So You Want to Change the World

The Podcast

Bonus Episode: Learning to Change the World

“What do you think humanity's greatest potential looks like, and what does it mean to contribute to that in meaningful ways?” In this bonus episode for season 1, Thinking Beyond Borders’ Founder & President, Robin Pendoley, shares why Millennials give him hope, a vision for social impact education, and his definition of international development.

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Interview Transcript

Julia: 00:13 Hi everyone and welcome to the final episode of Season 1 of So You Want to Change the World. My name is Julia Jones, and I am the Editor and Producer of Season 1. I am also a 2012 alumni of Thinking Beyond Borders' programs. I am really excited to be your interviewer today and turning the tables to interview Founder and President Robin Pendoley himself in this episode titled Learning to Change the World. Now I get to speak with Robin directly about this educational institution and how it's working to create meaningful social change. So Robin, tell us a little bit more about Thinking Beyond Borders.

Robin: 00:48 Thinking Beyond Borders is an educational institution that was founded in 2007, and we founded the organization on the mission to empower and inspire students to address critical global issues. Now that mission for us was was founded on the assumption that it's not -- we don't face these big global issues of hunger and poverty and unsustainable practices and political and cultural and social oppression, we don't face those things just because there aren't enough people out there trying to do good in the world. But that in fact, as we look at history, we look at international development, we look at social justice movements, what we find is lots of people who with good intentions and good technical skills go out and work hard every day, but to the end of creating more harm than good. We also looked at history, and we saw that there were some people that were somewhat rare instances of people going out and creating really meaningful change -- change that really move the needle toward equity and justice and sustainability, and that those folks really shared a very specific set of qualities. Thinking Beyond Borders started creating programs in 2007 with the idea that we could create a learning space that students could step into to develop those qualities that would set them apart not just because they have good intentions and good technical skills but because they have these other capacities that would ensure that they weren't just going out and creating more harm than good despite their good intentions. What that really looks like for us is it's one and two semester programs in our gap year programming that take groups of students with really passionate, highly qualified educators, and send them out into the world to live in communities abroad, to work alongside local experts, and really dive into not just the theoretical and the academic ends of these these key global issues like public health or education or sustainability, but also to see how those issues play out in real people's real daily lives, and see how local actors are working to create change in their own home communities and addressing the economic, and the political, and the cultural, and social aspects of each of these these tough global issues. Therefore, we decided to set out and see if we could create programs that would do that. In 2008 we launched her very first program our very first Global Gap Year program. And at the time people in the international education field or even in more traditional education looked at us and said that's really ambitious what you put together. It was a it was an eight month program. Thirty-five weeks, students 18 students and three teachers were traveling to nine different countries over eight months, and studying five different developmental issues and really taking a deep dive into a pretty expansive curriculum.

Julia: 03:56 So how did the founding team come together to really not only discuss this but bring Thinking Beyond Borders into fruition?

