Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Change through Music

"When we understand that we’re all human beings then forever and ever we will be able to live. We will be able to live!"
HEARTBEAT unites Israeli and Palestinian youth musicians to build critical understanding, develop creative nonviolent tools for social change.
Respect - Heartbeat unites people who are committed to seeing and treating each other with full respect as equals. They seek to employ the transformative power of music to build a safe, free, and equitable life for all.
Listening - Heartbeat unites in the belief that each person’s voice has an equal right to be heard.
Responsibility - Heartbeat unites the power of many individuals to amplify each other’s voices towards the establishment of a fair, free and safe future for all. As such, Heartbeat community members are dedicated to human rights, nonviolence, and civic responsibility.
-- Read "Young Israeli and Palestinian musicians band together to promote peace" on CBS News
-- Watch more videos | Go to Youtube channel

Monday, February 22, 2016


"If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you, 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, 
But make allowance for their doubting too; 
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting, 
Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies, 
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating, 
 And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise..."
British actor Michael Caine reads "If" by Rudyard Kipling and explains what peace means to him...
-- Read Kipling poem here
-- Go to Peace One Day

Thursday, February 18, 2016

How great leaders inspire action

"There are leaders and there are those who lead. Leaders hold a position of power or authority, but those who lead inspire us. Whether they're individuals or organizations, we follow those who lead, not because we have to, but because we want to. We follow those who lead, not for them, but for ourselves. And it's those who start with "why" that have the ability to inspire those around them or find others who inspire them".
An ethnographer by training, Simon Sinek is an adjunct of the RAND Corporation. He writes and comments regularly for major publications and teaches graduate-level strategic communications at Columbia University.
A bit off topic but truly an inspiring talk. If all leaders started with WHY our world would be a much better place...

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Schools are not built for learning

Will Richardson is internationally known as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks and education. He has authored four books, including "Why School? How Education Must Change When Learning and Information are Everywhere" (2012) published by TED books. A former public school educator of 22 years, Will is also co-founder of Modern Learner Media and co-publisher of ModernLearners.com which is a site dedicated to helping educational leaders and policy makers develop new contexts for new conversations around education.
 In this TED talk he argues that we know how to help kids develop into powerful learners, we just need to make that happen in schools.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Invest in Culture

"And someone heard the shepherd singing, and again I heard nothing. Such incidents brought me to the verge of despair..and I would have put an end to my life. But art it was that withheld me. It seemed impossible to leave this world without producing all that I have been called upon to produce, and so I endured this dreadful existence" (L.W.Beethoven). "And so Beethoven broke through the barrier of his deafness, went on to write his most joyful Second Symphony, and like the Youth National Orchestra of Iraq, used Hell as a spring board to get to Heaven" (Paul MacAlindin)
One day, whilst eating fish and chips in an Edinburgh pub, music conductor Paul MacAlindin came across a call for help from Zuhal Sultan in a newspaper lying on the table. This 17 year old pianist in Baghdad wanted to start a National Youth Orchestra of Iraq and needed a conductor. In the coming months of 2009, they worked tirelessly online with British Council Iraq and Musicians for Harmony between Cologne, New York and Baghdad, to produce their first summer course in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, with young musicians from across the whole country. Since then, the orchestra has survived logistical, funding, cultural and visa cliffhangers alongside enormous musical challenges to transform itself into a high profile cultural diplomat, performing in Beethovenfest in 2011, Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2012 and this August in Provence, Cultural Capital of Europe.
Paul not only rehearses and conducts the orchestra, but helps them to foster the skills to create their own ensembles and teach in Iraq. Behind the scenes, he has innovated around the countless obstacles required for building a national youth orchestra in a war-torn country. His commitment and the  generosity and faith of many supporters has allowed these musicians to continue their epic journey of reconnecting each other, Iraq and the international community, through the power of music.
-- National Youth Orchestra of Iraq on VIMEO
-- Read The ‘Bravest Orchestra in the World
-- Read "'We Need To Be Human': Zuhal Sultan On Starting The Iraqi Youth Orchestra"

Monday, February 15, 2016

How do you want to learn?

Lemond "IMAG" Brown is an educator, producer, songwriter, and engineer. Engaging in music has been his passion for over 15 years, and a gift he has shared with people in many different places from South Africa to Australia. In 2012 he founded the Swaliga Foundation that continues to use creative outlets to steer at-risk youth toward future success. Lemond believes that by using music and the arts, he can tap into the passion of young people to teach them science, technology, engineering and math. He argues that US antiquated education system is failing the kids so we need to rethink how we teach and ask the youth how *they* want to learn.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Why Aren't We Teaching You Mindfulness

"Everyone of you have all experienced pain. Pain is inevitable. Suffering? Well, that is a choice...We can choose not to be victims to our circumstances, because we can choose our reactions" 
In this inspiring talk, AnneMarie Rossi, an instructor bringing mindfulness to shelters, shares her research into how mindfulness can set us up for success and break cycles of transgenerational trauma. AnneMarie is the founder and director of Be Mindful, a non-profit whose mission is to provide individuals, particularly those in underserved communities, with access to qualified instructor-led courses in mindfulness; encourage diversity and inclusion while mentoring teachers within these communities; and continue to contribute valuable research to the study of mindfulness. They currently teach in Denver Public Schools, St. Vrain Public Schools, Urban Peak Youth Homeless Center, and through the Red Cross.