The Force Multiplier Effect: A Podcast with Charles Thornburgh About His Influencers

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How can one person’s life have a force-multiplier, positive effect on the generations for hundreds of years that follow?

Find out in this exciting and inspirational podcast with our CEO, Charles Thornburgh. Kirk Dando continues his leadership series by interviewing Charles and exploring Civitas Learning’s audacious goal of working to help one million more students a year learn well and finish strong by 2025.

Listen as they talk about leadership in a new light – one that explores the “for you” question of not what we can do ourselves but what we can do with and for others. You’ll hear Charles tell the story of his amazing influencers, including his great grandmother. You’ll learn how she took the first steps off her early 1900 family farm and into higher education, earning a graduate degree and creating a ripple effect that motivated her daughter to graduate Harvard, and her granddaughter (pictured above) to graduate Stanford University and become a civil rights activist. Listen to how the courage and commitment of these women led Charles to take on a $40 trillion problem in higher education and across society today.

Charles shares insights on:

How to Solve a $40 Trillion Problem

The 35 million adults in the U.S. with some college and no credential represent a lost lifetime earnings of $1.3 million each resulting in what Charles refers to as “the $40 trillion dollar hole in the U.S. economy we have to fill.”

Connecting Investments & Decisions to Outcomes

Kirk talks with Charles about past challenges to innovation and improvement in higher education because of the previous inability to connect investments and decisions to empirical outcomes. Listen to how data science, a powerful platform and apps are making it possible to help everyone better understand the connections between decisions and outcomes.

The Power of the First-Generation Graduate

As passionate for this work as he is, Charles wasn’t first in his family to pick big audacious goals and go after them with tenacity and zeal. Influenced by his great grandmother, Charles talks about the profound ripple effect that occurs when a student who is first generation goes on to complete their college journey.

Understanding the Force Multiplier Effect

Listen as Charles explains the force-multiplier effect. How can what we do have the greatest impact? He shares the inspiring story of his grandmother who, influenced by her mother, decided to become an ordained minister and civil rights activist. Her impressive life illustrates the power of conviction in solving big problems with passion and purpose.

Listen to the full podcast.

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