Cathedral Thinking & Education

Don Saylor – Cathedral Thinking

A few years ago, I participated in a regional study mission to the City of Vancouver, British Columbia. Our purpose was to learn about their business climate and approach to cooperative regional development. I was very impressed with the message of one of the speakers, Rick Antonson, the President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver. Rick described the multiple generations of Vancouver leaders who worked to attract the Olympics to their city and region and introduced me to the concept of “Cathedral Thinking.”

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Cathedral Thinking and Strategic Innovation

Cathedral Thinking” is that the creation of a significant sustained initiative, like the construction of a cathedral that will take a very long time to complete. In the case of cathedrals this will likely be several hundred years, much longer than the lifetime of those who started it. To undertake such a long term, demanding and potentially Evolutionary endeavour requires strategic innovations and strategic systems that are entirely different from those that deal with mundane day-to-day problems. Courage, vision and commitment is mandatory.

When the ideas of Thinking Outside The Box and Strategic innovation are added into the mix we realize that innovating must inevitably initiate abnormal thinking. Einstein said “We can’t solve the problems we have today at the same level of thinking we had when we created them.

Credit: British Columbia Organization Development Network | YouTube

Claflin Founders’ Day: ‘Power zones’ determine success, senator says

“My philosophy in life is that I believe in something called cathedral thinking,” Matthews said.

He explained cathedral thinking is adapted from biblical references.

The great cathedrals in the Bible were built not by one generation but several generations, Matthew said. The same thinking can be applied to education.

“How well you succeed would depend on how well your children succeed, and their children would succeed,” Matthews said.

“So use the principle of cathedral thinking when you think about your education,” Matthews said. “You will make the life of your children better.”

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Is it Time for 21st Century Cathedral Thinking?

June 5, 2020

By: Jane Davidson FRSA

Cathedral thinking provides policymakers with an opportunity to re-envision the future they would want for their children and their children’s children. Jane Davidson FRSA argues that the Well-being and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 provides one intergenerational model for others to follow.

When I came to live in North Pembrokeshire, one of our greatest joys was to find ourselves stewards of a small woodland that had not been touched for nearly half a century. The trees are a very British mix; mostly broadleaved with ash as the dominant species and a huge number of self-seeded wild cherries with their wonderfully richly red-brown coloured trunks. There are oaks whose roots must have been laid in the time of the industrial revolution and where some branches are now embedded as lintels and windowsills in our home. What there was not were either horse chestnuts for conkers or sweet chestnuts for its fruit, despite these trees being able to live to be up to 800 years old.

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