Teachable Moment 3: Exploring Culture Transfer vs. Cultural Shifts

Let’s use the Engineering Design Process to explore how culture is created and spread. If we are going to be able to properly “define the problem” we have to first “Ask a question.”


Consider those that we hear about the most in our classrooms.  As students, lets think about why these persons were important. Was it an invention? Their genius? A new discovery? Their hatred and cruelty?

Every person that has been listed in the history books and those unsung heroes in our community had one thing in common.  They had their mind set.  They had clear intentions, and everything they did was centered around their goal.

So in an effort to think about how culture is transferred and/or shifted.  Let’s ASK A Question:

What is the legacy you’re striving to leave? 

In order to help define what we want people to know about us 200 years after we’ve walked the Earth, we have to use Step 2 of the Engineering Design Process. Lets imagine what the people around us see. Imagine what the work you do suggests.  Imagine how the trailblazers navigated uncharted territory.  Study what people before you, doing what you’d like to do, were capable of doing without a model (and without Google to fall back on). These people had a passion for the work. IMAGINE you doing what you’re most passionate about. images

I’m interested in seeing all communities become vital and sustainable through collaboration.  In order to see that “teamwork makes the dreamwork” we have to give people a chance to show their passion.  This was the number 1 lesson Steve Jobs gave us in how he ran his teams. I’m a firm believer that those in the community showing their passion should be showcased.  There are some values that people and organizations or firms hold dear that is so amazing that an entire system should be created around that.  My hope is that by documenting the systems that work within our communities, we can go from transferring a culture that isn’t working for our communities’ advancement and SHIFT into a culture that truly works.  This is why I have outlined the 8 Units for our TEAMS Curriculum that have been designed with community in mind.  Many of these lessons are inspired by the work of people within the region and based the needs people express and I observe.

IERN WILL is geared to help communities create the talent and human capital that makes them thrive, through human systems engineering.   We introduce students to the brain-computer connection that helps them realize that they possess the one thing that everyone relies on and that all technology mimics, the brain!


Engineers embrace history.  They study it closely. Each of us are engineers.  We need to see if we are setting ourselves up to transfer the current culture to our descendants or want to shift the culture in order to be a better place for our children to grow up in.  What do you, your organization, your family want their legacy to be?  How will you ensure that you sustain that if you don’t provide people a model of what works?  The Engineering Design Process uses 5 simple steps: Ask, Imagine, Plan, Create, Improve.  The only way from us to improve from a culture where organizational leaders say this:


To a world that would embrace all parts of the African Diaspora both past and present in subtle and extremely obvious ways; is to release all the things that don’t make us better and learn from all of our Teachable Moments.

Consider this:  We live in a world that has transitioned from Print and written word to video and digital photos we have transformed what “historical artifacts” look like.  Historians are moving from tradition museum displays to digital artifacts & we have to think about what that legacy suggests about us.   

Ask yourself: What does my digital footprint reveal?



One thought on “Teachable Moment 3: Exploring Culture Transfer vs. Cultural Shifts

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s