Horizon, Host: Ted Simons

May 24, 2012


Host: Ted Simons

Arizona ArtBeat: Mesa Arts Center’s Festival of Creativity

  |   Video
  • A look at the Mesa Arts Center’s recent Festival of Creativity and its mission of community outreach. The event offered festival goers the opportunity to enjoy as well as participate in a variety of arts and performance activities, while also providing artists and performers with a unique opportunity for collaboration.
Guests:
  • Cindy Ornstein - City of Mesa Arts and Culture Director
  • Mandy Buscas - Arts Education Outreach Coordinator Mesa Arts Center
  • Brian Scott - Building Bonanza Managing Partner
  • Katherine George - Southwest Scrap Exchange Executive Director
  • Rachel Bowditch - Vessel Artistic Director
Keywords: artbeat, art, mesa, arts, center, festival, creativity, ,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: TONIGHT'S "ARIZONA ARTBEAT" TAKES US TO THE MESA ARTS CENTER'S RECENT FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY AND THE OPPORTUNITIES THE FESTIVAL OFFERS TO VISITORS AND PERFORMERS.

>>>>> THE MISSION OF THE CENTER IS TO INSPIRE PEOPLE THROUGH ENGAGING EXPERIENCES THAT ARE DIVERSE, RELEVANT AND ACCESSIBLE. THAT MISSION, I THINK, IS A REALLY IMPORTANT IN THINKING ABOUT THE ROLE OF ARTS IN THE COMMUNITY.

>>>> THE MESA ARTS CENTER HAS BEEN AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE CITY'S CULTURAL LIFE FOR THREE DECADES. IT WAS ORIGINALLY HOUSE THE IN A FORMER SCHOOL BUILDING. THE CURRENT COMPLEX WAS BUILT IN 2005, CREATING THE LARGEST MULTIDISCIPLINARY ARTS CENTER IN THE SOUTHWEST.

>>>> IT WAS A COMMUNITY ASSET THAT PEOPLE WERE QUITE PASSIONATE ABOUT AND THE COMMUNITY RALLIED AROUND AND SUPPORTED IT BEING BUILT. IT'S QUITE AN EXTRAORDINARY ASSET FOR THE REGION. WE HAVE EVERYTHING FROM PERFORMING ARTS TO VISUAL RIGHTS -- ARTS, BOTH IN A MUSEUM AND VERY, VERY LARGE STUDIO PROGRAM WITH CLASSES. SO IT REALLY BELONGS TO THE COMMUNITY AS WE THINK THAT SHOULD BE REFLECTED IN WHAT WE DO HERE.

>>>> ONE OF THE CENTER'S MOST AMBITIOUS UNDERTAKING IS THE FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY. THE INAUGURAL EVENTS TOOK PLACE IN MARCH 2012 AND WAS MET WITH ENTHUSIASTIC RESPONSE FROM THOSE IN ATTENDANCE.

>>>> IT'S AN ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE ENTRY POINTS FOR THE COMMUNITY WHERE THEY COULD COME AND IMMERSE THEMSELVES IN CREATIVE EXPERIENCES, WHETHER CELEBRATING THE CREATIVITY OF ANOTHER, OF AN ARTIST OR ANOTHER COMMUNITY MEMBER, OR BEING PART OF SOMETHING THEMSELVES, WHERE THEY MAKE ART OR PARTICIPATE IN IT. AND, OF COURSE, IT'S ON THE FIRST YEAR OF THE FESTIVAL. SO IT'S LIKE A LABORATORY AND WILL CHANGE AND GROW OVER TIME.

>>>> WE WANT THERE HAD TO BE AROUND EVERY CORNER AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ENGAGEMENT. ONE OF THE EXPERIENCES THAT WE PROVIDED WAS SOUND AND COLOR, WHICH HAD ARTISTS BREAK DANCING WITH PAINT ON THEIR HANDS TO DIFFERENT BEATS AND SOUNDS THE DJ WAS PROVIDING. THE BEST PART ABOUT THAT EXPERIENCE WAS THAT THEY ENGAGED THE AUDIENCE AS WELL. SO CHILDREN, EVEN ADULTS, WERE INVITED TO COME UP AND DISPLAY THEIR DANCE MOVES AND DANCE ON A LARGE CANVAS THAT WAS THEN CREATED AT END OF EACH THESE SESSIONS. SO IT'S REALLY IMPORTANT FOR US TO PROVIDE THE SAFE PLACES FOR PEOPLE TO EXPERIENCE AND ENGAGE IN THE ARTS. ¶¶

>>>> ANOTHER OF THE FESTIVAL'S ENGAGEMENT OPPORTUNITIES WAS PROVIDED BY BUILDING BONANZA, A COMPANY THAT CREATES EDUCATIONAL OUTREACH PROGRAMS BASED ON LEGOS. FESTIVAL GOERS OF ALL AGES WERE ABLE TO HELP IN THE CREATION OF A 10-FOOT-HIGH CACTUS MADE ENTIRELY OF LEGO BREAKS.

