Who is going to be your Sadia?

keynote 2013I was chosen by my school district to deliver the Keynote Address for our Opening Day Extravaganza. My superintendent wanted me to share my insights on innovation. I spent many hours writing, editing my speech, as well as watching TED videos for inspiration.

Ironically, my inspiration did not come from the TED videos… I was inspired by a 10 year old girl who was brave enough to take some risks and think outside the box. We don’t always need the experts to inspire us, we can learn about innovation from our students. So I shared my story about Sadia.


Here are the notes from the section on Sadia:

  • I was chosen to give the keynote on innovation, but I want to caution you that I am not the most innovative person in this district. I am probably a middle of the pack.

  • Remember the trailer? Since last year I have made several imovie trailers. I always say it’s the best 4.99 I ever spent on an app

My idea of Innovation

  • Imovie trailers are easy, quick and clean. Simple right?

  • One day my guidance counselor brought her daughter to school. Sadia is 10 years old and is going into 5th grade. She was in my office with her ipad. I asked her what cool apps or cool things she does with her ipad. She showed me a video she had been working on for the last few weeks. My jaw dropped. I begged her to finish it and I told her I wanted to share her video to a bunch of educators. Her mom told me she worked tirelessly on the video over the summer. She finished it the weekend before the Keynote.

  • I was amazed and I think you will be too

Sadia’s idea of Innovation

  • Sadia and the rest of her generation are ready to flourish. And guess what? They don’t need us to teach them everything. They like to figure things out and when they can’t figure it out they turn to …. You guessed it… Social media.. facebook, twitter, instagram, youtube, tumbler, you name it….

  • Sadia is an entrepreneur

  • She has dreams

  • She has ideas

  • She has passion

  • Who is ready to step on those dreams, extinguish the passion, curtail the ideas?

  • Not me… and I am sure not you! That’s why we have to let people take chances. There have been a lot of people in my life that have allowed me to take chances.

How Sadia impacted an entire school’s welcome back video…

Who are you going to learn from this year?

Who is going to be your Sadia?

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