Have you ever had a slow hunch? Slow hunches are shadows of ideas that appear on the edges of your life. You know they are there, but you can’t quite explain what they are yet or why they matter. You just know there is something there.
Edjacent began as a collective slow hunch. A loose network of educators started to have a sense of wanting something more to attach themselves to. They noticed systemic challenges in education that were beyond their capacity to control in their current positions. Still, these people wanted to make a difference, despite the system. These systemic challenges, like many others in society, existed before, but were amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic. This network of educators felt compelled to act and, from there, the Edjacent Design Collaborative was born. What follows is a brief timeline of the organization, from slow hunch to ongoing hypothesis.
Fall 2018: Meghan Raftery imagines a design collaborative for educators to create and sell high-quality products and services to other educators to improve K-12 public education. She shares the idea with several educators, some eventually joined Edjacent as founding designers.
Spring 2019: Raftery dubs the organization “Edjacent” after the “adjacent possible,” popularized by Steven Johnson in Where Good Ideas Come from: The Natural History of Innovation.
Summer 2019: Raftery launches the Edjacent blog with “Weak Ties As Opportunities” on Blogger.com and creates the first Edjacent course, “Where Standards Come From and Why You Should Care,” on teachable.com.
March 2020: Raftery’s blog post Preparing to Working Remotely While Your Kids Are Home From School? 5 Essential Tips From Someone Who Does It All the Time reaches over 1,000 views just as schools begin closing at the onset of the pandemic.
March–May 2020: Educator Chris Jacobs contributes the first guest post on the Edjacent blog, followed by posts by six future Edjacent founding designers: Annette Conley, Doug Wren, Jaime Kurowski, Mark Diacopoulos, Laura Solomon, and Jared Fritzinger.
September 2020: Edjacent is chosen as one of only two businesses for the Virginia Beach Department of Economic Development’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program.
January 2021: Raftery and Edjacent founding designer Mark Diacopoulos host Edjacent’s first virtual meeting.
April 2021: After three additional meetings and much interest, twelve additional founding designers “buy in” to the Edjacent Design Collaborative.
June 2021: Edjacent is established as an LLC.
July 2021: Port & Starboard designs and hosts Edjacent’s first comprehensive website at edjacent.org.
August 2021: Edjacent holds its first in-person meeting at Virginia MOCA and recruits its first nonfounding members.
September 2021: Edjacent hosts its first paid content for members – virtual workshops.
December 2021: Raftery and Diacopoulos publish “The Self-Authoring Educator: Designing Your Legacy” in the Virginia ASCD Journal.
February 2022: Edjacent establishes its life coaching program.
April 2022: The Edjacent blog posts its 50th piece, Edjacent designer Marthaa Torres’s “Embracing the Prototype: A Day with Edjacent.”
June 2022: Edjacent’s leadership team, the CORE, is established with Edjacent Host Meghan Rafery and initial CORE seats fulfilled by Amy Abbott (design), Sebrina Lindsay-Law (strategy), Katie Niehoff (communication), and Melissa Smith (culture).
July 2022: Danielle Johnson of House of MKTG begins construction of Edjacent’s new website.
September 2022: Edjacent’s new site with fully functioning designer pages is launched for Edjacent’s 29 designers.
We like to say Edjacent is “becoming” as it grows, changes, and evolves in response to our designers and members’ needs. We look forward to adding to this timeline as new milestones are crossed!