>>>> THE GREAT THING ABOUT THE FESTIVAL WAS THAT THE ENTIRE CACTUS WAS BUILT BY THE INDIVIDUALS WHO PARTICIPATED. SO THEY CAME IN AND WITH SOME OF OUR INSTRUCTIONS FROM OUR TEACHERS AS WELL AS VOLUNTEERS, PUT TOGETHER WHAT WE CALL THE SUPER BRICK. AND THEN EACH INDIVIDUAL PERSON, YOU CAN SEE IN THE CACTUS, PUT THEIR OWN CREATIVE ELEMENTS AND INDIVIDUALITY INTO THAT BRICK. WE ALSO HAVE SOME FAMILY PROJECT WHERE'S THEY PUT SEVERAL BRICKS TOGETHER TO CREATE IMAGES AND CREATE THAT PATTERN WITH THEIR FAMILY SO THE WHOLE PROJECT IS COMPLETED THAT THEY CAN FIND A SPECIFIC AREA IN THE CACTUS THAT SHOWS THAT THEIR FAMILY HAD JOINED US.

>>>> AS PART OF THE EFFORT TO OFFER NOVEL, INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES AT THE FESTIVAL, THE MESA ARTS CENTER BROUGHT TOGETHER A GROUP OF LOCAL ARTISTS AND TECHNICIANS WEEKS BEFORE THE EVENT TO CREATE A SERIES OF WHIMSICAL EVENTS FROM FOUND OBJECTS.

>>>> BEHIND ME HERE IS ONE OF SIX DIFFERENT INTERACTIVE CACTUSES WE ARE BUILDING. THIS IS ON A THEME OF DESERT PLAY GROUND. KIND OF REVERSING OUR PERCEPTION OF WHAT IT'S LIKE TO INTERACT WITH THE DESERT. THESE ARE CACTI YOU CAN TOUCH. THIS ONE YOU CAN HUG. ONE YOU CAN GIVE A HIGH FIVE TO. SO WE ARE TRYING TO LOOK AT THE DESERT IN KIND OF A PLAYFUL WAY. GIVES PEOPLE A SENSE OF FUN ABOUT IT AND THEN EACH OF THE CACTI ARE INSPIRED BY DIFFERENT ACTUAL CACTI OUT IN OUR WORLD AND OUR ENVIRONMENT.

>>>> THE SCOPE, IT KIND OF BALLOONED OUT TO BE BIGGER THAN I THINK ANY OF US EXPECTED IT TO BE. IT WAS JUST A GROUP OF US STARTING OFF GETTING TOGETHER AND KIND OF JUST BRAINSTORMING AND PLAYING WITH THE MATERIALS. AND COMING UP WITH FUN, WACKY IDEAS OF WHAT WE COULD DO. IT'S BEEN FUN KIND OF EXPLORING THE POSSIBILITIES.

>>>> PRETTY COOL.

>>>> A FOCAL POINT OF THE FESTIVAL WAS MIRAZOZO. PART OF AN INTERNATIONAL TOURING EXHIBITION, THE LARGE INFLATABLE SCULPTURE WAS CREATED BY ARCHITECTS OF AIR AND GAVE VISITORS AN OPPORTUNITY TO IMMERSE THEMSELVES IN A DAZZLING ENVIRONMENT OF LIGHT AND COLOR. MIRAZOZO ALSO PROVIDED THE VALLEY-BASED THEATER COMPANY VESSEL WITH JUST THE RIGHT SETTING FOR THEIR INTERACTIVE PERFORMANCE, "TRANSFIXED."

>>>> WE WENT TO THAT SPACE AND AMBIENT MUSIC AND LIGHT, WE MOVED TO THAT SPACE AND IT WAS SO PERFECT FOR US IN THAT IT WAS SUCH A HARMONIOUS SENSE. OUR PERFORMANCE IS VERY SUBTLE AND THAT SPACE WAS VERY SUBTLE. SO I REALLY ENJOYED BEING A PART OF IT.

>>>> TRANSFIXED" CREATED A STRIKING PRESENCE IN OTHER AREAS OF THE FESTIVAL AS WELL.

>>>> SO MUCH ABOUT WHAT WE DO IS ABOUT THE PHYSICAL ARCHITECTURAL SPACE. I LIKE TO CALL IT ATMOSPHERIC PERFORMANCE, THAT WE KIND OF AMPLIFY THE ATMOSPHERE. WE KIND OF ACTIVATE THE SPACE. AND WE DRAW ATTENTION. I LOVE THE COMPLEX OF THE MESA ART CENTER IN GENERAL. I REALLY THINK IT'S A WONDERFUL SPACE OF CREATIVITY, NOT ONLY FOR THE ARTISTS BUT ALSO FOR THE COMMUNITY.

