The Institute's Design Weekend = Our Vision for 2016

The Soup Leadership Institute hosted its first Design Weekend at Villa Rosa, Oak Bluffs, Martha's Vineyard.

Our hostess Valerie Mosley welcomed our diverse group, sharing stories of how her home had a long history as a gathering place for organizers - in the 1960's with leaders of the Civil Rights Movement including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King is one of the 100 people featured in the Institute's book and Educational Curriculum, Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes. During the weekend everyone felt a special reverence, and sense that our work together was building on the legacy of these peaceful giants.
Many Thanks to All Our

Our In-Kind Sponsors

Newman's Own, Budget Car Rental MV, Allen Farm, Cronig's Market, Island Source, Market36, Net Result, Stop & Shop, Martha's Vineyard Wine & Spirits, Morgan Learning Center, Tea Lane Catering

With special thanks to
Valerie Mosley
in collaboration with
Heart Beings

Our Martha's Vineyard Team

Chris Aring, Samuel Nathans, Tatiana Cox, Gia Winsryg-Ulmer, Claire Ganz, Norman Hall, Marianne Larned

Our Design Team

Ajmal Jackson Brown, Samuel
Isaac Bloom, Onji Bae, Srishti Palani, Claire Newsome, Nirman Dave, Prajwal Yashasvi Maredukonda

Our guests featured talented computer science students from Hampshire College, Mount Holyoke College and University of Massachusetts-Lowell with the Institute's emerging leaders, high school students, educators and business leaders. They represented countries from India to Russia, from Korea to Hawaii and Puerto Rico as well as diverse communities from Oakland, CA and Martha's Vineyard.

The Design Weekend was inspired by MVYLI youth leader Chris Aring who
participated in a Hack-a-Thon as an intern at MIT. During our 2015 Youth Leadership Summit Gandhi's grandson Arun invited the Institute to share its Educational Curriculum and training with his schools in India and South Africa. All summer Chris worked with our tech team to envision a response to Arun's request. During the Design Weekend, Chris worked along side college youth to create a demo platform for the Institute's Online Leadership Certification. The team created a presentation deck and video to invite potential partners and donors to connect with the Institute's ambitious goals.

* Gandhi's Grandson Arun bringing the Institute's work to 250 schools in India and South Africa
* Holyoke youth: workforce development: learn coding, reduce 53% drop out rate and help economic development in partnership with MyRise.
* Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative building a Virtual Field Station Demo featured at MV Commission's Ocean Education & Leadership Forum.
* Sustainable Hawaii Youth Leadership Initiative youth building educational tools to implement the Sustainability Resolution requiring all Hawaii schools to offer one sustainability course.
* A German woman using the Institute's Curriculum in Syrian Refugee Centers.

The Platform: Global Online Certificate Training

  The story all began on Lucy Vincent Beach when the Institute's Executive Director Marianne Larned went for walk asking the question, what was next? She found a magic stone that led to a book, a curriculum, and The Institute.

For the last 18 years, the Institute has used the 100 stories in the book as the foundation for its transformational leadership training programs with educators, after-school programs and workforce development programs. Over 120 communities worldwide have used The Institute's Curriculum to inspire young people and address critical issues facing their communities and the world. The Institute has also catalyzed youth-community initiatives on seven island communities int wo distinct countries to develop their dreams for lives, their community and the world and to take the initiative in turning their dreams into actions. The Institute's flagship program is the Martha 's Vineyard Youth Leadership Initiative

  The Platform Demo developed over the weekend is taking The Institute's 20 years of experience and put it in the "sky".The Platform offers in-depth leadership training; access to a vast digital library, and a virtual space to collaborate and learn from others working for change in their communities. The skills, information and experiences available on The Platform will inspire ordinary people to take action and become motivational leaders and innovative change makers.

MVYLI Program Coordinator Gia Winsryg-Ulmer has a master's degree from Bank Street College.

"as an educator, working with MVYLI has been very exciting. I wrote my thesis on how schools can foster the ability of young people to be agents of positive change in their lives, their communities and the world. I see my work with MVYLI as a continuation of this inquiry. It is going to be amazing to see how The Platform becomes a vehicle for change in the world."

The Platform has a year-long certification program for educators, after school program coordinators and mentors working with young people. This program builds on existing efforts, incorporates fieldwork and supervision, online mentoring, and virtual skills and leadership training. Certification would open up a world of possibility, from travel and service opportunities to employment with The Institute or its partner organizations.

"It was a powerful experience for me to be part of the Design Weekend, translating my needs as a project coordinator of this program into web-based tools and forums," says Gia, "So often technology in educational settings isn't very effective, it doesn't actually deepen learning. Educators aren't usually part of the design process." The Platform offers facilitators of youth leadership initiatives and the youth they work with, tools that streamline learning and forums for conversation, collaboration and community building.

Claire Ganz described the Design Weekend as a "soup pot containing an unbelievable movement." Claire was moved by the diversity of people and who came together to build the platform and by it's potential. "The platform creates the space for a "leading edge community," she says. "It asks, where do you want to go and how can we help each other get there? It's adaptable and customizable. It's unique, like no other platform. It is based on doing and learning and is always expansive. The minute you do something you learn from it. That's what life is all about."

"From Youth Delegates to Visioneers to Emerging Leaders, each [youth] answers three questions: "What is my dream for my life, my island and the world?" says Marianne. "We walk on this beach and they find a stone and they listen deeply to their own calling." By highlighting stories of ordinary heroes who overcame obstacles to realize their dreams to help others, we create a "moral compass" and a true north to help guide them on their journey. We need to train young people to build a better world. We've got to do it fast. They need support - from all of us. We hope that everyone feels the urgency of now."
"Young people want to make a difference in the world but we need support in  order to realize their dreams," says Chris. "If we teach the young generation how  to be leaders and create change in the world, then they will create a generation of change. They will have new ideas that can better the world. Being part of something that does this is so unique. I know people who try to create and inspire change, but not people who try to teach the youth to do this work so that they can carry that on."

The Stone Soup Leadership Institute's Pledge
We accept the challenge to be a force of positive change in the world.
We will help to carry on the legacy of
Mahatma Gandhi, Cesar Chavez, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt
to improve our island communities, our countries and the world
through individual actions and working with others.
Together we strive to build a more peaceful and sustainable world.

Stone Soup Leadership Institute
PO Box 4551 Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 *

 Martha's Vineyard Youth Leadership Intitiative *