Measuring Organizational Return on Investment

Posted Apr 27, 2021

This is the third in a series of blogs I have written about the importance and feasibility of putting an actual dollar figure on the value created by cultural experiences (find previous blogs here and here). The premise of all these pieces begins with an appreciation of the fact that cultural institutions currently have a… (Read more)

UPDATE: Is it Actually Possible to put a Dollar Figure on your Organization’s Public Value?

Posted Feb 12, 2021

An update by John H. Falk, Ph.D. Executive Director, Institute for Learning Innovation   Last July I wrote a blog proposing that it might be possible to actually put a dollar figure on the value created by cultural experiences. Here’s a quick recap of that original blog and an update on where this effort currently… (Read more)

Special Announcement- Network Affiliations

Posted Feb 3, 2021

As you know, here at ILI we spend a lot of time thinking (and talking about) learning. How to broaden access and participation, what supports effective learning and who gets to be considered an expert? It’s all a part of our ongoing quest to change the narrow ways in which people think about learning. Most… (Read more)

Evaluating Differently

Posted Jan 29, 2021

For many of us working in informal science learning, we’re just coming out of our busiest season of the year. Projects wrapped up. A new administration took office. We navigated a holiday season unlike any other.  And for most, several federal and private grants were due. Among other things, 2020 brought with it a heightened… (Read more)

SciComm Trainers Network: Building a community committed to equity in science engagement

Posted Jan 21, 2021

Whether it’s watching a demonstration at a science fair, learning new ideas at a science museum, or simply talking to a scientist, the transfer of knowledge from scientists to members of their communities represents a clear example of the free-choice learning championed by the Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI). As such ILI has formed a… (Read more)


Posted Jan 19, 2021

Our Meeting Code of Conduct The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) convenes gatherings that are welcoming, respectful, inclusive, and collaborative. ILI’s Gatherings Code of Conduct applies to all ILI-sponsored gatherings, as well as affiliated events connected with an ILI gathering, whether in public or private facilities.    Expected behavior  Treat everyone with the same respect you would expect of them.  Be… (Read more)

NOW HIRING: FIELD RESEARCH COORDINATOR (Alameda County, CA and surrounding area)

Posted Dec 10, 2020

Field Research Coordinator Description: We’re looking for someone committed to helping transform the world of learning! The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) seeks an organized and dynamic people person to help gather information (via online surveys and conversation) from adult hobbyist gardeners and assist with data analysis and report writing. This National Science Foundation funded… (Read more)


Posted Nov 17, 2020

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOV 17, 2020   BEAVERTON, OREGON-  The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) is pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded funding to four very important research projects that are centered around free-choice learning and are designed to expand access, equity, and inclusion for learners of all… (Read more)

Special Announcement

Posted Oct 13, 2020

OCTOBER 13, 2020 – The Institute for Learning Innovation is pleased to announce the addition of two new Senior Fellows, both of whom share our appreciation for the power of lifelong, free-choice learning experiences.   Kimberly Young is the Executive Director of Continuing and Professional Studies at the University of Mary Washington where she is… (Read more)

Is it Actually Possible to put a Dollar Figure on Your Organization’s Public Value?

Posted Aug 4, 2020

(HINT: The answer is yes!) How do you show that your institution provides genuine public value? If you have anything to do with the administration of a museum or cultural organization, this is a question that you and your board of directors find yourselves having to answer continually these days. If you are like most… (Read more)

Now Hiring : Project Coordinator (Remote)

Posted Jul 28, 2020

Project Coordinator (Remote)  Description:  We’re looking for someone committed to helping transform the world of learning!     The Institute for Learning Innovation (ILI) seeks an organized, dynamic, self-starter to help coordinate and facilitate several on-going national and international projects, virtual meetings, and events. The applicant selected will work full-time, remotely from a location of their choosing (with the exception of occasional required travel), and will… (Read more)

A statement from The Institute for Learning Innovation

Posted Jun 3, 2020

“I have the audacity to believe that peoples everywhere can have three meals a day for their bodies, education, and culture for their minds, and dignity, equality, and freedom for their spirits.”   Dr. Martin Luther King, leader of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, evoked these words during his acceptance speech in Oslo, Norway when… (Read more)

When our community goes digital: reflections on a changing paradigm

Posted May 26, 2020

I travel to carry out research and evaluation studies – and I travel for conferences and workshops. There’s ScienceTalk, NARST, Advancing Research Impacts in Society (ARIS), Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), the Science Events Summit, and Visitor Studies Association Conference (VSA).   Just to name a few of my favorites.   Particularly in… (Read more)

Social-Emotional Learning is paramount during COVID-19

Posted May 11, 2020

Mommy is everything all right–why do you look so sad? Many of you may have heard a child, grandchild, niece or nephew, or friend’s child, say something like this of late. Possibly, you also may have observed your 4-year-old being “clingy”  or your 10-year-old having nightmares more frequently than in the past. As adults, sometimes… (Read more)

We’re still learning

Posted May 5, 2020

Our remote team here at the Institute for Learning Innovation was supposed to be gathered in Detroit this weekend for one of our two annual in-person staff retreats – and like so many other events around the world, this too was canceled due to COVID-19. We’ve taken it online and have been doing our best… (Read more)

COVID-19: What your kids REALLY think

Posted Apr 28, 2020

Are we doing a good enough job? Are we meeting the needs of our children? Are they happy?  These questions float through the weary heads of parents nightly since the recent public health crisis has us doing double duty – working and facilitating at-home learning experiences for their children.   Since we at The Institute for Learning Innovation… (Read more)

There is a Crisis in U.S. Education- but it is NOT because of Covid-19

Posted Apr 20, 2020

These are definitely tough times. The coronavirus pandemic has created a serious public health crisis, a serious economic crisis, and a serious public welfare crisis. However, the education crisis we now perceive was not caused by Covid-19. Currently, newspapers and online platforms are filled with articles describing how terrible it is that children are missing… (Read more)

It’s only been one month! I don’t think I can do this. 

Posted Apr 13, 2020

  As I was washing the backpack and lunch bag we haven’t needed for the past few weeks – it hit me. My 3rd grader may not be going back to school again. At least not this year. Will he have to do 3rd grade over again when schools re-open in September? Or will they start them… (Read more)

Making family history during COVID-19: What can grandparents do?

Posted Apr 7, 2020

If you are grandparents like my husband John Falk and I, you may be getting extra calls from your grown children, notes from your grandchildren via Messenger Kids and video call opportunities galore. Our kids are worried about whether we are taking the proper safety precautions and managing to shop and eat while staying healthy… (Read more)

Learning is Social (Even during social isolation!)

Posted Mar 31, 2020

I ended the week feeling pretty capable. I felt like maybe I could be a full-time employee working from home while creating learning opportunities for my son at the same time.  I did some good work for the Institute for Learning Innovation. I made homemade banana walnut muffins, I taught my 9-year-old son about several… (Read more)

So we’re teachers now?

Posted Mar 23, 2020

That escalated WAY too quickly.  Friday afternoon I was staggering into my son’s elementary school weighed down by trays of cookies in honor of his 9th birthday. A few hours later I found myself staring blankly at my husband with the realization that just like that – everything had changed. My home State of NY… (Read more)

Announcing MEL: The Museum Enterprise Leadership Program

Posted Feb 7, 2020

We are very excited to announce that the new Museum Enterprise Leadership (MEL) program has officially been launched! A partnership between the Institute for Learning Innovation and the University of Mary Washington, this 12-month certificate program was developed with FLAME input and specific goals in mind. Whether you aspire to hold a CEO position in… (Read more)