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Ester Wojcicki presented "How to Raise Successful People" at the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference

ESTHER WOJCICKI, Founder, Global Moonshots in Education, Founder Palo Alto High Media Arts Program, CEO Woj.Education, made her intervention during the Fifth Session of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference


 “Hello, my name is Ester Wojcicki and I’m talking to you here from Palo Alto California at Stanford University. I’m very happy that I was invited to do this presentation virtually for the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference. I’m so sorry that I can’t be there in person but I’m hoping next year that I can be there for the 2025 conference. I want to thank Peter Psaras for inviting me to be a presenter and I would like to thank the UN program for also inviting me. I’d like to tell you a little bit about myself.
I have been a teacher for 40 years and I developed the Media Arts program in Palo Alto High School. Today it is the largest media program in the United States with between 700 and and 800 students and a large 25,000-square-foot building built by the city of Palo Alto for the program. So the question is what did I do to encourage so many students to want to learn to write and want to be part of a media program?
One of the main things that I did is presented in my book, How to Raise Successful People,  which was published in 2019-2020 and became an international bestseller in 31 languages around the world.  Here is a slide that gives you the book title and main point, so you can see it easily. The book is entitled “How to Raise Successful People” and the main principle in the book is TRICK, an acronym, for trust, respect, independence, collaboration and kindness which what I used to encourage students to be the best they could be.
First, I trusted them, and you have to ask yourself what teachers trust students? Usually, the answer is very few. Next, I respected their ideas, I allowed them to be as independent as possible, and come up with their own ideas. I encouraged them to collaborate, they always worked in groups and I always treated them with kindness and this made a huge difference to all the students. They told their friends and the friends told more friends, and soon  many kids came, and that is how the program grew so much. 
Today there are about 12 publications: newspapers, magazines, television, podcasts, websites, and video production. Students are in charge of everything. Out of those programs come some of the most incredibly creative people, who are empowered, and who have turned out to be in the past 40 years some of the CEOs, company leaders and important thinkers for the 21st century. So I would like to encourage this kind of teaching and the use of AI today as a collaborator-support for the students and teachers.
AI is one of the best ways you can support students and teachers in the classroom. You can have one teacher for many students with the support of AI; so for example, my classes were very large, with about 70 students in the class. How could I have taught like that? The way I did it was that I had the students collaborating, working in groups; everybody had a buddy, and they worked in teams to support each other They learned and practiced the basics of TRICK; they learned how to trust and respect each other and themselves, and they learned how to be independent thinkers, as well as collaborators. The world today needs as much collaboration as possible to reach our common goals. They learned to treat each other with kindness, by copying me, the teacher, the leader who modeled kindness., I treated them all with kindness and they copied. I put them in positions of responsibility. The editors of the publications are the ones in charge. And In the world today, they can be supported with A. One of the most important actions we can take is to let the kids work collaboratively in groups and practice being in charge. 
Today I’m collaborating with a group called Moonshot Pirates. You can find them online at Their goal is to empower kids. They believe that everyone has what is takes to make a difference and to be creative for the 21st century if they are given a chance. It’s the largest student accelerator group in the world in over 100 countries. I’d like you to look into Moonwho5 Pirates and see whether they can have a program in your country or if they are already there. Perhaps they can expand worldwide.  Their program is a great way to empower students to have control of their environment and their world by creating projects that are meaningful for their city or country.
So again, thank you so much for including me in the conference.  I appreciate it. I’m looking forward to coming next year in person and I want to say that if you have any further questions, could you please address them to Peter Psaras as he will be in touch with me. All the best, thank you.”


The FINAL DECLARATION of the 23rd Infopoverty World Conference is now available! The Plan of Action including a list of projects and proposals that emerged from the discussion will be available soon. STAY TUNED!

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