An evening spent at Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with a group of Richmonders under 40 surfaced the sort of ideas I stumble across frequently in my work – engage me, make my effort tangible, help me learn by letting me do, create, make.
The discussion was geared toward helping the education team at Lewis Ginter explore ways to create and shape ongoing classes and workshops for a broader demographic – in the case of this particular evening, a younger demographic.
After brief introductions and some exploration into what we collectively have valued in past learning environments, the group broke into pairs to deconstruct an existing workshop. The goal? Redesign it – the time, the title, the content, the focus – to make it more personally appealing.
Lots of red ink later, the groups surfaced and shared their ideas and observations. A few of the bigger takeaways are reflective of almost every conversation I have with organizations:
- It’s hard to design a “one-size fits all” approach to learning – individuals and generations have different learning styles, needs and desires. The onus is on the organization to bring an integrated approach.
- People want to see tangible outcomes from their work, even if that work is primarily intellectual or in their head.
- People value learning environments that are multi-sensory, where they can listen, reflect, discuss and do. They want to feel inspired, engaged and have permission to get their hands dirty!
Lots of good ideas for the Garden to consider as they enhance their adult education programming. Thanks to everyone who joined us for dinner and ideas!