>>>> AND THE STRENGTH OF THE EARTH GOING FROM THE CHAMBER GOING UP INTO ACTUALLY ATTACHING IN THE ARCHITECTURE AND ACTUALLY TURNS THE BUILDING ITSELF INTO MUSIC. ¶¶

>>>> THE FESTIVAL OF CREATIVITY PROMISES TO BECOME ONE OF THE MAYS ARTS -- MESA ARTS CENTER SIGNATURE EVENTS PROVIDING A UNIQUE PLATFORM FOR COLLABORATION AND EXPLORATION. IT ALSO OFFERS THE PUBLIC AN IMPORTANT OPPORTUNITY AS WELL.

>>>> WE HAVE A JOB, THOSE OF US WHO WORK IN THIS SECTOR, TO BRAY DOWN A LOT OF OLD BARRIERS THAT PEOPLE HAVE WHERE THEY THINK THE ARTS ARE FOR SOMEONE ELSE, NOT FOR THEM. MAY THEY DON'T KNOW ENOUGH OR THEY'RE NOT COMFORTABLE ENOUGH. IT'S SOMETHING THEY HAVEN'T EXPERIENCED. AND WE BELIEVE VERY STRONGLY THAT CREATIVE EXPERIENCE, ARTS EXPERIENCES BELONG TO EVERYONE, THAT THEY ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF LIFE, THAT THEY ARE AN ESSENTIAL PART OF A SUCCESSFUL AND HEALTHY SOCIETY.

AZ Vocational Education in TIME Magazine

  |   Video
  • Arizona Superintendent of Public Education John Huppenthal discusses Arizona’s Career and Technical Education programs that were featured in a recent issue of TIME Magazine.
Guests:
  • John Huppenthal - Arizona Superintendent of Public Education
Category: Education   |   Keywords: vocational, career and technical education, professional training,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: "TIME" MAGAZINE RECENTLY SPOTLIGHTED VOCATIONAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS IN ARIZONA, AND AMONG THOSE INTERVIEWED IN THE STORY WAS STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF JOHN HUPPENTHAL, WHO JOINS US NOW TO TALK ABOUT THE STATE'S CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

John Huppenthal: IT'S ALWAYS GREAT TO BE HERE.

Ted Simons: YOU GOT A BIG STORY THERE IN TIME MAGAZINE. FIRST OF ALL THEY GET THE STORY RIGHT?

John Huppenthal: THEY GOT THE STORY RIGHT. THEY GAVE US A HUGE SUPER FOLD, "TIME" MAGAZINE, PROBABLY THE MOST INFLUENTIAL MAGAZINE IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. JOE KLEIN CAME OUT AND SPENT TWO DAYS IN ARIZONA GOING OVER OUR CURRENT TECH ED PROGRAMS.

Ted Simons: LET'S TALK ABOUT VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND WHAT JOE KLEIN FOUND AND WHAT WE HAVE HERE. DEFINE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION.

John Huppenthal: IN THE OLD DAYS, IT WAS, WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL, AND I TOOK WOOD SHOP, I TOOK DRAFTING AND WENT ON TO A DEGREE IN ENGINEERING. SO THIS IS PERSONAL IMPLICATIONS FOR ME. BUT THAT'S LARGELY WHAT IT WAS. WOOD SHOP AND MACHINE SHOP, DRAFTING. AND ELECTRONICS. BUT TODAY, IT'S A WIDE VARIETY OF OFTEN VERY HIGH-TECH CAREER AND TECH ED. FOR EXAMPLE, AT EVIT, THEY HAVE FULLY EQUIPPED AUTOMOTIVE CENTER WHERE YOU CAN GO RIGHT OUT OF TRAINING AND BE CERTIFIED AND GO INTO AN AUTOMOBILE SHOP AND EVENTUALLY EARN OVER $100,000. EAST VALLEY INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, A MARVELOUS SCHOOL IN THE EAST VALLEY THAT REPRESENTS THE VERY BEST OF CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION.

Ted Simons: WHEN WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CAREER AND TECHNICAL EDUCATION HOW DO YOU SEE THIS DIFFERING FROM TRADITIONAL AND WHAT WE RECOGNIZE NOW AS COLLEGE PREP CURRICULUM?

John Huppenthal: WELL, WHAT THEY ARE REALIZING IS, NUMBER ONE, THAT A LOT OF STUDENTS HAVE DISENGAGED IN THE PROCESS. AND THAT ALSO THAT THREE SEPARATE A AND APART FROM THAT THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING IS CRITICAL TO THE HUMAN EXPERIENCE. WE WERE MEANT TO LEARN IN THREE DIMENSIONS. ONE THING I OFTEN TELL PEOPLE A LOT OF MEDICAL STUDENTS, AFTER THEY GRADUATE FROM MEDICAL SCHOOL WASH OUT OF SURGERY BECAUSE THEY DON'T HAVE THAT THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING. IF YOU CAN'T SEW, IF YOU CAN'T SAW, IF YOU CAN'T DRILL YOU CANTS BE A SURGEON. AND SO WE THINK CAREER AND TECH ED IS NOT ONLY A GREAT EDUCATION BUT IT'S A WORLD CLASS EDUCATION THAT PREPARES YOU FOR ANY NUMBER OF EXPERIENCES AFTER HIGH SCHOOL.

