Alan Blankstein’s passion for impact in helping the “underdogs” of our society began when he took residence in a group home for boys in Queens, NY in the 1970s. This mission found form in Alan’s Founding Presidency of Solution Tree, and then the HOPE Foundation, whose Honorary Chairs included Renee’ Fleming and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. Alan’s insights into creating and leading high-performing, equitable organizations and school communities were derived via work in cities throughout North America and Africa, as well as ongoing conversations with brilliant colleagues on his editorial and advisory boards, and Shaping America’s Future forums.
The work has spawned powerful initiatives, such as the Professional Learning Communities movement and Circle of Courage approaches to creating high-performing schools and reclaiming environments for all young people and their families; especially those in greatest need. Some of this is captured in Alan’s 19 books, including the Best-Selling “2005 Book of the Year,” Failure Is Not an Option ™.
Teaching leaders how to better swim against strong currents running counter to what is best for millions of young people is important, but insufficient. Those who know most about what young people need often have the least authority to effect change, and visa-versa. Decisions affecting the majority are made by the few. We demand super-human results of those we simultaneously starve of resources to achieve this.
Yet there are ways forward. Unleashing powerful tools like social entrepreneurship, collective impact, and the performing arts are examples. Times are calling upon us to stay morally rooted, while reaching well beyond our perceived boundaries and capacities. We are working with high-impact, courageous, and committed leaders poised to significantly reshape our collective future. Stay tuned…