Team Member Spotlight: Jake Elster

Team Member Spotlight: Jake Elster

Get to know team member, Jake Elster in #sr4Questions.

1. What brought you to sr4?

I was studying Learning Design at Northwestern University when I met ish, who showed me what these concepts looked like in practice. sr4 was, and still is, on the cutting edge of learning design, and so I kept learning with them as I completed my formal studies. One of the first projects we worked on together involved designing a simulation; I design board games as a hobby and was immediately interested. From there, my relationship with the rest of the team grew.

2. How do you contribute at sr4?

I have enjoyed contributing in so many ways over the years. Designing research projects, learning systems tool kits that build the capacity of clients as well as other researchers or organizations. Facilitating action learning teams and community building. Helping to pull learning objectives through fun, meaningful and impactful learning experiences. Sequencing out ambitious intentions into an actionable plan. And more.

3. Discuss a time when you had to experience something new and different.

Each project I get to work on is an exercise in trying something new and different. I enjoy the sr4 practice of empathic listening, which puts me in the shoes of wildly different companies and cultures with complex problems.

Outside of sr4 my career is bridging cultural divides to build the capacity of incredibly diverse coffee farming cooperatives from over 20 countries. And so, from working with the range of top talent in the US to entrepreneurial farmers in Papua New Guinea, I do enjoy stepping outside of my comfort zone, and into the shoes of so many different types of clients.

4. As you know, sr4 has five beliefs: be present, create a healthy climate, speak your truth, take ownership, and have fun. Which of these beliefs resonates with you the most?

I think that all five beliefs are equally important and build on one another. For example, you need people to remain present in order to cultivate a healthy climate where everyone feels empowered to take initiative and speak their truth. But, if I had to choose one, it would be having fun. If you are having fun it’s a sign you are doing the rest right.

 To learn more about Jake and the rest of the sr4 team, visit the sr4 team page.