Top Takeaways from NAISAC 2019
By Drew Millikin | March 5, 2019
Last week, over 2,500 educators around the globe convened in Long Beach, California for the 2019 NAIS Annual Conference.
This year’s theme was Reimagining Independent Schools: Tearing Down Walls, Building Capacity, and Designing our Future. There were dozens of sessions summarizing what the schools of the future will look like, how their students will learn, and what crucial skills employers will be looking for in graduates.
It was also exciting to hear from Academy Award Winner, Viola Davis, during the opening keynote!
Here is a recent video of the conference highlights from NAIS:
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek
One speaker that really stood out for me and channeled the conference’s theme was Simon Sinek. As the closing speaker, Sinek spoke on his theory of playing the ‘Infinite Game’. This theory is perfect for schools. Despite what those who put out rankings will say, it’s impossible to come up with an objective and measured method of rating schools against each other. For example, The Thacher School (Ojai, California) is going to be vastly different from a school like Deerfield Academy (Massachusetts).
How do you compare?
Sinek’s theory states how schools should not focus on how they rank, but rather focus on doing what they already do well even better. He advocates for having a worthy rival, but not making strategic decisions based on that rival. He encourages schools to use that rival to push you to do better. Ultimately, the objective of the Infinite Game for schools is to become a better version of your own institution this year compared to last. Simply put…don’t worry about rank. Don’t worry about the competition. Just focus on fulfilling your mission, or as he calls it, your school’s, “just cause”, to the best of your ability.
I love this message, and highly recommend checking out the talk he did for the New York Times Conference earlier this year:
On the whole, it was an incredible conference. We had the opportunity to meet many of our current schools using Vidigami and Picaboo Yearbooks – leveraging media to tell incredible stories for their brand, and keeping their communities engaged on all levels.
As always, we look forward to returning next year!
About Drew Millikin: Having spent 15 years working in admissions and advancement in both higher education and independent schools, Drew spent countless hours searching for photos on various servers and archives. Now, he’s thrilled to join the Vidigami Pros as Director of Sales, helping schools successfully organize and share their content in a private and secure manner, for marketing and communications, advancement efforts, and more.