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Discover Wonder within Wisdom

A simple workshop or icebreaker method to teach adults reflective reasoning skills along with child attachment and protective factors.

Photo of Jeremiah Donier
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Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

I took a training on protective factors for families and children. From this I realized that it is important to shape the conversation with parents and professionals so the focus is on child development, well-being, and thriving. Too often we get caught up in risk and safety factors, or paperwork and we lose sight of what is important: the child and their connection to the world is an amazing thing. If everyone can learn to capture within their hearts the wonder a child feels, while holding onto the wisdom experience, it can change the world. Together we can transform fear, no matter how powerful into wonder.

Name or Organization

Jeremiah Donier, Windswept Isles Consulting. I do have some national and regional contacts and support. Locally it has been a challenge to find a group to work with, because I live in a rural area with very few resources.

Geography

I am located two hours from Seattle. I feel this can be implemented in all cultures and countries.

What is your stage of development?

  • Early Stage Innovator, with at least one-year experience in ECD

Type

  • Individual

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Research & Early Testing: I am exploring my idea, gathering the inspiration and information I need to test it with real users.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

This can help all adult caregivers learn how to establish attachment with a child ages 0 to 3, along with reflective reasoning and protective factors skills.

Select an Innovation Target

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users.

Tell us more about your innovation (1500 characters)

Discover Wonder within Wisdom aims to infuse across the entire spectrum of early childhood work. It can be a simple and effective practice for parents and other caregivers connect with children ages 0 to 3. By teaching adults how to hold on to wisdom, build protective factors, reflective reasoning, while also considering a child's perspective; it changes how adults interact with their children and how adult interact with each other. Whether someone with high context or low context social background, it is possible to step back and learn to see the world in a different light.

What problem are you aiming to solve? (3 sentences)

Children need adult caretakers with stable reflective reasoning skills. Children need caretakers who scaffold social and emotional competence. Adult caretakers need a better understanding of how to develop protective factors. Adults need to relate better to each other, instead reacting to fears, we need to step back and wonder: is this dangerous? or is it something that I can change? or is it something better than I imagined?

Explain your idea (5000 characters)

This will start as an adult learning experience modeled on the Community Cafe style. The facilitators might open with strategic story sharing of adverse childhood experiences and/or their fears as adults or fears for their own children. After being shown the first video, small groups or couples talk about their "negative" feelings of anger, hate, and fear. Sharing how the video made them feel, perhaps relating their own adult fears or fears for their children. After this the group leaders shares some of the group's thoughts and feelings. Next the facilitators demonstrate highlights of protective factors for children, and asks another small group session to consider, what could be different if these were included in their stories? Small group again share thoughts and feelings. Finally, the facilitators ask the class to consider a child's perspective. After the second video participants again break into small groups to discuss how this makes them feel. This is followed by a small group or class exercise that involves playing with toys that invoke a sense of wonderment. After the video and exercise the facilitators share some of the group's reactions and thoughts. Then talks and demonstrates how to be in emotional moments with children ages 0 to 3. This might include demonstrating the time-in concept for emotionally dis-regulated toddlers. The channel and/or service is designed to teach parents and other caregivers how fear of the unknown can be either a barrier or bridge to understanding one's place in the world, and how to be in teachable moments with children. The facilitators help participants take a step back to their own childhood, to moments of wonder, while also considering their wisdom of life experiences.

Who benefits? (1500 characters)

Children ages 0 to 3 benefit from having much more more engaging experiences with parents and other adult caretakers. Parents and adult caretakers benefit from understanding protective factors and reflective reasoning. I am a peer mentor who works with parents that have some social-emotional challenges. I try to teach them how to connect with their children. I learned my skills through a series of personal and professional development from March 2006 to current. In 2016, I attended a child welfare consultant training in Washington, DC. I shared how wonder is important to the work everyone does in child welfare workers. As part of a panel discussion I shared my story and my vision. During my speak, my team helped me by flying hand-helicopters out into the audience of about 300 people. Afterwards the conference was abuzz with everyone talking about focusing on children and cutting through red-tape to help children in foster care have normal childhood, to have moments of wonder. It was so energizing to see some very jaded and tired professionals wanting to go home and share this idea.

What kind of impact will your idea have? (1500 characters)

This can change the way work adults work each other and young children. In addition to safety, risk, and protective factors, adults can learn innovative and meaningful ways to connect with children ages 0 to 3. The impact can be as small as a nuclear family getting connected to their community to as large as a culture learning that child like wonder can shape a new way of approaching life.

How does or how could your idea impact low-income children? (1500 characters)

This service could specifically target low income children, parents and other caretakers. Indeed I some from a background of poverty, and I have a heart for helping those on the lowest end of the socioeconomic spectrum. By engaging low-income families to learn protective factors and teaching parents reflective reasoning skills, a facilitator can help parents considering inexpensive (often free) and innovative ways to become more attached with children. Most children are happy to play with whatever toys they find, this could be a stick, grass, or a simple piece of paper. When a parent connects with a child, and plays with them and imagines with them, it helps the child feel a sense of connection to their family and the world around them. It makes sense from every economic level, give a young child an expensive toy that overstimulates them and they often end up playing with the box.

