As I reflect on 2008 I was blessed with some wonderful experiences and the opportunity to meet many terrific people. But this particular event stands out because it was very unusual for me. I had never been to eastern Europe. I was invited to come to Warsaw, Poland in November of 2008 by Dr. Karol Olejniczak who is a professor at EUROREG – University of Warsaw. He runs a program called Academy of Evaluation which is financed and sponsored by Polish Ministry of Regional Development.

This program runs nine months and this group of 50 of Poland’s most brilliant civil servants meets for two days twice a month. Quite a commitment. As part of this program I taught Idea Mapping and the MindManager software program. These dedicated governmental employees are part of a critical effort to rebuild Poland’s infrastructure and to measure the success of those projects.

The photos you see are mainly from an activity where participants are taught to juggle as an analogy for learning. They are put in a situation where most adults don’t think they can learn something new, come face-to-face with their disbelief, learn how that impacts learning, and taught a learning model. The juggling itself is then broken down into manageable pieces and everyone improves while some actually master the juggling. They were a gracious, warm, open-minded group of professionals that gave me more than I gave them.