METHODOLOGY

Our dynamic, highly-interactive programs are based on time-tested models of transformational learning around thought leadership. Games, high-stakes scenarios and live "thought experiments" challenge participants to think in new and bigger ways about what they know, why it matters, and how to use it.  We endeavor to test the best available research and learn from live experimentation. All our programs are designed to share the tools of powerful argument, to generate concrete results, and to inspire and cultivate a sense of social responsibility by empowering participants to see their potential impact on the world. Participants in most longer programs are also granted extended access to our national network of journalist mentors for individual follow-up.

COMMON PROGRAM OPTIONS

OWN YOUR EXPERTISE: 90-minute interactive keynote:  Led by our founder or senior staff, our interactive keynote addresses the core questions of thought leadership, with emphasis on our understanding of our own knowledge, credibility and utility:  what we know, why it matters, and how and why we should use it for maximum impact. Participants will walk away with bold ideas, a deeper sense of what they as well as their colleagues know and stand for, and actionable steps.

WRITE TO CHANGE THE WORLD (basic) full-day seminar (~7 hours) + one year of access to Mentor-Editors: In our highly-interactive, energetic full-day seminar we explore the source of credibility and how to establish it; how to present ideas quickly and powerfully under pressure; the components of powerful, evidence-based argument; the difference between being “right” and being effective; and strategies for making a greater impact, including how to escape a pigeonhole, how to preach beyond the choir, and the value of seeing your argument as part of a bigger picture—and yourself as part of a larger public conversation.  Participants leave with a draft op-ed in hand.  Note that while we offer one-day "basic" programs upon request, for most institutions we strongly recommend at least a 1.5-day or 2-day "advanced" program, as results increase dramatically and value to participants is significantly enhanced.

WRITE TO CHANGE THE WORLD (advanced) 1.5-day or 2-day seminar + one year of access to Mentor-Editors:  Our 1.5- and 2-day programs build on the one-day program (described above). On the second day we reunite to accompany participants in exploratory games and conversations designed to expand the way we think about our expertise, and help “translate” niche ideas (raised during the first day) into large themes.  We discuss strategies for making people believe ideas are worth investing in (sometimes known as pitching). The additional half time greatly enhances the discoveries of the first day, because it gives participants the opportunity to absorb and act upon information overnight, and to share their ideas—drafted in the first day, and fleshed out overnight—with each other in a language that is broadly accessible (and perhaps was not previously available to them). This serves to foster community among colleagues and cross-pollination of ideas. Participants will have ongoing access to OpEd Project resources, events and mentors.

WHERE GOOD IDEAS COME FROM: CONNECTING THE DOTS.  3-day program + one year of access to OpEd Project National Network of Mentor-Editors:  Our three-day program builds on the first two days (Write to Change the World) described above. In the third day we bring previously explored themes together to see how we can connect the dots between disparate ideas, fields, geographies, and time periods. We play cross-pollination games and explore the source of truly innovative thinking (where do good ideas come from?); and we play games around timing and timeliness designed to stir creative thinking and discover unlikely, yet authentic, connections across people, time and space. In some cases we will also explore multi-media adaptations of these themes.

"PUBLIC VOICES" ONE-WEEK INTENSIVE: 5-day program + one year of access to OpEd Project National Network of Mentor-Editors:  Builds on these four themes: Knowledge (what do we know, why does it matter, how can we use it?), Connection (how can we speed the pace of cross-pollination and hence the pace of innovative thinking?); Contagion (what makes an idea worth spreading?) and Legacy (how can we backward map from the future we want to leave behind?). Our one-week program also includes ample time for structured one-on-one feedback, mentoring, workshopping, and editing opportunities for all participants. 

"PUBLIC VOICES" THOUGHT LEADERSHIP GREENHOUSE: 3-month program + one year of access to OpEd Project National Network of Mentor-Editors:  Designed for bold, concrete results in a short time frame. Participants convene 3 times (usually once a month, over a period of 12 weeks) for full-day seminar events designed to expand thinking, amplify expertise, and generate concrete results, following the themes of Knowledge, Connection, Contagion and Legacy (as described above). Each seminar focuses on a different core concept and variety of media platforms for thought leadership and innovative thinking.  Convenings also provide a means for participants to collide, cross pollinate and generate new ideas and results.  Participants also join a series of monthly conversations with media insiders at top institutions (NYT, CNN, TED, NPR, Wikipedia, etc). In between convenings, two or more of our Dedicated Journalist Mentors oversee and guide the group -- to encourage, coach, edit and support participants in achieving concrete results (op-eds and much more). All participants have a year of ongoing access to our Mentor–Editor pool for ongoing individual follow-up as often as they wish.

"PUBLIC VOICES" THOUGHT LEADERSHIP FELLOWS PROGRAM: Year-long program with option of multi-year partnership: Intended for individuals and institutions committed to bigger, long-term results and enduring social change.  The goal of this program is to transform a cadre of exceptional thinkers (with emphasis on underrepresented voices, including women) into public intellectuals whose knowledge and influence transcends niche industries and institutions, to shape the important public conversations of our day.  Participants convene in person for a total of four day-long seminar events throughout the year:  an initial Foundations seminar that begins the fellowship; two mid-year seminars which focus on core elements of thought leadership across different platforms, and on areas of common interest designed to stimulate cross-pollination of ideas, find connections between participants’ areas of focus and current news hooks, and generate concrete op-ed results; and a final convening to recognize the accomplishments of the participants  In between quarterly seminars, we assign dedicated Mentors (all high-level journalists) to guide the group -- to encourage, coach, edit and support participants in achieving concrete results (op-eds and much more).  Participants receive weekly customized email prompts, and join monthly calls with media gatekeepers/savants in key media outlets (NYT, CNN, Wikipedia, etc). By partnering with us in this way, universities and organizations can strengthen their internal talent pool, increase their institution’s public presence through the voices of their own leadership and community, and help change the demographics of voice in the world.


Cost depends on a variety of factors including frequency and length of program, number of participants, and type of organization or institution (we work on a sliding scale). Please contact us to inquire. 

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