Innovation: What makes your concept innovative? (5000 characters)

It breaks people out of the pattern of fearing the unknown. It challenges their perception of safety and risk. It reopens a door to childhood. Wonder is a thing we all re-learn, how we do it can be as simple as re-learning how to play with children. It is a paradigm breaker and it can be used across the spectrum of adult learning and child development. Sometimes those in power (aka the government) promote a culture of fear. For adults who can develop a mature sense of wonder, we can distinguish the difference between dogma, dictatorship, and disillusion. We can see around the culture of fear and hate, being moving forward and work on developing a better life for ourselves and others around us. If needed we can move to a safe place, and know the sense of wonder within us makes us resilient and strong. A wise writing says "perfect love expels all fear." I say that first we must learn to wonder about something, then we can learn to love, because there is no place for hate and fear in wonder and love.

Scale: Describe how your idea could reach a significant number of end-users. (1500 characters)

This work is best done in small group sessions, however, it can be scaled to large workshops or conferences. It can be replicated easily from place to place. As long as there is funding to educate adults about caring for children ages 0 to 3, then long term financial sustainability completely possible. Moreover, this is compatible with many other current processes and can be folded within them, or if needed, offered independently. The only barrier to implementing and scaling is a change in professional attitudes. The initial cost is minimal, the return on this investment could be phenomenal.

Feasibility: Where are you with understanding the feasibility of your idea? Describe what you’ve done so far and your plans. (3000 characters)

In December 2015, as part of a speakers panel I presented elements of my idea to a group of 300 child welfare consultants in Washington, DC. The response was immediately and overwhelmingly positive. After my presentation, several professionals thanking me for the rest of the day for opening their eyes to this opportunity. The feasibility of this idea depends on how I or others can work out the details of presenting it to others. I feel it is important to clearly and authentically present a learning experience to both adult caretakers and professionals. I am a publisher and designer, if there is a team willing to work with me, I can create a fully operational product within a few months. It is also a living concept, I foresee how it can be adapted to fit any context or culture.

Business Viability: How viable is your business model? (5000 characters)

The only barriers would be covering the minimal cost and a shift in culture. I could easily be paired with other innovative learning programs such as learning intercultural competence..

HCD: How have you used human centered design to build or refine your concept? (5000 characters)

In general I feel this is a person journey that can be shared and/or start in a group setting. It helps each person develop a better sense of self and their connect to others. It helps adults open their hearts to children and realize they need protect AND play. I feel every element in this concept is human centered.

Tell us more about you (3000 characters)

1. This idea come to me over the past ten years through counseling and paraprofessional training to become a caring, responsible parent, and advocate for children, parents, and families. My inspiration is also my own two children. 2. I am always excited about working in the early childhood space because is everything is always new and different, and seriously who doesn't love babies and toddlers? 3. I am a child welfare consultant, community outreach volunteer, and advocate for families. I am also a designer and publisher. I have a BA in Journalism and Political Science (aka a BA in BS) --From 2006 to 2007, I took part in the Circle of Security International's program, some of the founding members were trained me reflective reasoning and parent-child attachment as a parent participant. I was a trained Nurturing Fathers facilitator, and responsible fatherhood advocate. I looked into the research of Dr. Kyle Pruett regarding child development and parents. See the "Dads Make a Difference" flyer under the game-changer section. I use this to engage parents and professionals, it is based on Dr. Pruett's work and used with his permission. --From 2009 to 2013, I worked with a local team to establish a volunteer parent mentoring program, and helped implement a similar program in the court system. This second program is currently being expanded statewide in Washington State. During the passage of the Family First Act in Congress in February 2018 this program was mentioned. --Also from 2009 to current, I worked with other parent leaders and professionals on various family-friendly policies in my state, and shared wisdom on practices and policies with national leaders. Both of my children attended a NAEYC certified child care centers. I also worked with a few child care center directors to develop handbooks and training materials for parents. developed a parenting handbook. In my community I serve on a team of parents and professionals to develop local supports for foster kids and families (birth, foster, and kinship care parents are all included). I am also supporting the development of my area's first community center. Note if there are typos or something in this that doesn't make sense, please understand I wasn't able to get this proof read in time. I often leave out words like "the, an, or, & of" So if something doesn't make sense, please let me know and I will clarify what I mean.

Do you have the people and partners you need to do what you’ve described? (600 characters)

Yes and no. I am currently working as an independent contractor. I recently emailed potential partners in my local community about this prize. Due to the holiday season, the rural area and other's budgets and availability it was challenging for me to form a local team. Still, I am connected with some regional and national groups that can support this. For example this year, I am the lead facilitator and parent advisor with the National Alliance for Children's Trust & Prevention Funds and Casey Family Programs, so they might be willing to offer support.

