GLD – A Giving Machine

With all of the gazillion webinars, on-line and physical events all around the world, what makes Global Learn Day special? Here’s the short answer.

Part of it is, of course, the unique idea of a 24 hour 24 time zone undertaking where presenters, crew and audience are gathered on an imaginary 19th Century Clipper, the Franklin. On a Voyage that crosses all five Oceans of the world, And nobody has to go farther than their Smart Phone or their Desktop.

We know of no other 24 hour event which opens “where the planet begins the new day“, and closes on some speck in the far reaches of the Western Pacific. With real time physical participation from the South Pole to Outer Space. (And just about everywhere in between. Yes we did this by ham radio  from both Poles and with the Russians aboard their Soyuz.)

We also don’t know of anyone else that works as hard as we do to “partner” with English speaking radio stations around the globe. What good is it to have jaw-dropping conversations about the great issues of our time if only a relative few ever hear what was said? 

Now here’s the long answer — and yes, it’s pretty long. (sorry)

The main reason – and yes it’s something of an “Ah-Ha” moment –  is that Global Learn Day is a “Giving Machine”. It’s a concept we didn’t quite figure out for ourselves until we were introduced to “A Saintly Way to Succeed” – New York Times Sunday Magazine Cover Story, March 31, 2013.

This is must reading about the importance – and the art – of “Giving”:  Featured there is Wharton Business School Professor Adam Grant.

Who and how does GLD “give”? 

1. Special Guests Specially Featured:  The bulk of our Special Guests come from an enormous amount of searching sites where World Class individuals have already been featured. These sources include – but are most certainly not limited to –  TED, National Public Radio, Podcasts and Best Sellers (audio) featured by  the New York Times, The California Commonwealth Club, Wikipedia, Amazon. MOOC providers. Plus academics from universities, reporters from respected blogs and publications (from Auckland to Paris, Anchorage to Santiago). And of course from Crew Members who tremendously help in the fishing. They have a keen sense of people doing exceptional stuff; and have the the ability to captivate audiences with good (audio) storytelling.

Our gift to them is we not only make it extraordinarily easy to participate, we bring them large audiences they would not otherwise reach.

2.Audience Participation in Real Time  Although all 24 hours of GLD is a Very Big Event, each “conversation” is relatively small. And very intimate. Think of a seat at the Captain’s Table on any major ocean crossing. That Table will have the Special Guest, 3-5 Special Colleagues, a Moderator…and you. Interaction comes through a free telephone conference room and a text chat room — that is always filled with good questions, good comments and some truly fabulous web links. It’s lively, interactive and so compelling that later (from the archives) gets re-broadcast by participating community radio stations.

What we give is a memorable experience to all of our (real time) Table Companions; what they give is sharp dialogue worthy of wide broadcast by “ordinary” radio. A big win-win for everyone.

3. A Bucket List — for a great “travel” show. This is brand new and we are excited about it. We will carefully weave into each of the conversations – (around 20-25 of them) – World Traveler’s with special insights and experiences about places worth visiting “before your kick the bucket”. For a quick preview of what’s now on the Bucket List, click here

This is a Voyage of Discovery, as much about who you will meet and what you will see as it is about what you will learn. Another win-win for everybody.

4. Featuring Science Museums, world wide. Also weaved, stitched and woven into the Voyage will be a half dozen Museum Directors carefully selected from this list. (In some cases, Featured Guests may talk to us from the Museum itself; but the main point is the incredible value found inside of the treasure chests,  Short, sweet, informative and good for inclusion along side of what you put on your Bucket List. A gift to the Museums. A gift to our audiences.

5. The Main Thrust/Central Topics:  Aside from the Bucket List spices, every very single moment will be geared to those who are increasing access to education, improving learning outcomes and doing daily battle with the largest threat of them all: Ignorance.  A whole bunch of it will be about Massive Open On Line Classes and the enormous opportunities of Big Data.

