What are your anchors and hooks?

If you were going to design (or redesign) a school, what would you call its atomic units? Would you begin with “curriculum,” “operations,” and an “organizational chart”?

What metaphor would best capture what you’re building? A “machine”? A “house”? An “ecosystem”?

Over the next year, Basecamp School is partnering with 180 Studio and the Academy for Global Citizenship to design a school of the future in Asia. One of our first tasks is to figure out what words to use.

Stephanie Pace Marshall, the founder of the Illinois Math & Science Academy, likes to say, “What you call it is what it will become.”

So what do you call the atomic units of your school? What metaphor most frequently organizes how you think about your school?

How do those words and phrases create mental anchors and hooks for your community to make sense of:

  • WHY your school exists?

  • WHAT success looks like for you?

  • HOW you plan to get there?


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Christian Talbot