When Parents Lead, Children Succeed

B2W Radio - Utilizing Data as a Common Language and Driving Force

B2W Radio - Utilizing Data as a Common Language and Driving Force

Rick Stephens
Elane V. Scott
Featured Guest:
Wallace Walrod

Dear Stakeholder Leaders,

As regular readers of this newsletter and listeners of the show can attest, the driving point behind every show is the story of the featured stakeholder. Period. Not their accomplishments, position, or status alone. It’s the story of each person’s thoughtful action in his or her community, business, and/or sector that makes each of them a model stakeholder for others to learn from. The metrics of their success are determined, in part, by hard numbers, but not solely. In today’s conversation we speak with Wallace Walrod of the Orange County Business Council, who brings to the fore an important notion in shaping the future of any community: data and research numbers are always at the heart of public decision making—driving outcomes in government and business—but they are only one piece of the proverbial pie. People's stories and their relationships, needs and aspirations are just as necessary to making decisions about the communities in which we want to live and raise our families. And yet it’s so obvious to point to the numbers and say “See, we’re succeeding,” or pass blame, “See, you’ve failed.” When we rely solely on data, the what of the story, we miss the bigger picture including who and why.

I’m particularly excited about this program because I think in so many ways it puts together the whole story of what Birth2Work is about. In this show, we discuss the media’s affect on young people, their educational experiences, and how math and science will be significant to their futures. Mr. Walrod links local, regional, and national research and data to create a picture of what the future workforce opportunities will look like for these kids as they get older, and finally we focus on what local communities need to do to put together a successful future operating plan.

We are beginning to see a significant pattern emerge with our work all across the country. With communities like Vermillion County, Illinois; Huntsville, Alabama; and Orange County, California all utilizing a broad systems approach to achieve local gains, the importance of developing a national picture for our work has become eminently apparent. Where relationships, stories and data come together to inform community action, is the cutting edge regardless of where you are, and we’re right there with you. Stay engaged!

Elane V. Scott