but what can we put in practice here?” I’m sure we could find commonalities and that we could move forward. I think right now what we see is so much of a push and pull back and forth. It’s one thing to sort of think okay how do we work together in agreement even though we don’t agree on the issue, than saying, “I got it. My turn. No, it’s my turn.” Okay, and four years later, “Nom, it’s my turn.” And so instead that kind of thing is very wasteful and not effective. It’s not efficient. We see great programs built up and then programs just taken apart. We see that all the time becasue of that.
Anderson: Are you optimistic about the future?
Petrides: You know, you just can’t get up everyday and do the kind of work we do and not be optimistic. I don’t know. Maybe I was just born this way. It’s funny, also at Big Ideas a few years ago, there was a speaker, a woman named Yvonne Chan. She was Principal of a school in LA, and we just loved what she said in her talk. She was saying when it comes to education reform, you just have to proceed until apprehended. And I just loved that quote, and we you know we use it a lot. And you know, it’s just this idea that you have to be optimistic. You have to just keep trying and you have to just keep doing it. Otherwise why would you bother being in this field?
Aengus Anderson: So. Lisa Petrides.
Micah Saul: Yes.
Anderson: We now have education in the project, in a substantive way.
Saul: Yes. Which is excellent.
Anderson: Where should we start? The crisis?
Anderson: For her, the crisis of now seems to be education. And she named a lot of other crises, but the one she’s focused on of course being education. And they’re tied together. And she seems to think that education is pretty bad.
Saul: Yes. In fact she asks how it could possibly be worse. Which…there’s a sort of optimism in that sentence.
Anderson: Right? That’s sad.
Saul: Which is funny, considering what the sentence was. But well, I think it get a lot worse.
Anderson: Which is amazing, because it is doing a real disservice to a lot of people, and I think… You know, we didn’t get into the details of this and we’re not here to talk shop and policy the whole time, but she’s standing on firm ground and I think she makes it pretty clear how and why it’s not doing a great job.
Anderson: We didn’t get into philosophy as much as some of the other conversations we’ve had, but certainly there’s a lot of implicit good in here. And I think the base one is that education is a social service. Like, it’s a right. That’s huge.
Saul: It’s one of those old ideas, and sort of ebbs and flows.
Anderson: Yeah. As we think so much about the tension between the individual and the collective, that pushes us towards a collective idea. But I think this is what’s so cool about Lisa, is that she’s also really interested in tailoring education through technology, which pushes you towards an individual idea. So it’s not mass‐produced but it is a mass right. Which I think is a really cool balance to have.
Saul: Totally. I hadn’t thought about it quite in those terms, but you’re right. I like that. It’s…yeah.
Anderson: So it’s a mass right. She would like to see more people actually able to take advantage of it, supported in ways that they can make it through school. And what is school good for?
Saul: There’s sort of an old idea of the liberal arts education which just… Learning for learning’s sake makes you a better, more well‐rounded person. And I certainly think there’s some of that to what she’s saying. But there was also a sort of vocational tinge to what she was saying education is good for, as well. There was very much, I thought, an ideas that education helps you survive in the modern world.
Anderson: It helps you fit into society. It helps you not sink below the water. It helps you find that place in the economy.
Anderson: And there’s a democratic good in here, right. Informed electorate.
Anderson: That’s something we talk about a lot as a society. We didn’t get into it much in this interview, but it’s certainly an implicit good, you know. And why have an informed electorate? Well, They make better choices. Maybe an informed electorate is the kind of electorate that can come together and have the Conversation. I mean, it seemed like for her, critical thought is a really big part of this.
Anderson: And f we were to make an odd connection, I think this is something that Max More would’ve really liked, the idea of sort of the individual fulfillment of education, the encouragement of critical thought, of a really disciplined inquisitive populace who are finding self‐fulfillment in a lot of different ways, through education. I don’t know if he would’ve agreed about sort of the right to education, necessarily. But I think he would’ve really liked this approach to how it’s done.
Saul: I agree.
Anderson: And that one of her goals is actually encouraging people to think about better decision‐making. Thinking about Max More and sort of the tension between the individual and the collective that we find somewhat in Lisa’s work and thinking on education as well is kind of an interesting segue to our next conversation with Gabriel Stempinski. He’s a self‐proclaimed evangelist of the sharing economy. These are sort of, largely tech services that allow people to sell skills, rents their personal equipment and spaces, and it’s kind of creating a whole microeconomy here in San Francisco which has been really interesting ramifications for what can the individual do economically. And when you fragment an economy into a bunch of individuals sort of competing and bidding for jobs, what’s ramifications does that have on the collective good? So I’m curious to see how that will link up.
Saul: Yeah. Sounds good. I would just like to throw out we’re finally starting to get some conversation on the website. And I would love to see more of that happening. So if you’re listening, go to the website, findtheconversation.com, sign up for an account, and let us know what you think. Let us know how you think we’re doing. Let us know what you thought of Lisa. Let us know know what you want us to ask future interviews.
Anderson: Yeah. And any of the other interviews, they’re all there waiting to be commented upon, and we will jump in when we can when we’re not running around and interviewing people and editing audio. I mean, I think for both of us this is really one of the most exciting parts of the project. And we’re looking forward to it actually coming to life, now that we’ve started to get enough interviews and maybe enough listeners to kind of spark a conversation.
Anderson: And it’ll be really fun we start getting to carry some of those questions in to the next conversations, and bring all of you into this project with us.
Anderson: We ask everyone if they’re optimistic. I’m optimistic about that. And I guess you have to be. Proceed optimistically [crosstalk] until apprehended.
Saul: —until apprehended.
Anderson: That’s what we’ll try. So we’ll be back, soon.
Anderson: Until then.
That was Lisa Petrides, recorded May 31, 2012 at the headquarters of ISKME, The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education, in Half Moon Bay, California.
Anderson: So thanks for listening. I’m Aengus Anderson.
Saul: And I’m Micah Saul.