Levers for Change & Emergent Strategy


The analysis of the systems mapping process for the Vermont learning ecosystem yielded five critical leverage points for affecting systemic change. Those leverage points serve as the rootstock for an emergent set of network action projects. At each biannual summit, teams come together to strategize new goals to apply pressure on these levers. Some projects collaborate directly with professional work already underway, while others emerge from the design process itself.

(Click here to view the full map, and here to see a simplified version highlighting the levers)

Each lever is independently critical, but by weighting all five levers in coordinated effort we radically enhance our power to accelerate the pace of change.

All of our work begins with an understanding of the need to develop Diverse Emergence Capacity to address the complex challenges our communities and ecosystems face at home and around the globe. To create the conditions that cultivate youth with the passion, ability, and determination to realize this goal, we are strategically nurturing the transformation of our educational ecosystem. This work is done in partnership, across differences, with a commitment to continuous learning.

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Youth with access to their learning potential

The entry point to system change is equitable access to opportunity. Critical elements of this lever include: addressing the equity gap, increasing the quantity and quality of understanding of the neuro-psychology of learning, increasing community engagement in education, and increasing the sense of agency students feel in their learning.

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Youth-adult partnership

To achieve meaningful progress in how we design and enact learning experiences that are truly meaningful and durable, we must understand learning as an evolving partnership.

Youth voice and choice are central to meaningful learning


Design ecosystem

The work of this lever promotes an emergent, solution-oriented design process, a network of collaborative partners, and a portfolio of promising practices that move us towards our goals.


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Digital Learning

Recognizing Vermont as a rural state, our ability to achieve our goals will be significantly impacted by the quantity, quality and equity of access to digital learning.

Access to high-quality digital learning is essential to realize the full potential of Flexible Pathways and the creative, engaging, and meaningful learning it promotes.

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Framing and Messaging

Our efforts as a network to leverage change in all of these areas to collectively transform education for a more just, joyful and sustainable future is critically enhanced by our ability to effectively communicate the need, process and desired outcomes for change.