The Power of Outrospection

Jason FlomLeadership, Learning, Policy

Conflict: It Won't Stop Until We TalkRoman Krznaric’s website describes him as “a cultural thinker and writer.” He speaks on a range of topics including “empathy, the history of love, the future of work, and the art of living.”

His 15-minute talk outlining elements of his book, “How to Find Fulfilling Work,” offers this bit of Aristotle wisdom:

Where the needs of the world and your talents cross, there lies your vocation.

Capitalizing on such wisdom though, requires two requisite skills: 1. Ability to see and comprehend the needs of the world, and 2. Knowing one’s strengths, affinities, and talents. Toward the latter we advocate for increasing metacognition as central to empowering learners.

The former, Dr. Krznaric targets in his persuasive “The Power of Outrospection” talk. Below is the must watch RSA Animation of this talk in which he advocates for increasing empathy — for individuals and society.

He unpacks . . .

“a revolution of human relationships . . .”

“empathizing in both space and time . . .”

“scaling up empathy . . .”

and “expanding our empathetic imaginations.”

This reframing of how we look at each other and make sense of the world offers a compelling juxtaposition to the fact and test heavy approach to education currently sweeping the nation. It offers a contextual foundation from which to transform education.

Before embracing or rejecting education policy ideas, we might put it through these litmus tests:

  • How will this action be perceived and received by students?
  • Will the design and implementation of this pedagogical policy increase students’ ability to effectively recognize and seize the moment when they have reached the intersection of their talents and the needs of the world?
  • Will this increase the empathetic thinking and actions of education leaders, teachers, and, most importantly, students?

Thanks to Chris Lehman, Founding Principal of the innovative Science Leadership Academy in Philadelphia, for bringing this video to our attention. Be sure to check out the upcoming EduCon being hosted at SLA in just a few weeks. 

Image: From the RSA Animation of “The Power of Outrospection”