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Public Invited to Community Conversation

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Public Invited to Community Conversation
Posted on 04/07/2015
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A child who started kindergarten in 2014 will turn 65 in about 2074. A 2015 high school graduate will turn 65 in about 2062. The people who will lead us in the future are in our schools today.

In a community conversation on Monday, May 4, Gary Marx, author of “21 Trends for the 21st Century,” will explore today’s massive trends such as rapidly changing demographics, constantly emerging technologies and environmental challenges and the ways they impact how we learn and the way we lead. As part of the event, Marx, an internationally known author, speaker and workshop leader, will then ask participants to consider implications of those trends for the future of schools and communities throughout Maine.

Greater Portland school and  business leaders and other members of the community are invited to join in this important conversation, which will take place from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Portland Public Library’s Rines Auditorium. The event is free of charge but pre-registration is urged to ensure there’s room for all. To register, click here. Alternatively, those wanting to register can go to the calendar on the Portland Public Schools website, www.portlandschools.org, and click on May 4 and the event and click on the registration link.

The event, titled “Focusing on the Future: ‘21 Trends for the 21st Century,’ a Community Conversation,” is sponsored by the Portland Public Schools and NESDEC (New England School Development Council).

Marx’s book, “21 Trends for the 21st Century: Out of the Trenches and Into the Future” is the most recent choice of the Superintendent’s Book Club, led by Portland Public Schools Superintendent Emmanuel Caulk. For the May 4 meeting to discuss this important book, Caulk has invited the author to lead the discussion.

“This really shows that Portland is a leader in continuing to explore new ways to invest in our future – and our future is our children,” Caulk said. “This book illustrates how education has an impact on everything that happens in the world and that everything that happens in the world impacts education.”

May 4 also marks the start of the Portland Public Schools’ third annual Principal for a Day program, run in partnership with the Portland Regional Chamber. During that weeklong program, leaders of local businesses, colleges and nonprofit organizations will spend a day as guest principals at Portland’s public schools. The CEOs get to see a school in action, and they’re encouraged to share their insights about managing a complex institution. Many of those CEOs are expected to join the community conversation on Marx’s book the evening of May 4.

Among the numerous trends Marx will discuss are the flow of generations, diversity, aging, technology, identity and privacy, the economy, jobs and careers, energy, the environment, sustainability, the international/global sphere, polarization, ethics, poverty, and work-life balance. In the education and learning sphere, he’ll focus on personalization, the need to release ingenuity and creativity, and the importance of depth, breadth, and purpose of education.

Marx is president of the Center for Public Outreach, an organization he founded in 1998, which provides counsel internationally on future-oriented leadership, communication, education, community, and democracy. He’s an international keynote speaker, workshop leader, author, and consultant, who previously served for nearly 20 years as a senior executive for the American Association of School Administrators.

Marx said, “Every day, the work we do in our personal ‘trenches’ helps define our individual lives and shapes our future. However, we also need to be connected with the big picture, the world ‘outside the trenches.’ If we hope for an even brighter tomorrow, we need to cherish our history and heritage and, at the same time, stay in touch with the challenges and opportunities of a fast-changing world.”

Copies of “21 Trends” will available at Longfellow Books for a 20 percent discount when mentioning the Superintendent’s Book Club. Longfellow also will have the book for sale at the event, at which Marx will be available for a book signing. The Portland Public Library also has put the book on order.