Robin: 04:06 You know, there were there were three of us founders originally. It was Chris Stakich and Sandy Cooper and myself. And each of us came from different backgrounds. Chris had worked in student travel previously and before joining our team. And I actually met Chris by working for him one summer with Rustic Pathways in Costa Rica. Sandy Cooper was coming from having spent two years in the Peace Corps in the middle of on a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific and then serving as an Americorp Team Leader. So she was really coming from a service learning background. My background was in my undergrad I'd studied International Development at UCLA, and had I done that because I grew up as a save the world kind of kid. I saw a lot of injustice around me -- economic and political and cultural injustice -- in the community I lived in in Vallejo, California as a kid, and really always had this sense both from those surroundings and then also from my parents that I had a real responsibility to make the world a better place.  And I entered my undergrad trying to understand what those bigger problems were so that I could figure out how to contribute to solutions. At the end of my undergrad I think you know some of those realizations about the need to not just bring more people into the do gooding world but to help do gooders do it better. Had really sunk in for me, and I found my passions and my talents really driving me into the world of education. I worked in public schools for eight years and did just about everything you can do in a public school from coaching to teaching to serving as an administrator, running afterschool programs, both in urban and suburban schools and along the way got a Master's in Education at Harvard trying to understand how to use education as a tool for social change and both from an administrative and a curricular and a pedagogical sense. For me when I met the other shoe founders and we started having these conversations it was you know personally it was scary. It was scary to step out of my career into something that we had no funding for, we had no idea how we were going to get it off the ground, and none of us had really started an organization before. At the same time it was incredibly exciting to me because you know traditional education put real limits on what we could do in terms of creating a learning environment that that would lead to the kind of outcomes learning and growth that we really wanted to see in our students, that we felt was crucial to us meeting our mission as Thinking Beyond Borders. So that was one that was what really drove me into this was that the gap year space was outside of the K through 12 world or higher education, which meant that we didn't have the institutional boundaries. We didn't have to have our students take standardized tests. We didn't have to do traditional grading. We could create a learning environment that was about the students learning about things that really mattered to them and really mattered to the real world. And they could learn about those things by engaging with them directly rather than just talking about it as as theory, these theoretical issues that happened somewhere else. And so that that for me was the most exciting part as a founder of stepping into this space and in creating Thinking Beyond Borders and and all of the learning opportunities that we've been able to create through our programming since the founding.

Julia: 07:35 So I'm curious if there is a specific moment in your life when you realize that you needed to get away from traditional education and to really start TBB.

Robin: 07:47 Yeah that's you know, I don't know that there was necessarily a moment per se. There definitely was a moment when in early 2007 when you know we spent two years -- the three founders had spent two years developing the idea, we talked about you know who we were going to be as an organization, and what our funding was going to look like, and what the program was going to be -- and we were at that point where each of us had to make the decision to step out of our careers. And the other two founders really had, to be honest, they really had to convince me because I was pretty nervous about about stepping away from the school that I was working at at the time the River Valley Charter School in Newburyport, Massachusetts. I loved it. It was a K through 8, public charter Montessori. I was I was leading the middle school team at that time, and we were doing really cool things. And within the institution of traditional education we were really pushing boundaries, and we had a great school community, and I felt really supported in a lot of ways. At the same time I then looked at what Thinking Beyond Borders was and realize that TBB had the potential for me to have complete freedom to go out and as an educator create the spaces that I thought we needed, and to help students really find their passions in their direction as agents of change in the world. And that that while River Valley was a fantastic community and still is as a school, it was still going to be limited in a way that Thinking Beyond Borders never was as a learning space and as a teaching space. So that really was the biggest the biggest turning point for me is I had to step out of what was a comfortable and established place for me that I could stay for a long time and be and be pretty happy for the big risk of stepping into what could be you know this idyllic learning and teaching space that Thinking Beyond Borders was in my mind at that time and you know to be frank it really is now. We still get to do some really incredible things that that are really hard to find. It's hard to find learning and teaching spaces like this anywhere else in education.

Julia: 07:47 So why exactly TBB? Why not something else?

Robin: 10:12 Yeah that's a really interesting question. It's one that I've asked myself a lot over the years. When I put that question in the big picture I think you know my goal my personal mission is to go out and create a more equitable, just, and sustainable world. And we need to pull lots and lots of different levers. Thinking Beyond Borders is one of them.  Right? I mean there needs to be community organizing, there needs to be political action, there needs to be the right folks running for offices and running businesses and leading PCs in their local schools. We need lots and lots of different things. TBB is never has never in my mind been the end all be all of social impact or social justice work. It's really one thing. The role that I think Thinking Beyond Borders plays is that we're finding those and to have a real passion and a real desire to do this type of work, to do change making work, and are probably headed down that path anyway. And we're providing a space for them to come and develop those capacities that will make them exceptional agents of change for years to come. And that's in all types of fields. And so I don't know a lot of other spaces educational or otherwise in the social impact world that are doing that. Most of them are out there saying great you want to do social enterprise, or you want to do social innovation, or you want to be a doctor to work in public health. We're going to help you develop all the technical skills you need to do that stuff well. But again what we saw when we looked at history was a great age of change, yes they had good technical skills, but they had these other capacities that really made the difference. And so that that for me I think is why TBB is different and why we play a crucial role in the broader ecosystem of of individuals and organizations out trying to make a difference in the world.

