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How an idea became a grant
Updated: 2/20/2019
How an idea became a grant
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Storyboard Text

  • This is the story about how a crazy idea became a grant
  • I <3 this idea
  • There are no girls interested in comp sci. I want to use video games & storytelling to introduce them to coding
  • Computer Science lab of professor at Carnegie Mellon
  • Meeting with boss who could say no or otherwise kill idea
  • TAKE 2
  • Setting: Early 2000s when I worked for my first foundation
  • He said yes!
  • His worldview: It is important introduce young women to CS and education should and can be fun My worldview: education and coding should be fun; I tech
  • The staff meeting where all good ideas go to die
  • Next back to the foundation to tell my boss, the VP, about the idea and get his buy-in. he has to sign off for the idea to be considered for presentation to the board
  • NO!!!
  • Bosses worldview: Video games for education sounds nuts. I don't get it My worldview: THIS is so exciting! education and coding should be fun; I tech
  • I realized our worldviews did not match and things that got me excited were things he could not visualize or comprehend
  • Demo!Brought prof and some students to demonstrate the possibility of this idea -- made it more real
  • ...and that is why video games are perfect for education
  • What was different was the opportunity to hear directly from the professor and students--they made it more personal and not so abstarct
  • NO!
  • Next step was to present my idea to the full staff. An overwhelming set of negative comments can kill an idea before it even gets to the board for review
  • Worldview of a majority of the staff: video games are frivolous , tech is scary Story they are telling themselves: "this is embarrassing and not serious or important work"
  • CEO worldview: I have no reference point for this conversation but I trust the VP
  • The idea could have died at the staff meeting or with the CEO but my boss took a risk and helped me make my case so that I could bring the idea to the board.
  • Worldview of board: video games are frivolous , tech is scary Story they are telling themselves: "this is embarrassing and not serious or important work"
  • The day of the board meeting, the official place for yeses, nos and where decisions officially die.
  • I enthusiastically presented to the board anticipating all of their questions and comments based on previous skeptical worldviews I had encountered on this journey
  • The board vote
  • The board CHAIR'S vote Her worldview: Loves to take risks, loves innovation, saw the possibility because husband and sons played video games 
  • YES!
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