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Start with “Why?”

October 18, 2016

Start with “Why?”

One of the most insightful videos I've ever watched is Simon Synek's TedX talk on how best to connect with people. His basic premise is that people don't engage with what or how you do what you do, but why you do it. You can talk about what you do, or how you do it, and people may find it all very interesting, but not particularly engaging. “Why” matters. What grabs their attention and engages their passion is why you do it. You can see the video here.

The case he makes is compelling, and particularly so when dealing with the topic of education. Education, more than almost any other field of human endeavour, is driven most consistently not by the mechanics or the results of what its practitioners do, but rather by what compels them to do it. Education is subject to as many, if not more, theories, fads and enthusiasms as any other enterprise, but its one consistent driving force is its promise: to lift humanity from its current state and propel us onward to its as yet unfulfilled potential, one person, one child at a time.

Whilst our society lauds the plucky, self-made success story who flunked out of school and made their fortune (as indeed we should), there is no surer guide on the road from poverty to subsistence to adequacy to comfort to high achievement than formal education. Indeed, the story of civilisation is the story of the spread and value of education. Where learning is prized and made available as widely as possible, civilisation flourishes and prospers. Where it is devalued, or kept as the preserve of the elite, civilisation as a whole falters.

This is why people of ability- educators, administrators and specialist professionals- forgo potentially lucrative careers and recognition in higher profile fields of endeavour for poorly paid work that largely goes unacknowledged under challenging conditions. They are romantics who know that there are fewer places more likely to impact the world for the better than in a school- public, private or home.

And so it is with us.

We see the almost unlimited power of education to propel learners and society as a whole on to yet greater heights, to drive out poverty and empower individuals to achieve their potential, and also the potential that technology offers to assist and empower them on their journey. Indeed, the power of modern technology to inform, to communicate, to compute and to produce now provides to individuals capabilities that only the greatest nations once possessed. It is our mission to put that power into the hands of educators and learners in a way that enhances their learning and gives them access to that power. This has been our sole focus for the past five years at Clarke IT Services, and a focus that we now continue and expand as New Gauge Digital.

We also recognise that this mission is not cheap, and the funds required to achieve it will not solely come from the public purse. That is why we are establishing our online store. We aim to bring the most beautiful, productive and inspiring of modern technology to you, and use the proceeds to help fund our mission of using that technology to engage, educate and benefit society as a whole.

Please join us in this mission. A well-educated society is an inherently prosperous, just and fair one, but such a society is only achieved when we all play our part. Bringing technology to educators and learners and helping them to use it effectively is our part. We would love for you to tell us yours.

Richard Clarke
Founder and Director
New Gauge Digital

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