Julia: 10:12 So who were those historical impact leaders? And what capacities did they possess?

Robin: 12:20 So I think there are a lot of those leaders, and there are some names that we all really know: Martin Luther King, or Gandhi, or Mandela, or or even Mohammad Yunus. There are also lots of folks that we don't know as well: Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and then lots of folks who never made it even to the national consciousness because they worked in their local communities, they worked in their local PTAs, or in local government, or even just within their families. They shared -- as we look historically at their lives -- they shared three capacities that really stood out. One was that they had a sense of purpose and direction that was rooted in a critical analysis not just of the world but of themselves. They charted a course for themselves around their talents and passions but also with an understanding of what their beliefs were and that they critically analyze those beliefs as they exercise them in the world. The result of that was that they were constantly shifting course just a little bit every time they had an experience in the world to make sure that their actions actually aligned with their beliefs, and that their beliefs were things that were constantly being revised and questioned that they as they engage with a dynamic world. The second was that they exercised humble but powerful learning, meaning that they didn't just go into the world looking for answers and wielding those answers as tools but rather they went out into a dynamic world looking for understanding. They did that by asking questions, honestly engaging those questions personally, even the hard questions about "who am I?" and "how do I relate to these issues?", "how does my privilege play into  these issues?", and then inviting other people into those questions with them in a humble way. All with the goal of developing as much understanding about the issue as they can so that they can then ask a deeper question that takes them further into their understanding, to inform their actions, and the ways that communities can come together to solve these problems. The final capacity is something we call "higher order empathy". We talk a lot about empathy as being able to see people that are hurting and help them more, or listen to people that have different beliefs than we do. Higher order empathy is when you see somebody that's doing something harmful to you, your family, your friends and not hating them. Finding love for them as a human. Believing in their capacity to still do good in the world. And taking it on is partly our responsibility to help create a path for that person to become a productive part of this community working toward equity and trust and so sustainability in the future. Those were the capacities that really made the difference and set great agents of change apart from those who simply had good technical skills and good intentions. None of those capacities come easily. And the truth is we don't do a very good job of supporting students in developing those capacities in traditional education. Sometimes we do in our faith communities, sometimes we do in our family, sometimes we do in our schools. But TBB was established to get really good at developing those capacities intensively at a really crucial moment of our lives as we're emerging into adulthood.

Julia: 15:42 So if these capacities are what you envision for all TBBers to have at the end, what parts of the pedagogy and curriculum and parts of the program are built in to ensure that this is something that they're learning along the way?

Robin: 15:50 Yeah. So this is something I could talk about for a long time because I love this conversation. There are a couple of things that I think are really important to note related to developing these capacities. One is that there is intellectual work to do here, and that intellectual work is both about thinking broadly and deeply about each of these these issues like public health or education as a tool for social change or you know sustainability and environmental resources. But we also need to think deeply about questions related to what types of outcomes actually do represent meaningful change. So one of the core questions we ask women in the curriculum from the very beginning of the program to the very end and many times throughout is "What is development?" What are we what are we trying to achieve? And it's a question that's rarely asked in the world of development among even among the great experts of development around the world.  You don't find anything close to a consensus. And part of the reason why is that there are lots and lots of base level assumptions that relate to our core beliefs as individuals about what the world is, how it works, how it should be, and what each of us can do to try to to try to change it in positive ways. Our curriculum and our pedagogy in part are about, yes looking at the outside world and understanding it better, but then through out every seminar through every reading through every journaling exercise, we're pushing students to look inward as well at the assumptions and the values that are shaping their understanding of what of what's happening around them and about who they are and how they relate to it. That constant process of inquiry that's both external and internal is absolutely fundamental to what we do, and the result is that you see students coming out on the other side saying you know "I may not necessarily be starting college knowing exactly what my major is going to be, but I am starting college with these burning questions these burning questions in my chest that matter to the world and they matter to me. And I now realize that my college experience is not about getting more grades so that I can go on to my next degree or my career, it's about diving into these questions that are really meaty and meaningful, and really chasing those those things passionately so that I can better understand the world so I can go out and be more effective at creating change."

