Most Likely To Succeed

North Dakota Innovation Playlist

Bring MLTS To Your School

Energize your community and generate support for your innovations

What is the Playlist? The Cutting Ed Podcast

Watch the Trailer

Energize Your Community

Take Action

Watch the Trailer

"If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow." - John Dewey

Energize Your Community

Ted Dintersmith, the Executive Producer of "Most Likely to Succeed", speaks about the power of the film to open the doors for innovation.

Audio Transcript

(click the image to listen now)

Ted Dintersmith: Hi, my name is Ted Dintersmith. I'm the Executive Producer of the documentary, Most likely to Succeed and I'm excited to explain why the film is part of the Innovation Playlist. More specifically, I want to explain what the film is about, how it works in terms of organizing an event around the film, and why it's important.

The film is a 90-minute documentary. It had a great track record at film festivals. It appeared at the Sundance Film Festival, which is the most exclusive film festival in the world. We were the official selection of some 28 film festivals in total and many people and audiences tell us it's the best film ever done on the topic of school.

You will find that it alerts people to the issues. It educates people. It raises issues around what the future may look like. It shows kids in a school learning in a very different way; something that doesn't resemble traditional school, but, it's not prescriptive. It does not lecture at you. It does not tell you here's what you need to do. It raises questions and invites thoughtful discussion and that's why I turned down digital distribution offers for the film. We've really been focused on having the film play an important role in school communities.

Since its premiere, some 4000 schools around the world have organized events around the film and we consistently get feedback that it really energizes communities and gives them a sense of the possibilities. It inspires people about what might be done.

In terms of how it works, it's really just setting up an event. We have a lot of resources on the site. You can see if you check through some of the options on this playlist item for how you can promote the event. We've got some short videos and some suggestions for text, but, it's such a great film. It's easy to get people interested in coming to the event. It's easy to play it. You just get a DVD. We've got the mechanics for how you get that.

I have to be honest. We charge a little bit for it, but, if you have any budget issues, let us know. We've been really aggressive in offering pro bono options for seeing the film for schools that are really hammered on budget.

I fund all of this so I can promise you I'm losing money on everything and when we do charge, it's really just to help reach other schools. So we hope that's not an impediment.

Then we have a lot of suggestions for what you do after the film and we encourage you to notify people that there will be a discussion afterwards. Most groups like to have a small panel, maybe four people who organize and direct the discussion. Maybe they're experts. Maybe a teacher, maybe a student, maybe an outside business person. But you can also engage and bring in the audience to generate questions. People usually have lots of questions after they see the film and we can help steer the kinds of discussions you want to have as well as give everybody a real sense of, we can do this and we need to do this.

One other playlist item that naturally follows for bringing the film to your school is the second item on our playlist: Build a Community Consensus Around the Profile of Your Graduate. There's no better time to do that than after your community has watched the film because they will be up to speed and energized on the issues. You might actually consider combining playlist item number one and number two into an event that draws in teachers, parents, and students. See the film, get inspired by what could be done. Understand what the issues and limitations are if we keep doing things the same old way and then take on the issue of what do we want our kids to get good at. What skillsets and mindsets do we want them to develop during these precious years we call school?

I think the film plays a very important role. It doesn't do everything, that's why there's the Innovation Playlist. The film does an exceptional job of showing people the future and letting them know why it's such a different a world for kids growing up today than it was when people my age grew up 40, 50, 60 years ago.

What kinds of schools experiences are going to best prepare students for this very different world and let them make the very most out of their potential? We really encourage you to do it. Feel free to email us with any questions, but, I can promise you, you will have a great event. People will be really thankful that you put the time and effort into bringing them together to let them see this film and use it to help your school start making the kinds of changes that will lead to the progress you'll all be very proud of. Thank you.

Action film

Take Action

Host a screening to energize your community.

Use the Community Screening Toolkit to guide community engagement and discussion.

Explore All Chapters