Simon Sinek on playing the infinite game in education

As part of our journey in reimagining education, Big Change hosted a fascinating discussion with the brilliant Simon Sinek.

As an author and thought leader who is always ahead of the curve, Simon has now developed a framework for how we can embrace an ‘infinite mindset’ and build more purpose-led, resilient, innovative and viable businesses.

Simon Sinek in discussion with Big Change

Simon's books are so insightful for anyone looking to build a purpose-led businesses and I can't wait to see his thoughts on embracing an infinite mindset solidifed in hardback this October. I'm also delighted to count Simon as a great friend!

At Big Change, we were fascinated by how many parallels we found between Simon’s framework and the findings that emerged from our latest report on Reimagining Education. During the discussion, Simon and Essie North - the CEO of Big Change - talked about what needed to change to better prepare our young people in a world of constant evolution.

Our system currently treats education as a finite game that can be won or lost. The focus on standardised testing measures and defines children as winners and losers, but a child’s potential is not nearly so black and white. We’re all unique and we don’t all colour between the lines. That is the beauty of being human. So where is the metric that encourages a child to be the best human they can be, rather than the most academic student?

Holly Branson and Simon Sinek

One of the most enlightening points of the discussion revolved about ‘winning’ – the by-product of a ‘finite’ mindset and a short-term approach to the strategy and objectives of our education system.

Simon and Essie spoke about how we're culturally conditioned to ‘win’ and we feel safe within the rules and boundaries established by arbitrary metrics. Essie asked Simon what would happen when these rules, boundaries and safety buffers broke down. Simon answered with a passionate revelation - without arbitrary rules and boundaries, we turn to our relationships and communities for security and validation.

Simon also reiterated Big Change’s view that we need to question the ‘why’ of education if we want to truly reimagine education and create long-term (or infinite) change.

He also spoke about the need to shift the education system to prepare children to be resilient and active citizens of the world:

"The education system can play a much bigger role in preparing us to be human. When we teach kids how to come together, how to have opinions, I think that's what our future will hold.”

“We’re currently missing the most important part of education – teaching kids to care for one another. I may be biased, but I think together is always better.”

The cherry on top of an insightful evening was a surprise appearance from George the Poet, who articulated everything we had discussed about reimagining education, embracing an infinite mindset and creating a healthier and happier society in a brilliant spoken word poem.

George the Poet speaking with Big Change

It was so refreshing to hear Big Change’s approach to education reform reinforced by two very articulate, genuine and successful social activators and thought leaders. 

I can’t give away too much at this point, but I’ll be working closely with Simon again later in the year as he gets set to release ‘The Infinite Game’ this Autumn.

Stay tuned!


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