Ted Simons: THE IDEA OF TRAINING PROGRAMS THAT LEAD TO JOBS, IS THAT A GOOD THING? BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE LOOK AT EDUCATION AS BEING MORE OF A ROUNDED ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE. HOW DO YOU SEE THIS?

John Huppenthal: WELL, AGAIN, WE VIEW IT AS A PART OF A WORLD CLASS ACCUMULATION AND THE THING THAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT CAREER AND TECH ED IN THE MODERN SECTOR, WHEN IT'S WELL DONE AND WE HAVE A LOT OF SCHOOLS DOING IT WELL IS THEY ARE EMBEDDING MATHEMATICS INTO CAREER AND TECH ED AND ENGAGING STUDENTS IN WAYS THAT ARE MORE PROFOUND TO THEIR LISTENING. WHEN YOU APPLY TRIGONOMETRY TO A CURRENT TECH ED EXPERIENCE IT STICKS BETTER. WHEN YOU DO REPORTS THAT ARE COMPLETE WITH A PROJECT THAT YOU ARE DOING, IT STICKS BETTER.

Ted Simons: IS THIS THE KIND OF THING, THOUGH, WHERE, I KNOW THERE'S SOME CONCERN, KIDS MAY NOT BE MATURE ENOUGH AT CERTAIN AGES TO GO INTO A PARTICULAR DIRECTION. THEY MAY GO INTO DRAFTING OR ENGINEERING AS YOU DID. AND FIND OUT WHEN THEY ARE HALFWAY THROUGHOUT PROCESS, I THINK I WOULD RATHER BE AN ARTIST OR SOMETHING. HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE NOT CLOSING OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOLKS WITH NARROW AVENUES?

John Huppenthal: WELL, WE THINK THE DATA SUGGEST IT OPENS DOORS RATHER THAN CLOSES THEM. THAT DRAFTING, YOU REALLY COULDN'T ASK FOR A BETTER EXPERIENCE TO GO ON AND BE AN ARTIST. THAT WOOD SHOP IS PRETTY GOOD EXPERIENCE FOR GOING ON AND BEING A SCULPTOR. SO IT LEADS TO A LOT OF AVENUES. AND PARTICULARLY WE THINK NOT ONLY FOR THE HIGH END, GOING ON TO COLLEGE, BUT ALSO STUDENTS THAT ARE COMPLETELY DISENGAGED. UP IN THE NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION, THESE STUDENTS ARE TRAINING FOR A VETERINARY TECH AND UP THERE THEY HAVE TWO OPERATING ROOMS WHERE THESE STUDENTS DO ALL OF THE PREPARATION, INTUBATION, ANIMAL PREP FOR SURGERY, THEY SUPPORT THE SURGERY, AND THEN THEY DO THE POST-OP WORK ON THE RESERVATION WHERE ANIMAL HUSBANDRY IS A KEY PART OF TRIBAL WORK. THEY INTEGRATED INTO THE COMMUNITY, TOO, DEALING WITH PACK DOG, DOING SPAYING AND NEUTERING AND FIXING THE SHEEP THAT ARE ATTACKED.

Ted Simons: SOME OF THE FOLKS UP THERE, TAKING THESE COURSES, IT SOUNDS VERY ENCOURAGING. IT SOUNDS LIKE A LOT ITS BEING DONE. COULD BE EXPENSIVE. WHAT KIND OF COST ARE WE TALKING ABOUT HERE?

John Huppenthal: THAT'S THE KEY. SALLY, HER WATCH WORD IS UP TO DATE CAPITAL EQUIPMENT. YOU HAVE TO HAVE UP TO DATE CAPITAL EQUIPMENT. WHEN YOU HAVE THAT STUDENTS ARE WELL TRAINED. THEY GO DIRECTLY INTO JOBS OR GET A WORLD CLASS EXPERIENCE THEY CAN GO ON INTO COLLEGE. WHEN I GO INTO EVIT CLASS EVERY TIME I AM THERE, I ASK HOW MANY HERE PLAN ON GOING TO COLLEGE? I ENCOUNTERED CLASSES WHERE EVERY SINGLE STUDENT PLANS TO GO ON TO COLLEGE.

Ted Simons: IS THIS THE KIND OF THING THAT COULD BE COMPARED TO SPORTS? WHERE YOU PLAY FOOTBALL, YOU PLAY BASKETBALL, BASEBALL, YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE A PROFESSIONAL PLAYER, MORE THAN LIKELY YOU ARE GOING TO TAP OUT IN HIGH SCHOOL AND GO ON -- BUT THAT EXPERIENCE IS A LEARNING PROCESS THAT HELPS YOU LATER IN LIFE.

