The morning continued with a great ice breaking game followed by a great session by the O'Briant Group who were sharing the Google EDU Project Culture Shift. The idea behind this program is to work with schools to explore the ideas behind innovation including the 4 main pillars - risk-taking, agency, collaboration and curiosity.
My biggest take away from this session was the idea of 'psychological safety'. Amy Edmonson states that 'psychological safety is a belief that no one will be punished or humiliated for speaking up with ideas, questions, concerns or mistakes'. In order for teams to be effective in creating change, this is a non-negotiable. Every member of every team needs to feel safe in the fact that they can share their thoughts and ideas without judgement. When this safety is built in to meetings, collaborative spaces, etc ideas and thoughts can be freely shared and teams can move forward with their plans for innovation.
We were also invited to explore our 'superpowers'. I felt that my strongest superpower was being a 'transformer', whereby I am able to take other people's ideas and help to make them grow. The reason why I chose this was that sometimes I struggle to come up with the initial idea (or alternatively come up with a stack of ideas and can't decide on which one to follow up without input!) but I can quite happily work with people to help them to take their ideas forward and make them the best they can be!
As a group, we gave ourselves the name 'Forward Motion' - each of us agreed that we are all wanting to help others move forward with momentum by being able to listen to ideas, collaborate and help to work magic. We also had to come up with a group 'action' - we chose the 'train horn' as it symbolised a few things - power of the train, the horn to let people know we are coming and a fist pump to show strength!
The rest of the day was spent exploring some more ideas with the Project Culture Shift team before breaking in to our breakout groups after an amazing Googley lunch. During the three breakout sessions I spent some time with Aaron exploring ways to think about moving forward in education, a session with Chris Betcher on using Adobe Spark tools to create a range of outcomes and lastly, a session on 'Sheets Superpowers' with Jay Attwood. It was a shame that each session went for less than 30 minutes as they were great opportunities to connect with people and to share ideas.
The final part of the day was a networking evening aboard the 'Southern Swan', a tall ship that took us out under the Harbour Bridge and into the harbour for the evening. It was great for those who had travelled from far off places to see our Harbour in this way - but also for those of us Sydney-siders, there's nothing like spending time viewing the City from that vantage point. We were fed some amazing food, had opportunities to climb the mast and were pitched against each other in a laser clay shooting competition.
All in all the day was nothing short of amazing! It helped me reconnect with the amazing educators I've met along my Google journey and sparked a few embers deep within that had been burning slowly over the last 12 months. I feel inspired again to explore the Googley goodness that is available to everyone but not just the tools, but the ideology behind what Google stands for - so watch this space :)