In a world where cake, AI and flute cleaners all make sense

The Secret Menu
3 min readSep 21, 2023

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The legend of the Koi Fish and the Dragon in cake form by Joelene

Don’t you wish that you had been the first person to say, “In a world where…”. Unfortunately, Don LaFontaine beat us all to this great line, and it lead him to fame and fortune; I don’t know if that part is true or not, but he did have a fascinating job.

I’ve always been interested in people who pursue careers that I never could have imagine existed. Movie trailer voice over artist was not something that was ever offered up to me on the career interest surveys I took in high school. It probably wasn’t offered up to him either, but Don LaFontaine created a path to adding something to all of our lives. He developed his creative purpose. It’s within that spirit that I began to think about the question, “In a world where AI seems capable of doing every job, how should we think about education?”

Deep in Silicon Valley many people are working on AI and even they do not fully grasp its potential. Some people have heard about it and then continue on with their day, while others think that it is going to be the best/worst thing that could happen to us. As we think about the potential of AI, whether you are creating it, using it, ignoring it, or worrying about it, we are all still human, and at the end of the day we want to know that we matter, we want to know that we can make a difference in someone’s life, we want to know that we have something to contribute. This part of the human condition is not going away any time soon.

So no matter what AI ultimately ends up being capable of, we need to prepare people to develop their creative purpose. It’s also important that we understand that a creative purpose must be developed; it’s not a buried treasure that you find. Creative purpose grows and changes as you work harder to build it. We see this all the time in the students in our programs.

The first thing that they create is often very different from their later creations.

Taliyah started with an automatic flute cleaner and now she’s building the mouseky and other amazing projects you can learn about on her youtube channel

Joelene used to make the most artistic cakes and cupcakes you’ve ever seen and now she’s on the Forbes 30 under 30 list and a software engineer at Retool.

Nicholas was an award-winning actor in high school and now he’s working on making parades at Disneyland even more spectacular. Ok that one’s pretty close, but you get the idea.

They are all working on carving out their creative contributions, and they are doing this by exploring many different ways to create. Of course these examples are most closely tied to academic, and professional identities, but it is important to acknowledge that creative purpose can live outside these identities, for example, you can find your creative purpose in the relationships you develop with others. It does not matter where you flex your creative muscle, but it’s important for its development to be an essential outcome of your K-12 education experience.

We can’t predict where AI are going to take us, but we do know that many of the things that are true about humans are not changing any time soon, so we need our schools to focus on helping people develop their creative purpose. Because no matter how many AP tests ChatGPT gets a perfect score on, people will still want to feel like they have something to contribute to the world. In a world where people are gonna people we will want to know that we can make a difference.

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The Secret Menu

A place to find all of the good stuff and wonder why these things aren’t on the main menu.