Purpose Prize

Marc Freedman Portrait

The Latest from CoGenerate

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

Overheard on Text: Imposter Syndrome

As colleagues from different generations (x/millennial), we’ve been leading talks and workshops sharing our insights about working across generations – what we call “cogeneration.” As we plan, we’re usually texting furiously, sharing ideas and reflections. So we...

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

This Cogenerational Pair Calls for ‘Radical Inclusion’ of Youth

I was thrilled when I heard about the new book, Why Aren’t We Doing This! Collaborating with Minors in Major Ways, written by Denise Webb, age 20, and Wendy Schaetzel Lesko, age 73, (both pictured above) and published by Youth Infusion, a clearinghouse co-founded by...

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Music Is Having a Moment — And It’s a Cogenerational One.

Sunday’s show featured three big moments reminding us that music can be a bridge not only across race, culture, and genre, but also age. Tracy Chapman & Luke Combs. Much attention, rightfully, has gone to the duet between Tracy Chapman, who turns 60 next month,...

*

Dennis Bakke

Imagine Schools
Purpose Prize Fellow 2007

Improving schools by empowering teachers as decision-makers.

Dennis Bakke is Co-Founder and CEO Emeritus of the AES Corporation, one of the world’s largest providers of electricity. Key to his management philosophy – captured in the bestselling book, Joy at Work – is a belief that the best business decisions are made by the employees, often on the lowest levels, who have critical hands-on knowledge. When Bakke left AES in 2002, he thought he could improve failing public schools with this approach. With his wife Eileen, Bakke launched Imagine Schools in 2003. The nonprofit operates 51 public charter schools and independent schools serving 25,000 students in ten states and the District of Columbia. The schools put a premium on decentralized leadership, freedom with responsibility, utilizing each person’s gifts to their maximum, and eliminating middle-management to give most decision-making power to people closest to the action – a radically new concept in the world of public education. To help the schools succeed, Imagine Schools provides start-up funding and help in purchasing facilities. Early results show that students who enter below grade level make impressive gains every year they are in an Imagine School. Bakke plans to create 100 schools serving 50,000 students within five years.