Blogs by InnovatorsBox®

Meet Rian Reed: A Facilitator with an Educator’s Heart

This is InnovatorsBox’s “IB Backstage series, where in celebration of InnovatorsBox’s 6th year anniversary that’s coming up in November 2021, we are highlighting the stories of our incredible team members.

Rian Reed is a compassionate doer. Having met through the shared social entrepreneurship community groups like StartingBloc before, when Rian came to my book talk for Rethink Creativity in 2018, it gave us an opportunity to get to know each other even more. I was immensely inspired by her thoughtfulness, authenticity, and an eagerness to help people and I knew that she’s the type of individual I’d love to work with. And if an opportunity for us to work together ever showed up, I hoped that she’d be as keen as I was. Then as COVID rolled in and the world went virtual, we had the chance to work together on an online facilitation and virtual event production support project. 

In my Q&A with Rian, we explore several topics from why she does what she does, what is it about her career that she’s so deeply passionate about, how does she balance work and life, and more. I can’t wait for you to get to know Rian who brings her charm and thoughtfulness to every room and makes those rooms feel safe and fun.

Monica: How would you describe yourself in three words?

Rian: Intentional, Compassionate, Growth-Oriented

Monica: Why is creativity important to you?

Rian: Creativity ensures equity of voice, which allows humans to connect and grow across diverse sectors. A creative person’s ability to think outside the box helps augment the chances of their voices getting heard.

Monica: What was your favorite project, experience or memory working at InnovatorsBox?

Rian: I enjoy working with our clients at InnovatorsBox. Working to meet the needs of our clients and designing a service tailored to their needs forces me to get creative and find novel solutions for them to have the best experience possible!

Trend about work:

Monica: Why is facilitation important for you?

Rian: Facilitation is a powerful tool for strengthening relationships and creating more diverse communities. When people of diverse backgrounds come together, they can learn from each other in new ways, and gain new perspectives.

These perspectives have the potential to make communities stronger! It’s through facilitation that these conversations can happen–and when there is trust between all parties involved, relationships strengthen too.

Monica: What do you hope others understood more about being a teacher and an educator?

“Teaching is both a science and an art 🎨 of which we stay on a consistent state of growth.”

For example, I am currently studying Neuroscience in order to better understand how the brain functions to best design innovative, meaningful learning exercises for my students.

Monica: What trend are you seeing in education fields that you are excited about and worried about?

Rian: I am excited about innovative opportunities that are arising from the pandemic. The pandemic is forcing us to look at how we do school through a diverse lens of how we meet the needs of all our students using technology and innovative scheduling.

I am worried about the possibility of the status quo overpowering the innovative and momentum we have gained throughout the pandemic. I wonder what would happen if momentum couldn’t continue with our innovative ways of meeting student needs because of this.

Monica: How do you balance everything and advice for others?

Rian: I love Google Calendar to keep me on task with reminders! I also take handwritten notes. I am a strong believer in the fact that there’s no such thing as work/life balance, but only work/life choices. And we have to be strategic about our priorities.

“There is no such thing as work/life balance, there are only work/life choices. We just have to choose wisely.”

Getting to know Rian:

Monica: What advice would you give your younger self?

Rian: Keep running your own race!

Monica: What is a book that you couldn’t stop reading?

Rian: Young Adult- Ghost by Jason Reynolds

Monica: What are you listening to lately?

Rian: Jazmine Sullivan

Monica: What are you watching lately that you really enjoyed? Why?

Rian: The Chi. I enjoy seeing how the community is working together to solve societal issues.

Monica: What is your favorite way to decompress? Why?

Rian: I love to take naps! They allow me to physically recharge and rest my eyes.

Monica: Who are musicians or creatives that inspire you?

Rian: Rhianna. She is continuously growing her brand and makes products for the body that smell good and feel good!

Monica: If someone is visiting Washington, DC for the first time, where would you recommend they go, eat, or do?

Rian:

Monica: If you could travel anywhere and do anything, where would you go and what would you want to do?

Rian: Any place near the water!

Thank you, Rian for being you, for bringing your authentic self to this world, and offering your insights, recommendations and tips to all. I look forward to continuing to work together. 

To connect with Rian:

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/rianreed

Twitter @missreed

Instagram @www_rianreed_com

About the Author

Picture of Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang

Monica H. Kang, Founder, and CEO of InnovatorsBox® and Author of Rethink Creativity is transforming today’s workforce through the power of creativity. She helps companies rethink culture, leadership, and team development by making creativity practical and relatable regardless of industry or job title. She has worked with clients worldwide including Fortune 500 companies, higher education, government, and nonprofits. Monica’s work has been recognized by The White House, Ashoka Changemakers, National Minority Supplier Development Council (NMSDC), and Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Prior to InnovatorsBox®, Monica was a nuclear nonproliferation policy expert. She holds an M.A. from SAIS Johns Hopkins University in Strategic Studies and International Economics and a B.A. from Boston University.

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