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Weekly Message from Our Executive Director (4.29.20)

By: Michele Tuck-Ponder, Executive Director

Dear DI Family,

My son made a cake this weekend. My husband and I enjoyed it thoroughly. Apparently, a lot of other people did too, because my son filmed himself making the cake and posted it on TikTok. Over 50 people “liked” it!

For those unfamiliar, TikTok is a social media platform where people, especially kids, film themselves doing everyday things. Cutting your bangs? Film and post it on TikTok. Learned a new dance? Boogie down and post it on TikTok. Want to tell a joke? Record it on your phone and post it on TikTok. Anything you can imagine, people post on TikTok, and other social media platforms.

Now, I have done many things in my life, but it never occurred to me to tape it and post it anywhere. Why would 300 people want to watch me make a pan of lasagne?

But today, filming activities and sharing with innumerable strangers is the way many people connect with others. They post ideas, activities, things that they are good at, and things they want to be good at. This virtual sharing is part of the global landscape, and kids have wonderfully embraced technology in all its forms to be part of a worldwide community. It is an integral part of their lives and makes the world a little bit smaller and more accessible.

Although Destination Imagination (DI) has always been an in-person activity that allowed kids to communicate, collaborate, and engage, the current COVID19 crisis has shut that opportunity down. So many of us are missing face-to-face social engagement.

But we are delighted to be able to provide a platform for kids, families, and friends to interact via DI’s new Global Finals: Summer of Creativity. Virtual Global Finals is an opportunity for everyone to use technology in a fun way, beyond remote schooling and 15 seconds of TikTok. They will expand their technological skills, problem solve, and craft creative solutions to the Virtual Team Challenge that will be released on May 1.

Some of our DI teams have already successfully ventured into the virtual space. While this platform is new for DIHQ, our Team Managers, and Appraisers, it is an environment that young people thrive in and have great familiarity with. If they have been an observer, they will get to try something new. If they are experienced with creating in a virtual space, they can do even greater things through collaborating with team members.

And as a bonus, there is a potential for many people to view and enjoy the performance. A lot more than can fit into a presentation room at the Kansas City Convention Center!

As for me, I am expecting to be as amazed and impressed by the performance of our teams in cyberspace as I have been watching them perform live and in-person. I hope that you will encourage DI friends and families to join us for what promises to be a new and exciting experience!

Stay healthy. Stay creative.

Michele