Julia: 18:25 So I'm one of over 275 alumni who started their journey to develop these same capacities that you're talking about while on TBB. We're all over the world. We're in college and grad school and in the workforce. What exactly did you envision alumni doing when you were founding TBB?

Robin: 18:43 In my wildest dreams I envisioned you all doing what you're doing today. What I really envisioned was young people with passion going out into their higher ed careers, into the professional world, and into their communities and really engaging deeply in the things that they think matter the most and finding ways to leverage their personal talents and their personal passions to create the most change that they can while also getting to the end of each day feeling fulfilled by that process. You know I think that's one of the biggest challenges of working in social justice spaces or in or in social impact spaces is that it's draining work. And if you start from a position of I'm going to sacrifice everything that is me for the cause you get really burned out very quickly. And so what's interesting to me in each of the episodes we've recorded so far and we've shared with our audience and all of the other alumni that I know is that you know we're not all necessarily smiling at every minute of every day, but it really comes through that there are a lot of folks who are really passionate, really excited, and fulfilled by their path, and who continue to ask hard questions of themselves. They're asking hard questions of the world. Their TBB experience lives on for them in their day to day in the sense that they they came out of TBB having created a new way of walking their path. Those were really my wildest dreams of what I could have hoped for. And I can't tell you how humbling and exciting it is to be a part of this community of teachers and students and parents and such that that now gets to watch each of these alumni go off and do this incredible work.

Julia: 20:39 So coming from traditional education, I'm wondering: Why this idea of a gap year? Why the year between high school and college that you and the founders thought would be the most important to address?

Robin: 20:46 This moment of transition when we're going from our our homes and our families off to college and into adulthood is a huge moment of transition in our lives. Not only are we geographically separating in many cases from our families and our hometowns, but we're stepping out of our early adolescence into late adolescence and adulthood. Our brains are developing new capacities for critical thinking and something called metacognition where you can take the big step back and you can see dynamic systems playing out and you can place yourself within those systems even when you step back. It gives you new perspective, it gives you new understanding and new capacities to think about yourself in the world. It's also a time we're naturally speaking in our lives in this developmental stage, we're naturally predisposed to wanting to ask ourselves hard questions about what we believe, and why we believe it, and how that shapes our understanding of the world.  All of that to me means that there's an enormous amount of shift happening in students at this period of time. By creating a program that's specifically designed for those students at that age we've been able to hone the support we give to students, the challenges we give to students academically personally socially, we've been able to hone our program specifically designed to support those students to go through these changes into adulthood. That to me means that we're going to be seeding the world with young professionals young you know college students and then eventually young professionals and seasoned professionals who really have their feet on the ground in the work that they're doing and understand how they're contributing and how they can help other people contribute to these change efforts, and it can be truly transformative.

Julia: 22:42 And you know that Millennials are always looking for transformational experiences.

