I recently had the inspiring experience of sitting down with Robin Stern, Ph.D., the associate director for the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence, to discuss the upcoming Emotional Revolution Summit (ERS)- a game-changing effort between the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Lady Gaga's Born This Way Foundation. The ERS is a groundbreaking movement that aims to change the climate in schools and dialogue surrounding emotional intelligence for our nation's youth. Dr. Marc Brackett, who is on the Research Advisory Board of Lady Gaga's foundation, and his team have worked with the Born This Way Foundation and Facebook to bring this revolutionary vision to reality. The Summit will occur on October 24, 2015 at Yale University and will be live-streamed.
The initiative, designed to build awareness of the role emotions play in young people's learning, decision-making and overall wellness of youth, begins with an online survey of high-school age youth exploring how they feel and how they would like to feel.
The team at Yale has been consulting with Facebook for three years. In helping to create social resolution "flows," text for Facebook's behavior reporting process and its Bullying Prevention Hub, trends in teen's behavior have become apparent and ignited this work. "We found out that teens didn't respond to the word bullying or harassment and that they really wanted to talk about the particular experiences they were having on the ground," said Dr. Stern. "Like someone was mean to them, someone threatened them, someone spread rumors about them, or someone was stalking their wall. So, what was actually happening [to them] and they wanted to be concrete about it."
ERS has set out to create lessons and a virtual "environment" where teens are able to learn social and emotional intelligence skills. After much collaboration with teens, educators and parents, many lessons have been created that range from short experiences to longer community service or school-based projects. The lessons are designed to target varying levels of student involvement. Dr. Stern said, "Kids will do whatever they feel is their part of making meaning in the world or making meaning out of this experience for themselves."
The Summit will include students, and both parents and educators, who will be split into small groups to experience various lessons, listen to keynote addresses from inspiring speakers, and present their drafted charter to Lady Gaga to conclude the event. The charter will be created by student fellows and will delineate the educational climate they desire and the steps that need to be taken to achieve it. It is the hope of the leaders of this initiative that policymakers and educators will adopt the model in schools around the globe.
Dr. Brackett shares that:
Our Center wants to contribute to making a significant difference in the world. Partnering with organizations like Born This Way Foundation on the Emotion Revolution has helped us to go global and reach millions of youth.
Indeed, it's exactly these kinds of partnerships -- bringing together students and their parents, educators and mental health professionals, great universities and popular culture, social media and human connection -- that we need to make a difference in the world.
Now that is what we call a flawless type of revolution!