A popular refrain of The Experiment founder Dr. Donald Watt was: “Expect the unexpected.” Those words are certainly as true today as they were 90 years ago when we first began.
I can’t help but think that Dr. Watt would be proud of the way we have come together—yes, over the past nine decades, but especially during these past 18 months—to learn from one another how to confront the unexpected.
In this report you can find one example after another of people who, when faced with challenges—from viruses to climate change to racism—have refused to stand down. Whether in Mexico or Lebanon, Mongolia or the United States, they are drawing inspiration and hope from difficulty; finding ways to learn and grow as leaders in their communities and countries. They are coming together to devise and share solutions and expand their understanding of each other.
Their stories are poignant and powerful reminders that difficulty can lead to opportunity. Through our innovative STEM education, virtual language programs, hybrid graduate degrees, real-world exchanges, digital climate change challenges, classroom innovations, and much more, we have witnessed the determination and resilience of our program participants and students, our faculty and staff, to step up to the challenges we face now, as well as those that may confront us in the future.
That determination has fueled our imagination of what one just and peaceful world could look like—a vision of diverse and equitable societies and leaders living and learning together in an interconnected and sustainable world.
These are the values we have always brought forward into the world. In the sweep of nine decades since The Experiment in International Living was founded, we have grown and evolved, changed and innovated to address the critical needs and conversations of our times. Our values haven’t changed over the decades, but our mode and methods must always shift and adapt. To this end, World Learning and SIT have embarked on a journey to examine our own structures and practices through a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive lens—a process that we believe will make us even stronger advocates of these principles.
I am grateful to all of you for your participation in and support of these efforts, and I look forward to continuing our journey together as one world, learning from and with one another.
World Learning Inc. Board Chair