Learning is an integral part of McConnell’s theory of change. We believe that self-reflection and sharing our distilled insights are key to ensuring that our experiments in philanthropy, social finance, and convening can be integrated into the work of our foundation and potentially, the sector as a whole.
In 2016, in an effort to conduct our learning more publically, we launched a project called 12 Lessons Learned that featured a selection of the McConnell staff’s hardest won lessons. In 2017, through 12 Lessons (un)Learned, we practiced the kind of learning needed in the era of reconciliation. This year, in an effort to broaden the learning dialogue, we have sought out lessons from leaders across our network: we’re calling it 12 Lessons Shared.
We asked our grantees, partners and fellow travellers from across the country to reflect on the past 12 months. We then asked them to articulate an important lesson and share an object that represents their learning journey. As the lessons and objects poured in from across the country (and across the Atlantic in one case) they were staged and photographed by Brendan George Ko who brought his careful attention to capture the subtle metaphors and meaning within the learning story of each object.
We believe that if we learn together, we can transform systems and we hope that this project contributes to a larger dialogue of learning with all of you.