October 26, 2022

Surfing Together

Pre-note from Victor: Today, I have the pleasure of introducing you to Erin Murphy, our Program Strategist and one of our newest teammates. She’s sharing an update on something special we recently launched at Ei, and how it’s going. Let’s dive right in:

Last June…

We launched a wild idea: a public-facing innovation hub for the future of learning and work. We’re a small team relative to most companies who have an “innovation hub,” but we want to practice what we teach in our Innovation programs.

After several months of planning, writing, and strategy work, the Ei Sandbox was born.

Our First Meetup & Experiment

Within the first couple of weeks of announcing nearly 200 people signed up. We brought them together for virtual meetups (some of my favorite calls of the year) and then, in August, launched our first experiment: Experience Playlists.

As a reminder, with Experience Playlists, we’re experimenting with a new way for individuals to learn by doing in a cohort context. In the same way you might create a playlist of songs or videos, our Practicing Resilience Playlist allows learners to curate a personalized playlist of experiences from a set of activities designed to foster resilience in their lives and work.

The Structure of Practicing Resilience Experience Playlist:

  • 20 learners ranging from educators to product designers to brand strategists (and everything in between!) have been split into four coaching groups.
  • A digital platform populated with three types of experiences: short bursts completed in 20 minutes, multi-day experiences, and experiences meant to create habits and routines. New experiences are added each week (like Beyoncé dropping a new album).
  • Learners connect 1:1, participate in small group coaching, and will celebrate their learning at a live graduation event.

What we’re seeing and hearing so far: it’s working!

The live launch event felt invigorating and cemented our gut feeling that something special happens when we learn together as humans. Our Playlist learners are diving into the curated experiences head-first, exhibiting incredible curiosity, vulnerability, and trust. Even after just two weeks, behaviors are changing and the community is deepening. We’re seeing the magic of self-directed learning paired with accountability.

From / To…

Last week, one of the learners described where they are now and where they’re hoping to go with a poignant metaphor: “If life’s challenges are waves, I want to go from being knocked down and feeling like I’m drowning to being able to surf.” That journey of from-to is why we do what we do at Ei. And it’s why we launched our Practicing Resilience playlist.

Surfing together

There’s certainly no stopping the waves of life’s challenges from coming to shore. But, we can equip ourselves with the right board to keep us afloat and maybe a wetsuit to stay warm. We can practice on dry land first and when the seas are calm next. We can ask friends to show us the best spots for beginners. And, eventually, with intention and resilience, we can go from being crushed by the waves to surfing them. This is why we do the work we do — to help people learn to surf instead of sink.

What’s next with Experience Playlists?

We’re still squarely in this experiment. And we want to continue learning from our community and sharing what we’re learning with all of you. Sandbox, and the experiments we host, aren’t just for Ei — they’re for all of us to continue exploring how lifelong, experiential learning can evolve.

If you want to stay in the loop with the next Sandbox projects, join us here: https://sandbox.expinstitute.com

In any case, I hope you’re taking the time, like our Playlist Learners, to practice resilience on your way from “from” to “to.”

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