John Huppenthal: ABSOLUTELY. CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION, THEY FOUND THAT'S SOME OF THE DEVELOPING CONFIDENCE AND DETERMINATION IS ONE OF THE BEST PREDICTORS FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE.

Ted Simons: HOW BEST DO YOU MIX? IT SOUNDS LIKE COLLEGE PREP IS STILL NECESSARY FOR A LOT OF FOLKS. YOU ARE NOT SAYING GET RID OF COLLEGE PREP COURSES ALTOGETHER?

John Huppenthal: NO. MATTER OF FACT, WE ARE SAYING YOU INTEGRATE THAT YOU WILL TOGETHER. YOU CAN GET IT ALL DONE. AND EVEN AS WHAT THE MONTGOMERY COUNTY WHEN THEY WON THE MALCOLM BALANCED RIDGE AWARD, ONE KID IN TECH ED WAS A GREATER MARKER FOR SUCCESS IN COLLEGE. THEY ENCOURAGE STUDENTS TO DO IT ALL.

Ted Simons: YOU SAID YOU WERE A VOCATIONAL ED STUDENTS.

John Huppenthal: I TOOK DRAFTING AND WOOD SHOP. THE THING THAT'S INTERESTING TO ME, I LOOK BACK AND I CAN REMEMBER EVERY ASPECT OF MY WOOD SHOP CLASS AS I PLANNED OUT MY PROJECTS AND I DID BIG PROJECTS. SO THEY WERE COMPLEX. THEY HAD TO BE DONE IN MULTIPLE STEPS. THERE'S MANY CLASSES I HAVE TO CONFESS EVEN CLASSES THAT I GOT A'S IN I CAN'T REMEMBER THEM AT ALL. SO THESE CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES ARE MEMORABLE AND THEY ARE THREE DIMENSIONAL LEARNING AND A SENSE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT.

Ted Simons: DO YOU WANT YOUR KIDS TO TAKE VOCATIONAL EDUCATION CLASSES?

John Huppenthal: YOU KNOW, MY TWO DAUGHTERS ARE OFF IN COLLEGE NOW. THEY -- TO ME IT WOULD BE PERFECTLY SUITABLE FOR THEM TO DO THAT. IN THEIR PARTICULAR ENVIRONMENT, THEY DIDN'T HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY. BUT IT WOULD BE SOMETHING THAT I WOULD REALLY ENCOURAGE THEM TO DO.

Ted Simons: SO YOU THINK THAT THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD THING FOR THEM? BECAUSE A LOT OF FOLKS TALK ABOUT THIS BUT WHEN IT COMES TO THEIR OWN FAMILY THEY DON'T QUITE WALK THE WALK.

John Huppenthal: ABSOLUTELY. NOW MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, WOOD SHOP AND DRAFTING AND WENT ON TO A DEGREE IN ENGINEERING, THOSE WOOD SHOP AND DRAFTING CLASSES I FOUND COMPLETELY -- I VIEWED TO A CERTAIN EXTENTS -- CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES TO BE ENGINEERING IN HIGH SCHOOL. IF IT'S DONE CORRECTLY. LIKE IT'S BEING DONE IN EVIT. LIKE IT'S BEING DONE IN PEORIA, THEY ARE USING CAREER AND TECH ED TO DRIVE THEIR HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION RATE TO 94%, ALMOST A PERCENTAGE POINT AT A TIME. THEY HAVE DOUBLED THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE PARTICIPATION IN CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES.

Ted Simons: SO WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE? OBVIOUSLY THERE'S SOME MOMENTUM HERE, NATIONAL EXPOSURE. GOOD THING TO SEE IN "TIME" MAGAZINE. PRETTY GOOD RESULTS SO FAR. WHAT'S NEXT.

John Huppenthal: WHAT WE WANT TO DO IS KEEP ENERGIZING ALL OF THE ENTITIES THAT ARE PROVIDING GREAT CAREER AND TECH ED CLASSES, QUALITY IS ABSOLUTELY THE WATCH WORD. LIKE IT IS IN EVERYTHING. EVEN ALL OF OUR CLASSES. WE WANT TO KEEP ENERGIZING THEM, THE CLYDE MCBRIDE THAT SET YOU WANT PROGRAM ON THE NAVAJO INDIAN RESERVATION. PEOPLE MA COUNTY HAVE -- PIMA COUNTY HAS A GREAT CAREER AND HE CAN ED PROGRAM. OUR PEOPLE WANT TO CONTINUE TO EMPHASIZE THE INTEGRATION OF MATHEMATICS, WRITING, AND READING INTO CAREER AND TECH ED. ALL THE THINGS THAT KEEP BUILDING QUALITY, MAKING MORE OF THESE CLASSES AVAILABLE TO EVERY STUDENT.

Ted Simons: GOOD TO See YOU AGAIN.