In addition, we will weave into the MOOC and Big Data discussions a half dozen Very Special Presentations from Leaders in these two arenas:

  • Gender Equality, focused on increasing access to education for young women in Central Asia, brought to us by the Leaders of One Billion Rising.
  • The topic of Healthy Oceans, focused on the use of MOOCs for purposes of mitigating the risks Dr. Slyvia Earle states repeatedly -“All that’s at stake is the whole human race.”

From One Billion Rising is the truly marvelous “How To” lessons learned from an entity that began 15 years ago and grew it to a following of more than one billion from all around the globe.

From Healthy Oceans we can weave the dramatic story of Sir Peter Blake (and his murder on the Amazon) and the conservation efforts with the tremendous work by way of Red Socks Day  (and other youth oriented programs) in New Zealand and Greenpeace worldwide. Compelling story telling with a heavy impact. (Everybody wins!)

With music between each Region, provided by Enya

6. Our Allies – in technology, sponsorships, web design

KISS – Keep It Simple Stupid has been THE watchword for GLD since our very first Voyage in 1997 – 16 long years ago. Here’s how we keep participation simple

  • POTS – Plain Old Telephone. Almost certainly we will use the brilliant services of Free Conference Call. Special Guests (and others) will make 6-10 minute recordings well in advance of “departure”. Those recordings will be ‘pushed” to the audience (inside the FC telephone room) after which real time (ordinary) telephone dialogue will begin. In 29 countries (in Europe, the Americas and Asia_ calls are free. Skype users can call into the phone room. (Lots of hand-holding provided by our Crew)
  • Text Chat Room:  It’s difficult to overstate the value of participation that comes from inside the Text Chat Room. This includes Web Links posted inside the room as well as some splendid observations and questions. After the event, we email transcripts to any and all who request it.
  • Website Design:  Shortly we begin the task of a brand new web site engineered by Charity Advantage.In a “perfect world” we will be doing some experimenting with 3D.  Take a moment to view what’s coming to the Web in 3D without glasses — viewed from an ordinary browser.
  • Bucket List Sponsors –  Our gift to them is the kind of audience they want to reach. Their “gift” to us would be to help produce segments of each conversation. Or the entire Voyage.

SPECIAL NOTE:  Selection of free and easy-to-use tools and broadcast mechanisms — especially for advocacy and not-for-profit outreach, is our gift..just for the asking. {write skipper AT bfranklin DOT edu}

7. The Power of Community Radio:  We’ve saved the best for last. First, I strongly encourage a very quick peek at the thousands of community radio stations listed here. 

Most of these stations reach somewhere between 20,000 – 40,000 listeners. Our goal is to cause a minimum of 25 stations to carry some portions of our broadcast.  If we reach that goal – and we have a good history of outreach to these stations, this would mean an audience of approach one million listeners. This year.  What could it mean in the future? What could it mean if we use that learned by way of One Billion Rising?


We admit some of our most dedicated Crew have sounded warnings about “over-reach”. These warnings are taken extremely seriously. Mostly, our response to their questions:  “How are you ever going to eat an elephant this big?”  Our answer:  One Bite At A Time

There are 1, 440 minutes in a 24 hour period. We have to eat those minutes “one bite at a time”. Starting now.


Our North Star is the courage, curiosity and vision of Ben Franklin, Patron Saint to free universal education.

Ignorance is our enemy. And the world’s greatest threat.

Our purpose remains as it was on our first Voyage — To widely broadcast those who substantially increase access to education, improve learning outcomes  and inspire others through innovation, perspiration, collaboration, passion and exchange.   

About oregonhibbs

I'm passionate about improving access to education, worldwide, sailing, Duck football (I live in the shadow of the University of Oregon in Eugene) and connecting with people with ideas and work that "can change the world". With this in mind, I am the "Skipper" for Global Learn Day, which you can find out more about at OREGONHIBBS.COM ; Write to

Posted on April 2, 2013, in Global Learn Day, Khan,Coursera,Etc, MOOC's Global Ed Conference. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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