Vice President, Training & Curriculum
- Customer & Community
- Chicago, IL
2021-05-26 14:20:54 UTC
Unify America is a nonpartisan nonprofit on a mission to replace politics with problem solving. We are seeking an inspiring leader with deep subject matter expertise in training theory and practice and curriculum-building to partner with our COO and our Founder (who are both creatives) to build a robust and engaging curriculum. We want to train the multitude of Americans who want to bridge our political divides and participate directly in finding solutions to our nation’s ills. And in doing so, save our democracy.
Saving democracy? Seriously?
Reasonable question. We’ll get to that. The ideal candidate is someone who is highly skilled, collaborative, data-driven, inventive, strategic, adaptive, and a creative thinker. We need a rockstar who can lead a team as we grow and is willing, able and ready to execute in the trenches right now. We are in the early days and looking for smart, passionate can-do people to join our growing, ambitious team.
Let’s get back to the saving democracy part.
Well, we are on the way to proving that the vast majority of Americans (over 90%) share many of the same goals for the country. If that sounds crazy, then let us give you an example: we demonize each other over gun control legislation, but gun control isn’t the goal, it’s a tactic. Reducing violence is the goal, and most of us want that. We don’t realize that for most political issues we’re just arguing about tactics or even less productively, political personalities.
Our quest is ambitious: bring together tens of thousands of Americans, including legislators, to identify and implement an ambitious and shared solution to one of the many national problems that has bedeviled Congress and the country for decades. This process is a form of deliberative democracy.
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.
And our first step is to deploy a broad-ranging survey called the “Unify Challenge,” which asks Americans about the goals they have for our country. We’ve developed technology to pair Americans from different backgrounds to take the survey together via video conference. Ultimately, we want millions of Americans to take the Unify Challenge.
After Americans complete the Unify Challenge, the next step is getting trained to be a citizen decision-maker. This is where your expertise comes in.
Sounds great. Tell me more about the role.
Here is where we are looking for your leadership and partnership:
To be our lead subject matter expert on training and curriculum development
To build and organize a top-tier advisory panel to help shape this curriculum
Be a key player in determining the courses within this framework (and if appropriate, modify the framework itself).
Be responsible for scouring the world for educational and training programs from which we can learn and borrow ideas and best practices. Or perhaps license such programs to include in our curriculum directly.
In partnership with our creative team/producers, be a key collaborator in shaping the creative when we design the training experiences for participants.
Define performance metrics and an optimization plan for the training curriculum
Develop leadership programs to “train the trainers”
Participate in public speaking opportunities as a representative of Unify America
Are there specific qualifications?
Yes. We’re seeking someone with at least 10 years of experience who:
has developed and conducted training in a wide variety of formats for a wide variety of subjects for a very wide variety of people. Our curriculum is going to cover a lot of ground. Different materials will require different approaches. And our trainees will cover the full demographic and political spectrum.
has developed curricula for other institutions and organizations
is ready and able to do hands-on work and also transition into being a leader of others as we grow. We’re a start-up. If you’ve gotten to a point of seniority where you can only direct other people to do the hands-on work, this is not the best fit.. That said, to make all the courses we need to create, we will eventually need a team working on it, and would like you to be capable of effectively managing.
is a creative experimenter. We are a “try quickly and fail fast” organization. We are going to want to try and test a lot of different approaches to training until we dial into what works best…and that might well be true for each new course depending on the subject matter. We need you to be methodical about putting test plans into place and driving them forward.
has a bias for data. We use data-driven strategies to help us hone our training. You should be nerdy about methodically measuring results.
is a strong writer and communicator. The voice of our organization is inclusive, fun, welcoming, intelligent and seriously dedicated to our mission. You need to be able to embody that when you write and speak.
is diligent about follow-through. Like, really diligent. It’s important that we don’t let tasks fall on the floor and be forgotten.
welcomes feedback. The way we work at Unify America requires that we all be comfortable giving and receiving direct feedback gracefully. Our motto: we must be honest and kind simultaneously. We’re dead serious about that. And its core to what we want to train others to do.
is relentless and innovative about solving problems. We’re looking for someone who is positive and can figure out how to get to YES.
is capable of, and willing to commit to embracing radical non-partisanship. Warmly welcoming everyone into our Big Tent is central to our mission. That includes people who campaign hard for Democrats and people who campaign hard for Republicans; people who are committed atheists and people who are deeply religious, etc. You need to be dedicated to being respectful of people with whom you may disagree on important topics.
has led an awesome team. You’ve been the head of a team, hiring, coaching and leading by example.
a background working in a start-up environment and/or with a mission-driven team is a plus (whether in the profit, governmental, military or nonprofit sector)
worked with creative teams to produce materials to be incorporated in training (also a plus). In order to train Americans at scale, we’re going to be leaning heavily on creating engaging materials, especially video.
Seems exciting. Do you have ideas about what this curriculum will look like?
Well, you’re going to help us figure that out. But we have an overall framework in mind. It has three tracks:
Know Thyself. We want to teach Americans how to overcome the biases that cloud our thinking and leave us closed to learning.
Know Thy Neighbor. We want to train people to listen to their fellow Americans with an open mind, express their perspective in a way that opens the minds of others, and practice intellectual humility.
Know Thy World. We want to teach certain fundamentals that anyone who aspires to be a citizen decision-maker needs. For example: the way science works, how and why our government is organized as it is, key historical lessons and the balancing of rights and responsibilities in a democracy.
Finally, we want to train people in Unify America’s particular approach to deliberative democracy. Deliberative democracy has several forms, but ours is a communal approach to problem solving. It begins with a shared civic goal. Then, rather than letting our differences divide us, deliberative democracy does the opposite; it harnesses the collective wisdom of citizens with different perspectives. Citizens deliberate with each other in a structured process designed to build consensus over time. The expected result is a well thought through solution, with support from most, if not all participants.
Anything else about the curriculum?
Yes, we are looking to build a training experience that is serious in intent AND funny and joyful in implementation. We already have the skills to bring the joy and the funny to attract Americans at scale and help make complex ideas accessible. We need to combine that with pedagogical rigor to help people make transformative steps.
And who are going to be the students for this training program?
American adults, from all walks of life.
Will this training be online or in-person?
Initially, online. Eventually, we hope, both.
I’m interested. How do I apply?
Great! Write us a cover letter that includes your salary expectations. Give us three reasons why you’d be great for the job. We want to include a variety of ideologies on our team -- so, if you like, tell us about your view of the world -- (Liberal? Conservative? Independent? Something else entirely?). Most importantly, be yourself (yes really!). Also, upload your resume.
- Must be a resident of United States