Kinetic Conference Scheduled for Winter 2015
Kinetic is excited to announce plans for a two-day conference planned for January 18th and 19th. Distinguished professionals and Williams alumni in pertinent fields like social entrepreneurship and urban development have been invited to give hour-long “Spark Talks”. Further discussion concerning these talks will be led by members of Kinetic, using the Kinetic solution design process. In addition Kinetic plans to invite students in similar organizations at other colleges and recent graduates to lead workshops. Both professors and students are encouraged to attend!
Written by Chris Wayland
Since its inception in January 2013, Kinetic has expanded from 3 to 8 issue groups, with a 400% increase in membership. It is now the second largest student group after the Williams Outing Club. Kinetic seeks to form a new generation of problem-solvers to create large scale changes, both in their local communities and around the world. The organization’s overarching goal is to create a strong and replicable model that will expand to college campuses around the country.
Written by Alice Rossignol
Idea to Propell Students to Meaningful Action Becomes a Reality
Kinetic started with a big bang, the idea that Williams College should a have think tank dedicated to moving beyond idea generation to meaningful action. Armed with research and the hope of making a real difference, a group of sixteen freshmen set the development of Kinetic in motion in the winter of 2013. Together, they created an action-based philosophy that values empathy, in-depth understanding, and creative problem solving. The result was a space where individuals’ formerly nebulous passions aligned into the original three issue groups; Water, Hunger, and Energy. Each group was tasked with designing solutions for problems posed their respective topics.
These three groups gained momentum during the following semester. Actionable ideas were molded from the void of outlandish imaginations as the group developed a penchant for devising rational strategies from imaginative claims. Refined methods of brainstorming and collaboration allowed the groups to achieve positive results and elevated their critical thinking skills.
Since the formation of its inaugural groups, the universe of Kinetic has been continually expanding. Three groups became eight, membership swelled, and an executive team was established to direct Kinetic’s long term goals. At the end of its first year, Kinetic became a part of the Center for Learning in Action at Williams College, a connection that will allow them to continue to promote the organizations goals while making a significant contribution to the Williams Community. The future of Kinetic is bright, and the team plans to continue it’s stellar work for many years to come.
Written by Reidar Riveland
Kinetic Adds Its Unique Voice to Claiming Williams
For this February’s Williams’ 2014 Claiming Williams Day, Kinetic hosted an event consistent with the day’s larger goal of sparking discussions to find solutions for student identified areas for campus improvement. While Kinetic does not usually focus on Williams-specific issues, this was an excellent opportunity to share the organization’s process with the rest of the campus. This year, the event’s theme was “Breaking Ground, Cultivating Change”. After a short introduction to the organization’s methods and values, students split into small groups to problem solve, Kinetic-style. Using creative brainstorming and innovative thinking, students discussed potential solutions for problems at that concern Williams students including a lack of political involvement, the social divide between athletes and non-athletes, economic hardships not covered by financial aid, and others. The idea-generating nature of Kinetic’s group-thinking approach allowed the groups to fill hundreds of bright sticky notes with exciting ideas, and encouraging the students who attended the event to take action for positive change, either within Kinetic or independently. The day also gave community members an inside look at Kinetic methods, recruiting students whose attitudes and aspirations fall in line with organization’s goals. Solution-oriented thinking proved a positive contribution to the days conversations, leaving students with a way of effectively changing the things that make them frustrated or concerned.
Written by Olivia Larsen
After Year One, Kinetic Refines Governance Model
Kinetic has made many adaptations to the organizational structure of its leadership in the past year in order to run more efficiently. The Co-Leadership Team meets bi-weekly to discuss strategies for improving group dynamics and effectiveness in issue groups. An executive team was instituted to train new leaders and ensure co-leaders adequate support in managing issue groups.The Executive Team tries to handle Kinetic’s organizational goals in order to let the co-leaders focus on subgroups, their design phases, and how they will implement these plans. The addition of this team and other essential organs to support the greater organizational structure have been very helpful for monitoring progress towards group goals.
Written by Kevin Hernandez
The dynamics of any successful organization depend on the synergy of the individual members, and Kinetic is no exception. On a chilly afternoon in spring, the various groups from Kinetic gathered together and performed various team building exercises that included icebreakers and a scavenger hunt that could only be described as “unconventional.” While not related to any of the projects currently in development, this event helped create intragroup and intergroup camaraderie, something Kinetic views as essential to stimulating productivity and creativity.
Written by Olivia Larsen
Photo by Meghana Vunnamadala
After a very successful Claiming Williams event, Kinetic has compiled 50 solutions brainstormed by students to issues affecting their college community. Thanks to everyone who participated!
Check out the report below!
Claiming Williams 2014 Report
The Juvenile Empowerment team is beginning the semester by finding a partnership organization that focuses on one of our many issues of interest concerning youth and crime. We are in the process of researching local organizations concerned with reducing school violence, suicide prevention, prison reform, teen drug use, sex education, civic participation, and health. Once we enter into a partnership, we will be ready to begin the solution design process!
Kinetic’s After-School Reform group is working to change local after school programs, where currently kids are under-engaged with mandated activities and unmotivated to learn, making this valuable time with teachers and volunteers unproductive. We aspire to reform these programs by implementing fun activities that will help the children learn skills in cooperation and teamwork while also encouraging physical activity and reducing bullying. We hope these fun activities will not only make children more excited to learn in school, but outside of school as well.