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Wendy Kopp is Documented@Davos Transcript

Wendy Kopp is Documented@Davos Transcript

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Wendy Kopp of Teach for America is interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg at the World Economic Forum 2012
Wendy Kopp of Teach for America is interviewed by Randi Zuckerberg at the World Economic Forum 2012

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Published by: DocumentedatDavos on Feb 03, 2012
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02/04/2012

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WendyKoppofTeachforAmericaisDocumented@DavosTranscriptDocumented@Davos2012
RANDIZUCKERBERG:ThanksfortuningintoourDocumented@DavoscoverageoftheWorldEconomicForum.I'mRandiZuckerberg,andwe'reluckytobesittingheretodaywithWendyKopp,CEOandfounderofTeachForAmerica.Thankssomuchforjoining.WENDYKOPP:Thanksforhavingme.RANDIZUCKERBERG:Now,you'reaDavosveteran--whathasbeenoneofyourfavoritemomentsorhighlightsovertheyears?WENDYKOPP:Oh,goodness.Actually,thelasttimeIwasatDavoswas15yearsago.Icameinmyearly20sasaSchwabSocialEntrepreneur.AndIthinkcomingbackforthefirsttimeinalongtime,it'sbeentremendoustosee.It'sjustalwayssostimulating,andit'sobviouslygorgeous.IthoughtDesmondTutuwasincrediblelastnight.Incredible.Imean,thankheavenwestillinjectthekindofmoralcallingtoaddressthedisparitiesandthegrowingdisparitiesinourworld.Soformesofar,that'sbeenoneofthehighlights.RANDIZUCKERBERG:Nowwetalkaboutdrastictransformationassomethingthat'sonthetopofeveryone'sminds--mostlyindiscussionabouttheeconomy.Butobviously,itappliesgreatlytoeducationaswell.WENDYKOPP:Somuchso.Ithinkaboutthethemethisyear,thegreattransformation,theneedfornewmodels,theneedfortransformationalleadership.Andhonestly,it'sexactlywhatwehaveseenfirsthand,iscriticalineducation.IthinkwhatI'veseenoverthelastnow,20years,inourworkatTeachForAmerica--nowincreasinglysoinothercountriesthroughtheTeachForAllNetwork--isthatwecanhavetrulytransformationalchangeforourmostmarginalizedkids.Meaningrightnowwehavemillionsofkidsallovertheworldwhoevenifthey'reinschool,areinnowayreceivingthekindofeducationthatwouldputthemonatrajectorytohaveaccesstothefullrangeofprofessionaloptions.Andyetwhatwe'veseenisthatactuallywecanprovidekidswhodofacealltheextrachallengesofpovertywiththekindofeducationthatdoesputthemonatrajectorytohaveaccesstothoseoptions.AndsowhenIthinkabouttheconversationhereandabouthowstronglypeopleobviouslyfeelabouttheneedtohaveinclusivegrowthandsustaineddevelopment,Ijustthinknothingmorecriticalthanfocusingontransformationalchangeforourmostmarginalizedkids.
 
RANDIZUCKERBERG:NowalotofpeopleknowaboutTeachForAmerica,butTeachForAllisaglobalinitiativethatyoulaunchedafewyearsago.Andyoumentionedyou'rein26countriesaroundtheworld.WENDYKOPP:Yes.Allovertheworld,TeachForAllprogramsarecallingupontheirnation'smostpromisingfutureleaderstochanneltheirenergyagainstwhatwebelieveisourmostfundamentalissue--theworld'smostfundamentalissue--whichisjustthatstill,wherekidsareborndeterminestheireducationalprospectsandtheirlifeprospects.Soalltheseprogramsarecallingupontoprecentcollegegradsfromalldifferentacademicmajorsandcareerinterests,askingthemtocommittwoyearstoteachinthehighestpovertycommunities.Andthen,fosteringtheirongoingleadershipasaforceforthefundamentalchangesweneedtoseeifwe'reeverreallygoingtosolvethatproblem.RANDIZUCKERBERG:Now,ChinaandIndiaarealwaysbigtopicsattheWorldEconomicForum.DoyouthinkthatprogramslikeTeachForAllactuallyimpacthowthesecountriesviewAmericans?WENDYKOPP:Ihopeso.Ithinkwhatwe'rebuildingthroughTeachForAllistrulyaglobalnetworkofjustpassionate,committedleaderswhoarealllearningfromeachother.IthinktheTeachForAmericapeoplehavelearnedsomuchfromtheTeachForIndiafellowsalready.Andcertainly,theTeachForIndiaandTeachForChinaandTeachForPakistan,andalloverLatinAmerica,alltheseprogramsarecertainlylearningfromthetremendouslearningsandhistoryofTeachforAmerica.RANDIZUCKERBERG:I'minterestedinwhatsomeofthechallengesyoufacewithdifferentlocalgovernmentsandeducationarealso.BecauseIimaginethat'saninterestingtopicthatyoudealwith.WENDYKOPP:Youknowwhat'ssointeresting--whatIhavelearned--ImeanthemostsalientlessonsofaroftheTeachForAllwork--isthatnotonlyisthisproblemofeducationalinequityapervasiveproblemallovertheworld.Imean,inthemostdevelopedcountrieswherepeopledon'tthinkthere'sanissue,tothecertainlyleastdeveloped,butit'salsouniversalinitsnature.AndI'vebeenjustshockedtoseethatthesamekindofinstitutionalinterestsandpolicydilemmasthatweseealotofintheUSplaythemselvesoutallovertheworld,incountriesthatareotherwiseverydiverse.Andit'sactuallythisthatgivesmerealoptimismforTeachForAll.Becauseifthenatureoftheproblemissosimilar,thatmeansthesolutionsareshareable.AndIjustinvisionthesegrowingmovementsallovertheworldwherebrilliant,incrediblemindsarechannelingtheirenergyagainstthis,pioneeringthesesolutions,andsharingthemwitheachother.Ithinkwe'rejustgoingtohaveever-acceleratingmovementstoensureeducationalopportunityforall.

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