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Bon Newsletter Issue 1

We're launching our newsletter with an important definition.

Hi there! We are excited to welcome you to our new monthly newsletter capturing the transformative impact of programs around the world. We would love to hear from you as we refine our voice. Drop me a note at
- Anna Batchelder

100 Seconds on Programs

This month, we deep dive into one of the biggest questions that our clients, families and friends ask us: "What, exactly, is a program?"

The word "program" has two standard definitions: a set of related measures or activities with a particular long-term aim; or, a series of coded software instructions to control the operation of a computer or other machine. At Bon, we focus on the first definition, but there is obvious overlap with the second.

Learning programs influence so many aspects and outcomes of our individual and collective lives. They have the power to shape the future talent pipeline of an organization, or even a nation. When crafted well, programs can have lasting positive impact on the hearts, hands and minds of those who have participated in them. Think back to a program in your childhood that had a huge influence on you. How did it shape the person you are today?

Programs follow an evidence-based methodology that is informed by best practices in science, psychology, sociology and learning... with an extra dose of fun. Program design starts with considering the relationships and motivations of individuals and communities, as well as outside influences including timelines, geographies and strategic priorities. From this holistic foundation, we layer in a series of activities that will act as levers to effect the change that we are seeking, with measurable outputs. At Bon, our pedagogical approach is eclectic, but grounded in evidence. Whether the aim is to develop a new set of skills, change behaviors or shift perceptions, we always endeavor to create conditions that are conducive to learning and growth.

Programs create sustainable change with objective, verifiable and reproducible results. A well-designed program is not a mishmash of activities, but rather a holistic approach to addressing the major challenges and opportunities of the day. By following an evidence-based approach, programs can scale impact over time and empower lasting change. Keep reading to delve deeper...

Are you interested in learning more about how programs can empower sustainable change in your community? Let us know what you have in mind!

What We're Up To

What's Inspiring Us...

The Art of Gathering: If you host a lot of virtual or in-person meetings, programs or parties, this is a great read and reference. The chapter "Keep Your Best Self Out of My Gathering" is filled with lots of fun formats to try that invite participants into a state of deep listening and honest sharing. Read along.

Abstract: The Art of Design: Looking for a dose of design inspiration? Netflix hit documentary series is back for a new season. In Episode 2, MIT Media Lab professor Neri Oxman cultivates new materials that emulate nature, opening up the possibility of designing the way out of an ecological crisis. Remarkable science! Watch it here.

Thinking Routine Toolbox: The brilliant educators and creators at Project Zero have released a searchable database of Thinking Routines. It was developed during the team's ongoing research into the development of thinking, the concept of thinking dispositions, and the many ways that routines can be used to support student learning and thinking across age groups, disciplines, ideals, competencies and populations. This is a must-use resource for anyone involved in education and learning! Start exploring.

News from interstory

interstory is a global professional network created and supported by Bon Education that connects people building programs for a better world.

Next month at interstory, we are focused on the power of play as a proven methodology to unlock creativity and deepen learning outcomes.

To join the conversation, sign up at Membership is free!

"Ah, coffee. The sweet balm by which we shall accomplish today's tasks."
― Holly Black, author

The End