Robin: 22:50 Well you know, it's funny you say that because I actually think that Millennials get a really bad rap. In part because I think you know in the popular conversation today Millennials are talked about in a dismissive way in terms of all the things that are wrong with Millennials. One this is this is an age old thing -- we always talk about young people in demeaning ways. Two is that Millennials are exactly who they've been raised to be. And so you know there are positives and negatives with every generation in the difference in differences in any generation. But to simply be dismissive is demeaning to the Millennials themselves, and two it it's a way of of abdicating our responsibility as adults and mentors and educators in the lives of young people. If we want to create young adults and adults who are out in the world and are really well-suited to contributing to work spaces and being leaders in their communities and all of these different things, then we have to we have to create learning and grow spaces where they can develop those capacities to do those things. As I listen to all these different episodes that we've created in in recent months I hear a lot of examples of Millennials who are out there doing incredible work, and they're doing it with enormous humility and consciousness, and that really runs counter to the dominant narrative of who your generation, Julia, is said to be.

Julia: 24:23 I agree. I think we do have some redeeming qualities beyond just Snapchat, avocado toast, and never buying a home.

Robin: 24:23 Somebody has to say it.

Julia: 24:38 So Robin, if there's one thing that many people or most people don't know about TBB, what would it be?

Robin: 24:44 So what I think I think a lot of people would be surprised to hear me say is that at Thinking Beyond Borders we don't particularly love the gap year. And that sounds really counterintuitive. But here's what I mean. Is that we're really passionate about working with students and the transition to college. We think that's really important, and we've even started offering programs are our Impact Fellowships our Summer Impact Fellowships are designed for undergraduates and graduate students who are interested in developing leadership capacities in organizations that work for social impact. But you know, while our focus really is on working with students in the college transition, there is a real problem with the gap year world, which is that there's very little access to it. It's primarily, as you look at the statistics, it's primarily upper middle class White kids. And there are two reasons for that. One is that most families in this country can't afford college, period. So that's a real problem is the cost of gap year. The other the other limiting factor for people being able to access gap years is that we live in a culture in the United States that says you don't ever get off the train to college. And once you do you're at real risk of not going to college. Studies show us that that is both true and not true. Students who take intentionally built gap year programs that are really thinking carefully about how to help students learn and grow and prepare for fulfilling and meaningful higher ed experiences, that those students you know 90 plus percent of them go on to college. But there is a real reality that for students who do take time off after high school but don't do something that is helping them prepare for college in an intentional way they do run a real risk of not either going to college or finishing college. And that risk is really high. So all of that is to say I don't love gap year. What I really do love is the idea of higher education looking at the gap year space as a lab space as a space where educators have been working for decades now to develop more intentional transition processes for students to go from high school to college effectively. We're working at Thinking Beyond Borders hard to find those partner universities -- colleges and universities -- out there who are interested in doing that with us, in collaborating with us to develop new programs that will specifically help students transition to that particular school in a way that is going to be highly effective both in terms of preparing students to succeed and be leaders on campus and prepare for careers effectively during their undergrad, not just in grad school, but also to make it accessible so that any student who can figure out a way to pay for college should as part of their college experience have this type of learning and growth available to them. It shouldn't be in addition to the costs of college. That's that's probably the secret that most people don't know about Thinking Beyond Borders. But we're working hard at that right now.

Julia: 27:54 So Robin, if I were a university looking to have this sort of experience for their freshmen incoming students, or even offer it as an option, is that something TBB would look at partnering with?

Robin: 28:03 Absolutely. If there are colleges and universities out there that are in our audience and are interested in chatting about how to do this either through partnership with Thinking Beyond Borders or simply you know in chatting about what lessons we can share with them as they do this work on their own, we're really open to that. That's that's for us that is advancing our mission is to support others to do great educational work, as well.

Julia: 28:28 So I have a hard question for you, something that we talk about a lot as students of TBB. What is your definition of development?