As you consider your next steps, what kinds of help could you use? Is there a type of expertise that would be most helpful? (1800 characters)

I need to find experts who understand how teach protective factors AND reflective reasoning skills within a small group setting. My particular expertise and story as a parent who recovered from mental health challenges can be a strong element in demonstrating how understanding fear can shift both parent and professional perspectives.

Would you like mentoring support?

  • Yes

If so, what type of mentoring support do you think you need? (1200 characters)

I need a mentor to give me constructive feedback on the feasibility, and a final proofing review. I would also appreciate any guidance towards working with other organizations or partnerships that can help me implement this service.

Are you willing to share your email contact information submitted on OpenIDEO with Gary Community Investments?

  • Yes, share my contact information

[Optional] Biography: Upload your biography. Please include links to relevant information (portfolio, LinkedIn profile, organization website, etc).

www.issuu.com/jdonier is my online social services portfolio. It contains much of the relevant information including my national award from the American Bar Association, my design and community outreach work with family-friendly organizations, and my consulting resume. I am a father of two children ages 7 and 12 and live with my spouse of 15 years on Whidbey Island, 30 miles or 2 hour drive from downtown Seattle. I am working with community leaders to establish many family friendly programs.

[Optional] Video: You are invited to submit a 30-60 second video that introduces you and/or your team and your idea.

This is a short video contrasting a parent's experience versus a child's. A first it represents a scary journey down a path. Then asks parents if there is a better way. It ends by saying look at the though a child's eyes and discover wonder with wisdom. This represents part of actual training parents would receive in learning reflective reasoning. Sorry the quality of this video is not the best, I am videographer.

Mentorship: How was your idea supported? (5000 characters)

I talked with my mentor. My concept was well received and was asked to put together a training agenda and perhaps a video of my concept. Right now I am not sure how my idea can fit within the framework of the work ideo is doing, but I hope it helps.

Updates: How has your idea changed or evolved throughout the Prize? What updates have you made to this submission? (1500 characters)

I added a concept video, I added information about protective factors, I tried to articulate better the concept by demonstrating how I came to this idea and what exactly wonder is about.

Name or Organization

Windswept Isles Consulting Jeremiah Donier I am a sole proprietor, and plan soon to convert to an LLC I can provide an EIN number If needed, I consult with a few nonprofits and you can give them the prize. The majority of the funds would go toward developing this concept better and programs that help low income children and families in my regional area.

Geography

I live near Seattle and would work with others in the regional area. However, I feel this idea can be tailored to feel anywhere in the world.

What is your stage of development?

  • Early Stage Innovator, with at least one-year experience in ECD

Type

  • Individual

What is the stage of your proposal?

  • Prototyping: I have done some small tests or experiments with prospective users to continue developing my idea.

Describe your submission in one clear sentence

Learning how to capture the heart of a child, while retaining adult experience.

Describe how your solution could be a game-changer for your selected Opportunity Area (600 characters)

Fear is a big problem, the current U.S. political climate reflects how those in power have all running around and yelling "the sky is falling?" This solution changes the conversation for those who learn it (and it is fairly easy to learn) to "what if we reach beyond the sky!' Why dwell in fear, when you can dance with wonder?

Select an Innovation Target

  • Channel: A new way to deliver existing products or services to customers or end users.
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Attachments (3)

ConsultantStory-Wonder.pdf

This is a speech I gave in Washington DC in December 2015. My initial speech concept was to talk about how hard parents struggle to overcome personal challenges. However, 90 minutes before I was scheduled to speak, I kept thinking about some toy helicopters I bought for my kids at a local shop. I rewrote my speech to reflect how I felt things should be, that wonder needs to be central to work everyone does with children, parents, and families.

Discover Wonder Training Agenda.pdf

This is a training outline to explain how the workshop would work.

Dads Make A Difference.pdf

This is an example of a handout that can be used to bring men into the picture, to engage with them and help them understand how to be a caring parent. Moms are important too, so resources would be provided for them as well.

3 comments

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Photo of Iliriana Kacaniku
Team

Hey Jeremiah Donier ,
Few days ago we shared with you the invitation to the two webinars in which you will have a chance to hear more about the Prize and ask any questions about the process. Knowing that the sponsor seeks solutions from all over the world that can be implemented in the United States, I think this is a great opportunity to hear any questions you may have on how to develop
your idea along this goal. And many other aspects of the Prize and human-centered design.

We’ll be hosting calls on
Tuesday, December 5, 4:30 - 5:30 PM PST (https://ideo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_ZxbEbA4rRPid02QEos1VtQ) and

Wednesday, December 6, 08:00 - 9:00 AM PST (https://ideo.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8ZHf8DakS4WWqAXsN_jhQQ).

In case you cant make it, feel free to email us any question you may have at ecprize@ideo.com!, and we’ll do our best to answer it during the webinar.

Looking forward to seeing you next week,
Iliriana

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