John Huppenthal: THANK YOU FOR INVITING ME.

Ted Simons: YOU BET.

McCain Institute for International Leadership

  |   Video
  • Arizona State University is launching the nonprofit McCain Institute for International Leadership. ASU President Michael Crow talks about the mission of the new nonpartisan education and research institute that is funded initially by a $9 million gift from a charitable trust established by Arizona Senator John McCain.
Guests:
  • Michael Crow - ASU President
Category: Education   |   Keywords: nonpartisan, McCain Institute for International Leadership, ASU,

View Transcript
Ted Simons: GOOD EVENING AND WELCOME TO "ARIZONA HORIZON." I'M TED SIMONS. ASU IS LAUNCHING A NEW INSTITUTE FOCUSED ON INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP. THE McCAIN INSTITUTE IS NAMED FOR ARIZONA SENATOR JOHN McCAIN, WHO RECENTLY CREATED A CHARITABLE TRUST TO FUND THE INSTITUTE. I TALKED TO ASU PRESIDENT MICHAEL CROW ABOUT THE NEW VENTURE. GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANKS FOR JOINING US TONIGHT ON "ARIZONA HORIZON."

Michael Crow: HAPPY TO BE HERE.

Ted Simons: LET'S TALK ABOUT THIS. THE McCAIN INSTITUTE FOR INTERNATIONAL LEADERSHIP, WHAT'S THIS ALL ABOUT?

Michael Crow: WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE IS WASHINGTON RIGHT NOW IS FILLED WITH A NUMBER OF THINK TANKS AND ORGANIZATIONS THAT THINK OF THEMSELVES THAT WAY. THEY TEND TO PRODUCE WHITE PAPERS AND ACADEMIC PAPERS AND LOTS OF TALK. WE THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO ADVANCE A DIFFERENT TYPE OF INSTITUTION. AN INSTITUTION FOCUSED ON DECISION-MAKING AND ON THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEADERS TO MAKE DECISIONS. AND SENATOR McCAIN AND OTHERS CAME TO US, BEGAN WORKING WITH US RELATIVE TO AN IDEA, AND WE HAVE ADVANCED TO THE POINT NOW WHERE WE ARE LAUNCHING THE McCAIN INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR LEADERSHIP.

Ted Simons: NONPARTISAN, NONPROFIT EDUCATION RESEARCH CENTER. CAN YOU GET SOMETHING LIKE THIS NONPARTISAN?

Michael Crow: YOU CAN GET IT NONPARTISAN BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN THE PARTISAN DEBATE OVER POLITICAL THINGS THAT ARE GOING ON AT THE MOMENT. THIS INSTITUTE WILL FOCUS ON ISSUES RELATED TO NATIONAL SECURITY, RELATED TO INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, AND RELATED TO HUMANITARIAN EVENTS. IN THOSE CASES WHAT YOU ARE REALLY AFTER IS, IF YOU ARE ENCOUNTERING SITUATION X THAT LOOKS LIKE IT MIGHT BE OCCURRING IN EASTERN AFRICA, OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OR IN THE CONGO OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS OR THE MIDDLE EAST OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS, YOU CAN PUT OUT A RANGE OF DECISIONS, A RANGE OF DIFFERENT TYPES OF DECISIONS. WE CALL THESE DECISION PROTOTYPES. AND THEN YOU CAN LOOK AT THESE DECISION PROTOTYPES AND LEARN FROM THESE DECISION PROTOTYPES AND ULTIMATELY INFORM DECISION MAKERS. SO PARTISAN POSITIONING IN ALL OF THAT IS NOT REALLY RELEVANT.

Ted Simons: HOW WOULD THESE DECISION PROTOTYPES BE DEVELOPED? AND WHERE?

Michael Crow: THEY WOULD BE DEVELOPED BY GROUPS OF YOUNG LEADERS THAT WOULD BE BROUGHT IN AS McCAIN FELLOWS. THEY WOULD BE DEVELOPED BY BRINGING IN PEOPLE FROM AGENCIES, FROM INTERNATIONAL GOVERNMENTS, FROM OTHER TYPES OF INSTITUTIONS. THEY WOULD INVOLVE ASU FACULTY, FACULTY FROM OTHER INSTITUTIONS INCLUDING GEORGETOWN THAT WE ARE WORKING WITH AND OTHERS. ASU STUDENTS AND OTHERS. IT WOULD BE BASICALLY EVERY BRAIN THAT WE COULD BRING TO WEAR THAT WOULD HAVE SOME CAPABILITY OF HELPING TO DEVELOP A DECISION PROTOTYPE ABOUT A REALLY COMPLEX PROBLEM.

Ted Simons: AND IT SOUNDS AS THOUGH, FROM WHAT I HAVE BEEN READING ABOUT THIS, YOU ARE TRYING TO ROW MOAT WHAT IS CHARACTERIZED AS CHARACTER DRIVEN LEADERSHIP.