Robin: 28:38 Yeah. So. You know it's not just a technical question. It's easy to start by saying well it's about roads and schools and clinics and healthcare and all of that. It is about all those things. But you know the deeper we dig into this question of "what is development?" one of the things that has really struck me as it continues to evolve in my thinking as I ask this question over and over and over again is that it's also a spiritual question. It's about -- and I don't mean to sound New-Agey, but you know because it's I don't think it's that -- but it's a it's a question that if we ask it, if we take a deep enough into our assumptions it's about what do you think the world should be? What is -- what do you think humanity's greatest potential looks like? And what does it mean -- if you're someone really believes you have one go at life -- what does it mean to contribute to that in meaningful ways? What does it mean to relate to others in a way that is -- for me I think I think humanizing relationships across boundaries that prevent us from having humanizing relationships is a big part of what development is; across economic boundaries and cultural boundaries and social boundaries and political boundaries -- that creating those humanizing relationships is a crucial part of what it means to do development work, whether you're talking in a local community in you know even in your own family or your school or whatever it may be, to you know the U.S. Chinese relationship trade relationship or political relationship or whatever it may be. That in a lot of ways, yes it's a technical question and an economic question and all of that, but it is also a spiritual question of who are you, who do you want to be, and how do you want to contribute to creating the greatest existence we can create here in our time together on earth? It feels really, in some ways it felt really big to come to that place in my thinking about what development is to think about it as a spiritual question, but in some ways it also feels like there's an essentialism to it that for me it has felt really liberating to get away from "I have to find economic indicators or I have to find the you know the cultural indicators or the political indicators that we've achieved "development" or were achieving development." And to say that you know yes all of those factors matter but those are all measures of, ultimately those are all measures of how good we are at creating humanizing relationships with one another and that development is about that. That's where my thinking is today and ask me tomorrow and I'll be somewhere else. It'll keep evolving.

Julia: 31:39 Yeah I mean, as a student we talked about this all the time, and I think one of the big realizations that I had was coming back to the United States and always holding the US as this sort of standard in other countries as I was brought up to do through my education and realizing that with domestic issues and politics and race and gender and everything that the U.S. isn't developed, either. And I'm curious if you think that development is a goal or a process or if it can't really be reached at all.

Robin: 32:08 Yeah I think I think development is a process not a goal. You know that it is it's about how we walk together as humans, and you know if you're -- how we walk with you know on this earth with all of the other things that live and don't live on this earth, you know it's about relationships in my mind, and that I can't think of a time when development, "development" has ever been achieved, when I could ever think of a community that is developed. You know when Dr. King, as TBB alumni can definitely tell you is one of my great heroes, and in his last speech the night before he was assassinated he talked about that that he felt that God had allowed him to go up to the mountaintop and look over and see the promised land. And in other writings of his and in analysis others have done and this really resonates with me, what he meant was not that he got to the mountaintop and looked over and saw heaven or Providence or you know humans peacefully coexisting for all for all time, but that for him getting to the mountaintop was about seeing millions of people all over the US all over the world intentionally stepping out in protest of injustice, of dehumanizing relationships, political, economic, social, cultural, and really insisting that others see them as humans and pushing themselves to see even the worst aggressors as humans, as well. And reaching out their arms and saying you can join this humanizing community, this humanizing movement. That to me is about a process of development that is, I think what Dr. King was saying was he looked out and he saw a process of development, he saw a process of people coming together in loving and supporting and trusting ways, even when there were boundaries to doing all of you know very severe boundaries to doing all of those things, and that that to me is really emblematic of development.

Julia: 34:16 So now for the last question that we've been asking at the end of every episode. What is the most important question you're asking yourself right now?

