Monday, April 23, 2012

Nobel Summit in Chicago

Today's Chicago Tribune has a full page story about a three-day World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Chicago this week. The laureates will be visiting 17 Chicago high schools which are shown on this map from today's Tribune.

I've used maps before to illustrate ideas and I've written about the Nobel Prize in the past.

Here's one of my maps showing locations of poorly performing public schools in 2007-08.

If you make a comparison, it seems that the Nobel Prize winners are going to schools out of the high poverty areas, which to me illustrates the problem we have here in Chicago. The places where kids need the most inspiration from Nobel Prize winners and mentors are the neighborhoods where kids have the lowest performance.

I've been participating in a discussion about "empathy" on the Social Edge forum and I've long felt that a volunteer involvement in an on-going tutor/mentor program could be a strategy to increase the number of people who spend time learning about poverty and its impact on violence, crime, poor schools, high rates of incarceration. Such people would also spend time designing new solutions to this problem based on what they could learn from others who are involved in the same problem solving, anywhere in the world.

I've engaged interns in thinking about what such a strategy might look like and their visualizations can be seen here and in this forum.

Perhaps as world leaders come to Chicago on a regular basis the Tribune and local leaders might partner with Tutor/Mentor Institute, LLC to encourage more young people (and adults) throughout the Chicago region to generate ideas and strategies that build a larger number of people involved in helping kids from poverty move to college and careers the way this Spark Opportunity Challenge seems to be inviting ideas from young people.

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