Michael Crow: IT HAS TO DO WITH THE AMERICAN CHARACTER. WE BELIEVE IN HELPING OTHER PEOPLE. WE BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY. WE BELIEVE IN THE CORE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH OUR COUNTRY IS FOUNDED. WHEN YOU ARE MAKING DECISIONS ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH REALLY COMPLEX INTERNATIONAL EVENTS, YOU NEED TO HAVE THE AMERICAN CHARACTER AS A PART OF HOW YOU ENGAGE THESE THINGS. ARE WE ACTUALLY GOING TO ALLOW THOSE PEOPLE TO STARVE? ARE WE ACTUALLY NOT GOING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO USE WHATEVER ASSETS THAT WE HAVE TO HELP BRING ABOUT A RESOLUTION IN A PART OF THE WORLD WHERE A RESOLUTION IS POSSIBLE? AND SO WHEN CHARACTER IS REFERRED TO IT'S THE AMERICAN CHARACTER.

Ted Simons: WHY IS ASU INVOLVED IN SOMETHING LIKE THIS?

Michael Crow: WELL, THE McCAIN FAMILY VISITED MORE THAN ONE INSTITUTION. AND SELECTED ASU AS THE SITE TO HELP DEVELOP THIS AND THE TEAM TO HELP DEVELOP THIS IDEA. SO WE ARE VERY HONORED BY THAT. BUT WE ARE ALSO INVOLVED BECAUSE WE ACTUALLY BELIEVE THAT WE CAN'T KEEP DOING THINGS THE SAME WAY. WE CAN'T KEEP ARGUING ABOUT THE SAME TONALITY. WE CAN'T KEEP TAKING PARTISAN VIEWS AND SOMEHOW THINKING THAT ONE SIDE WILL ULTIMATELY DEFEAT THE OTHER SIDE AND THEN ALL THEIR VIEWS WILL SOMEHOW BECOME PRACTICE. HOW ABOUT APPROACHING THINGS FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE? WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT WHERE OUR DECISION THEATER WE HAVE BEEN OPERATING THE LAST FIVE OVER SIX YEARS WITH DIFFERENT PROJECTS WE HAVE UNDERTAKEN. IT'S ABOUT HOW TO GET DISPARATE VIEWS AND DISPARATE IDEAS ALL AT THE SAME TABLE AND THROUGH DECISION PROTOTYPING MECHANISMS, FIND A WAY TO COME UP WITH THINGS WHERE PEOPLE SAY, YEAH, THAT'S AN OPTION, THAT MIGHT WORK, THAT MIGHT WORK. OR YOU CAN MAKE THESE SIMULATED DECISIONS AND THEN GET A SENSE OF WHAT WOULD HAPPEN IF YOU IMPLEMENT THEM RATHER THAN JUST TALKING ABOUT THEM.

Ted Simons: AND AGAIN YOU KIND OF REFERRED TO THIS EARLIER BUT FROM A DISTANCE THIS SOUNDS LIKE A THINK TANK. HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM A TRADITIONAL THINK TANK?

Michael Crow: THINK TANKS ARE LARGELY INVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF A POINT OF VIEW. MOST OF THEM ARE PARTISAN. THEY ARE EITHER RIGHT OF CENTER OR LEFT OF CENTER. THERE ARE A FEW THAT AREN'T. AND EVEN THOSE THAT AREN'T ARE STILL INVOLVED IN BASICALLY THE DEBATE. WE THINK THAT SOMETHING THAT'S MISSING IS THIS NOTION OF AMERICAN VALUES-BASED PROTOTYPE DECISIONS WHERE SOMEBODY CAN SAY, WELL, WE HAVE LOOKED AT THAT SITUATION. THESE 150 PEOPLE HAVE BEEN INVOLVE IN THIS FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS, VARIOUS CONNECTIONS TO THE INSTITUTE. AND THIS PROTOTYPE DECISION SAYS THAT BASED ON EVERYTHING WE KNOW, HERE ARE THE FOUR OPTION AND THE PROBABLE OUTCOMES OF THESE OPTIONS. SIMILAR IN SOME WAYS TO THE WAY THAT MILITARY PLANNING HAS OCCURRED IN THE PAST BUT DIFFERENTIATED NOW AND MORE COMPLEX BECAUSE IT'S DEALING WITH SOCIAL ISSUES, ECONOMIC ISSUES, ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES, MILITARY ISSUES, SECURITY ISSUES, HUMANITARIAN ISSUES NOW LOOK AT ALL THOSE THINGS.

Ted Simons: WHEN YOU LOOK AT ALL THOSE THINGS AND WE MENTIONED THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THIS, AND YOU CALL WOULD IT A DECISION TANK, I SUPPOSE, A THINK TANK, HOW DO YOU GET PAST THE CLUTTER? IF YOU COME UP WITH AN IDEA, IF DECISION THEATER AND ALL THE SCHOLARLY BASIS COMES UP WITH A REALLY GOOD IDEA HOW DO YOU GET TO THE FOREFRONT OF THAT PARADE?

