If at EXPLO we’re going to commit students to the task of exploring the world of people and ideas, we cannot expect that to happen in a bubble. Through the years, we have set to task creating partnerships with some of the most brilliant minds in academia and industry, drawing on their expertise and connecting them to our students. There are many ways that we do this, from subject-specific expert visits to bigger picture TED-style talks at Community Meetings to site visits with industry leaders.
These remarkable individuals lend depth and perspective to the work our students are doing in their courses and workshops, as well as the global experience of self-excavation — that digging down into themselves to determine what matters to them and how to connect their interests to the world around them — that they undertake during their time on campus.
Seeing the Big Picture: BIT Talks at EXPLO
In 2017 EXPLO at Yale introduced a new element to their Community Meetings — Big Idea Talks — to introduce students to some of the bigger ideas and narratives that shape the world they live in. These speakers were engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking. Among them were:
Emilie Wapnick, writer and artist who coined the term "Multipotentialite," to describe people (like herself) who have a range of interests, talents, and jobs spanning a lifetime. Check out the founder of Puttylike's viral TEDTalk, "Why Some Of Us Don’t Have One True Calling."
Dan Lerner, instructor of NYU’s “The Science of Happiness” and author of U Thrive: How to Succeed in College (and in Life). Lerner lectures on how using positive psychology can help executives, artists, and athletes lead happy lives.
James Forman, Professor of Law at Yale University, critically-acclaimed author, prior Law Clerk for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, and former EXPLO faculty. His new book, Locking Up Our Own: Crime and Punishment in Black America, has received rave reviews from the New York Times. Here is a conversation we had with Professor Forman about advice he had for students looking to pursue a career in the legal profession.
Stokley Towles, Global Performance Artist, Professor at Evergreen State College, and former EXPLO faculty. Towles uses the interchangable mediums of anthropology and fine art to explore how people navigate the world and each other.
Connections in the Classroom
Thanks to advances in technology (and a standout IT team), we were also able to bring speakers from all over the world to our classrooms to speak with students about subject-specific areas of expertise. Students from courses in related academic areas would come together during their scheduled class time to glean advice from these speakers about their research or their professional journeys, and ask questions of prominent people they wouldn’t ordinarily have access to. Among them were:
Samantha Power, Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is a humanitarian and best-selling author who spent years documenting the Yugoslav Wars and served the Obama Administration during humanitarian challenges ranging from the Ebola Crisis to the Syrian Refugee Crisis.
Jonathan London, Creator of podcast and news network Geekscape, co-producer of a Zombie Apocalypse documentary, and former EXPLO student. We had the pleasure of talking with London about the importance of embracing your inner geek.
Olivia Moorehead-Slaughter, Child psychologist and former chairperson of the American Psychological Association (APA) Ethics Committee. Moorehead-Slaughter recently spoke with us in a compelling interview about the importance of resiliency in young adults.
Barry Nalebuff, Milton Steinbach Professor of Economics and Management at Yale School of Management. He is an expert on game theory and has written extensively on its application to business strategy. Additionally, Nalebuff was on the inaugural staff at EXPLO, and is the co-founder of Honest Tea, a business he started with his former student and fellow EXPLO faculty alum Seth Goldman.
Paul Bloom is the Brooks and Suzanne Ragen Professor of Psychology at Yale University. His research explores how children and adults understand the physical and social world, with special focus on morality, religion, fiction, and art. Dr. Bloom has written Against Empathy: The Case for Rational Compassion, contributes to Nature and Science, as well as The New York Times, The Guardian, The New Yorker, and The Atlantic Monthly and has delivered several popular TED talks .
A Growing List
As we continue to plan for Summer 2018, the list of experts we develop to enhance the student learning experience will evolve. We can't wait to share that information with you as it becomes available. If you have questions about our speakers and programs, we'd love to chat with you.