Our team is thrilled to announce that a book about the UIF program has been published! The book, Designing for Change: Using social learning to understand organizational transformation, was written by renowned social scientists Beverly and Etienne Wenger-Trayner. The book is a case study of the UIF program and brings to life decades of the authors’ research in social learning theory.
As we learned, books take a long time from inspiration to publication. We began this project in 2015, while we were still operating under the NSF-funded National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). We engaged Beverly and Etienne to write a white paper that would apply their social learning theories to our program in order for us to better understand its impact on the individuals in our community as well as their schools and organizations.
During the process of their interviews with our Fellows, faculty champions, team and community members, Beverly and Etienne became convinced that a simple white paper wouldn’t do the story justice. In the book’s introduction, they write, “As we proceeded to look at existing data and interview people, the stories we were hearing and the picture that was emerging were so rich and inspiring that the format of a short white paper seemed too constraining. Our readers would miss too much. The potential audience was broader. We all agreed that it was going to be a short book.”
Today, this book is a rich portrayal of our program — with its strengths as well as areas for improvement — seen through the lens of the authors’ social learning framework of value creation. Their rigorous analysis weaves in quantitative data obtained by our NSF-mandated external evaluator, and is augmented with stories from Fellows, and photos of all the remarkable people that make up the UIF family. We are excited to see these insights shared in such a compelling way, and we hope they will inspire other programs to incorporate social learning strategies in their change work.
The book is available on Amazon: http://bit.ly/uif-book.
The UIF team