• Ian Lobas

Bringing an Innovation Mindset to Education—with Don Wettrick - EP 114

School systems were designed to produce obedient factory workers capable of performing repetitive tasks. Since then, the economy has changed, demanding that workers employ innovation and independent thinking to be successful. Don Wettrick is on a mission to shift education away from a memorization model and inspire the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs.

Don serves as the President of the STARTedUP Foundation, a nonprofit founded to empower student entrepreneurs and innovators through collaborative immersive experiences and accelerator programs. Don has 20 years of experience as a classroom teacher, and he is a two-time winner of the Microsoft Innovative Educator award. Don is also the author of Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and host of the StartEdUp Podcast, a show featuring experts in education, innovation and entrepreneurship.

On this episode, Don joins Emerald to explain what called him to make impact through teaching and discuss the TED Talk that inspired his Innovation and Open-Source Learning curriculum. He describes how he is sharing his approach in other classrooms, creating an ecosystem of lifelong learning in school systems across the country. Listen in to understand how Don’s success led to the creation of the STARTedUP Foundation and learn how their programming benefits student entrepreneurs.

What You Will Learn

What inspired Don to make an impact through teaching

How a Dan Pink TED Talk led Don to create STARTedUP

Don’s aim to prepare students for today’s economy

Don’s Innovation and Open-Source Learning course

Why school systems are slow to adopt Don’s curriculum

How students benefit from STARTedUP’s pitch nights

The high risk, high reward of being an entrepreneur

How hiring a coach has helped Don in his business

How to foster lifelong learners vs. master memorizers

The corporate interest in the STARTedUP programming

Connect with Don Wettrick

STARTedUP Foundation

StartEdUp Podcast

Connect with Emerald GreenForest

Creative Age Consulting Group

Emerald’s Website

Emerald on LinkedIn

Emerald on Twitter

Emerald on Instagram



Pure Genius: Building a Culture of Innovation and Taking 20% Time to the Next Level by Don Wettrick

Dan Pink’s TED Talk: The Puzzle of Motivation

Gary Vaynerchuk

Seth Godin

Mike Rowe

This episode is sponsored by the Creative Age Consulting Group. Men - Is it time NOW for you to make your mark? Visit to apply for an invitation-only consultation.

#DonWettrick #InnovationMindset #STARTedUP #StartEdUpPodcast #teaching #OpenSourceLearning

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