Robin: 34:27 Yeah there are a lot of big questions out there for me, and I think one of the ones that's the most pressing right now in this political moment and this moment in our history particularly here in the United States is what can we do, what can we do to bridge the divide? We've got a huge divide politically, but we also have we have growing divides in our messaging about who's right and who's wrong about all types of different things. And I think that scares me in the sense that at the moment it feels as though we're moving further and further from the ability to come together in humanizing ways, to build relationships with one another. When in fact the different factions that we're in, if we get down to the real lived experience of each of us as humans, we have pretty similar experiences you know about 98 percent of our experience on a day to day at its core is similar. We each need healthcare, we each need food, we each need security, we need education, we want fulfillment, we want to do meaningful work. There are real differences. It is there is a very real difference to be a person of color in this country rather than being White or being perceived as White. There are real differences to being of different economic classes and the amount of financial wealth you have. You know there are differences in terms of our genders and all of that. But how do we come together around our core values? There's a real question for me. And you know, historically speaking moments when communities and countries have been this divided, there have been one of two things that have brought people together. One is a really concerted intentional effort to organize and find unity by leaning into those shared values that we all have, or the vast majority of us have. The other thing is disaster. And you know at the moment I find myself working hard in our work at Thinking Beyond Borders to try to spur the development of that movement where people come together around shared values. But I also find myself wondering if the disaster is looming and when it's going to come. And are we going to be able to come together as a community in the wake of that disaster, or is that disaster going to be so big that it really changes us forever as communities and as a nation? And that's scary. But that feels real to me at the moment. I should also say that, you know that sounds really dark, but I would I would say that I'm actually really hopeful. You know I listen to these these six previous episodes in this season, and I find enormous amount of hope with young professionals who are going out into the world asking themselves and the world hard questions, but getting out of bed to do it over and over again every day, and do it in with with passion and with intentionality with humility and really contributing, contributing to the way that we talk about political issues with Marianna's work as a journalist, contributing to the lives of folks who are incarcerated who need humanizing relationships across boundaries that that often probably to them and both to both to them and to to Anthony felt as though they were boundaries that they couldn't cross. You know those those are just two of the examples, but those are examples to me of people really doing the hard work to figure out how we how we bridge the gap. That is really hopeful to me, and I try to lean into those stories and find those folks in the world both in the TBB community and outside of the community and be supportive of them in any way that I can be personally and professionally. So I you know I'm I'm nervous but I'm also hopeful. I think there's a real incredible acts of humanism out there in the world.

Julia: 38:25 Yeah I'm really glad that you added that at the end just about how hopeful you are. I feel this way. So fortunate to be a part of this community and it's something we can attribute to you as creating this and helping to found it. So thank you Robin, I appreciate you joining our podcast for this.  

Robin: 38:41 Thanks for having me. You know let me say one thing in response to that close out, which is just that you know I'm very I'm very proud of my founder title at TBB, but it's you know the truth of the matter is is that this this really is a community that's been created from the ground up by lots and lots and lots of people, students and families who stepped into this this ambitious programming and then homestay families around the world and partners around the world and funders who helped fund the founding process and helping us keep our feet on the ground when we needed that help. All of that has been crucial. This is -- I may hold the title of founder but the truth of the matter is is that this has always been a community effort and I'm proud to be part of it.

Julia: 39:27 Thanks for joining us today Robin. It was really great to have you close out the very last episode.

Julia: 39:32 And to our audience thank you for listening to our first season of So You Want To Change The World. If you haven't already, be sure to check out the episodes in Season 1 to hear more about the incredible social impact work of TBB alumni.

Julia: 39:44 We'd also really love to hear from you. Feel free to get in touch or leave review on iTunes or your favorite podcasting. You can also find more information about this episode on our blog at Thinking Beyond Borders dot org slash podcasts. We'll be back soon.

Robin Pendoley - Host

Robin is Founder & President of Thinking Beyond Borders, an educational institution helping young people develop the capacities to be exceptional social impact leaders. With a BA in International Development at UCLA and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Robin’s work is focused on understanding how meaningful impact is created and replicated. He is humbled and inspired every day by the learning and work of the students, educators, and alumni of the Thinking Beyond Borders community.

Julia Jones - Editor & Producer

Julia is an alumt of TBB’s Global Gap Year class of 2012. She received her Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Entrepreneurship & Emerging Enterprises from Syracuse University. Having studied and worked around the world, she has now joined the Thinking Beyond Borders staff, supporting our US operations and serving as a Program Leader for our Gap Year Programs. She is thrilled to continue her exploration of social justice, global issues, and deeper cultural understanding alongside students.

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