First Idea to Focus on Project Management and Collaborations for academic and cultural organizations, NGOs, and public/private partnerships. For over fifteen years, I have directed big, ambitious, national projects and policy studies. The future of the humanities. The future of democracy. The future of higher education. The future of language education. The future of civil … Continue reading A Shift in Emphasis for First Idea
Unprecedented Collaboration to Document Language Access During the past two years, as the nation has faced both a global pandemic and an increase in domestic unrest, the need to communicate in all of America’s languages—all the languages spoken across the country—has become even more apparent. Language access has become a central challenge to the equitable … Continue reading America’s Languages Working Group Launches New Online Resource
John Tessitore was honored to sit down with linguist Emily Rae Sabo and her team to discuss the relationship between language access and civil justice. It can be very difficult for English-speakers to navigate legal matters related to family, housing, health care, veterans affairs, debt, employment... It's nearly impossible for people who do not speak … Continue reading Coming soon: We Are What We Speak
First Idea helped organize this call-to-action as a strategic tool for teachers, translators, proprietors and publishers to use on the own behalf. The lesson: sometimes the best case you can make for yourself is to let your supporters speak for you.
Language Learning and National Security An op-ed in Inside Higher Ed by Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, drafted as part of the campaign to support America's Languages, the report of the American Academy's Commission on Language Learning.
We needed to prove that American monolingualism is an insufficient basis for success in an increasingly interconnected world. More positively, and perhaps more importantly, we needed to prove that multilingualism is an asset and a goal worth pursuing.
The best communicators aim for what Wallace Stevens once called “the first idea”—the original truth behind their words.
When the constituents are many and the stakes are high, policy becomes a writing exercise. America’s Languages articulates a national strategy for improving language education in the U.S.
But what can you do to ensure the impact of a report on a topic as seemingly dull as the future of the humanities? Here are a few lessons we’ve learned, based on our extraordinary success with The Heart of the Matter.