How The Lean Lab created a grassroots movement around education in Kansas City
It started as a monthly brunch with 20 educators, social workers, and artists discussing how to make Kansas City education better. That group has evolved into the nonprofit organization The Lean Lab, which has gone on to convene over 1,000 people, host 18 events, and incubate 15 education ventures (products, services, school designs). Those ventures have gone on to impact 2,410 Kansas City students to date.
The Lean Lab, a group of innovative educators, looks to build a hub of education innovation in Kansas City. Begun by two frustrated Kansas City teachers, the nonprofit was founded upon the belief that educators have innovative ideas to shape the future of school, but too often those creative talents go untapped.
Progressive educators have more opportunities to flex their creative power as The Lean Lab is expanding its offerings to give educators the dedicated time, space, framework and resources to create new solutions for that push the boundaries of public education - what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Through community organizing events and training in innovation frameworks, educators can access a broadened network of inventive educators, industry professionals, and resources that give the community the power to be the change in Kansas City schools.
This fall will be the true test to see if this ambitious goal is possible. The Lean Lab will host three different events and begin to build out local and national partnership to attract and increase the capacity of the most innovative teachers, schools, and districts in Kansas City.
“We, at The Lean Lab, feel that educators deserve a stage to share their bold, new, and progressive ideas,” says CEO and co-founder, Katie Boody. “They deserve to be elevated, to be put on a pedestal.”
To do this, The Lean Lab will host an innovation workshop on October 22-23 to train educators to use Lean Startup and design thinking frameworks to catalyze change for education. Then, Lean Lab program alumni will take the stage and share their bold ideas for the future of Kansas City education in TED-talk style at T(eacher)ED Talks in November. Local school districts will then share their challenges to crowd source solutions at a Reverse Pitch event in January.
All the events are open to the public. Get more information and tickets here.