Michael Crow: YOU GET TO THE FOREFRONT OF THE PARADE BY BRINGING IN ACTUAL DECISION-MAKERS AND PUT THEM INTO THE DECISION TANK ENVIRONMENT AND YOU SAY, LET'S WORK THROUGH IT. SO MORE REPORTS, NO MORE WHITE PAPERS BUT LET'S VISUALIZE THE IMPLICATIONS OF THAT PARTICULAR DECISION OPTION. LET'S WALK THROUGH, IN A WAY, WHERE EVERYBODY CAN CHANGE WHATEVER THEY WANT TO CHANGE. WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT? WE WILL CHANGE THAT PART OF THE DECISION AND THEN RUN THAT DECISION WITH THAT PARAMETER NOW ALTERED. WE HAVE DONE THIS IN WATER DECISION-MAKING. WE HAVE DONE THIS IN ENERGY DECISION-MAKING HERE IN ARIZONA. WE HAVE LEARNED A LOT FROM THIS AND WE THINK THAT CAN BE APPLIED IN THIS PARTICULAR CASE.

Ted Simons: WITH THE UNIVERSITY INVOLVED HOW ARE STUDENTS INVOLVED?

Michael Crow: STUDENTS ARE ALREADY BEGINNING TO GET INVOLVED BECAUSE WE NEED STUDENTS TO USE THEIR ENERGY AND THEIR DRIVE AND THEIR RESEARCH SKILLS TO HELP BUILD THE UNDERPINNING FOR MANY OF THESE DECISION PROTOTYPING EXERCISES. FOR INSTANCE, RIGHT NOW WE ARE JUST ABOUT TO LAUNCH A GROUP OF STUDENTS WHO WILL TAKE EVERYTHING THAT'S KNOWN ABOUT THE EASTERN CONGO, BRING THAT ALTOGETHER AND BUILD IT AS A DECISION TOOL, A LIVE DECISION INTERACTIVE TOOL. TELL ME ABOUT THIS OR TELL ME ABOUT THAT? BRINGING IN DATA, BRINGING IN ANALYSIS, BRINGING IN MODELS, BRINGING IN PHOTOS, BRINGING IN ANIMATIONS, WHATEVER IT HAPPENS TO BE, WHATEVER IS OUT THERE, THE ENTIRE KNOWN INTERACTIVE BODY OF KNOWLEDGE ABOUT A PARTICULAR PLACE THAT'S HAVING A PARTICULAR SET OF DEVELOPMENT ISSUES WHERE THERE'S PARTICULARLY HIGH LEVELS OF HUMAN SUFFERING, WHERE THE UNITED STATES HAS A LOT OF INTERESTS TO POTENTIALLY THINK ABOUT HOW TO BE HELPFUL. STUDENTS WILL BEGIN, BE INVOLVED IN THAT. STUDENTS WILL ALSO BE INVOLVED THROUGH COURSES THAT WILL BE BUILT AROUND THESE DECISION PROTOTYPES. AND STUDENTS WILL ALSO BE INVOLVED IN BEING A PART OF RUNNING THE THING.

Ted Simons: I ASKED THIS LAST QUESTION HERE, I ASKED EARLIER WHERE IS ASU INVOLVED. FROM A DIFFERENT ANGLE, FOR THOSE WHO HEAR THIS, THIS IS A GREAT IDEA, BUT ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY, WHY ASU? WHY THIS PARTICULAR EFFORT WHEN MOST FOLKS THINK OF THE UNIVERSITY WITH IVY AND CLASSROOMS AND THAT KIND -- THINKS, AGAIN, HOW DOES THIS HELP ASU? HOW DOES THIS MOVE ASU, YOUR IDEA OF ASU FORWARD?

Michael Crow: WELL, IT REALLY HELPS MOVE OUR IDEA FOR ASU FORWARD BECAUSE ICE ABOUT HELPING TO PROVIDE SOLUTIONS. SO WE ARE ABOUT SOLUTIONS. WE HAVE FANTASTIC FACULTY THERE AS IVY OR AS CLOISTERED AS ANYONE WOULD LIKE THEM TO BE BUT WHAT ARE THEY DOING WITH THEIR ENERGY? WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO, WE ALSO WANT THE INSTITUTION AND OUR STUDENTS ARE GOING TO BE FOCUSED ON SOLUTIONS THAT ARE MEASURABLE AND DEMONSTRABLE. WE THINK THOSE PROVIDE FOR TREMENDOUS LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES. WE THINK THEY ARE OF BETTER SERVICE. WE THINK THIS IS A MISSING INGREDIENT AND ASU IS WELL DESIGNED AND WELL POSITIONED TO BE PART OF MOVING TOWARDS SOLUTIONS.

Ted Simons: PRESIDENT CROW, GOOD TO SEE YOU. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

Michael Crow: NICE TO SEE YOU.

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