Sep 11, 2023

Returning to Augusta and Witnessing Inspiring Learning Environments

Confession time. I normally don’t write blog entries about a singular visit to a client. But, today was a bit different and I will explain why in a moment.

I had the distinct pleasure to spend the day with the board of trustees at Augusta Prep in Augusta, Georgia. A city and region in which we have deep experience and lasting relationships over 20 years, Augusta Prep is the leading independent school in the market and is launching their strategic planning process. Prep joins several other clients and organizations we have served in the region over the past two decades.

So, what made today so distinct? Two settings that literally defined true design innovation were my canvas today.

First, our board retreat canvas and setting for today was remarkable. We met at the Georgia Cyber Center. In a word…wow. Cool, hip, and inspiring, this center is a first class collaborative space for innovating and designing the next generation of cyber security. Ripe with partnerships, world class facilities and talent, this facility is an absolute masterpiece and the leading space of its type in the industry. Check out their website and specifically review their mission and values. They will move you.

The Georgia Cyber Innovation & Training Center is a unique public/private collaboration among academia, government, and the private sector. It is designed to meet the growing need for cyber security talent by addressing the cyber security workforce shortage with creative training solutions while shaping a culture of innovation.

Second, I had the chance to tour the Augusta Prep campus and take a hard hat tour of the new Giles Institute for Inquiry. Scheduled for opening in January 2024, head of school Derrick Willard gave me an in-depth, behind-the-scenes tour of the new construction site. He shared his vision and the big idea concept behind the center, which will truly be a one-of-a-kind facility in the region.

The W. Rodger Giles Institute for Inquiry, scheduled to open in 2024, will be one of a kind in the Augusta area. It is being constructed as a unique future-facing sciences and engineering building that prepares students for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is being driven by high-speed Internet, cloud technology, artificial intelligence, automation, 3D printing, and big data analytics, along with the workplaces of the future.

In the education sector, we most recently have spent a great deal of time reflecting on the impact of the virtual world on the learning experience. Today, however, I had the opportunity to witness two distinct organizational visions for designing and implementing best in class physical places of intentional inquiry, collaboration and innovation.

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