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Welcome to the Archive of the First Virtual Conference on Local Systemic Change


The First Virtual Conference on Sustainability was held on May 14-23th 2001. One hundred and forty seven registrants (including Principal Investigators, Project Directors and Lead Evaluators) participated in this ten day event. The conference is part of a three year grant awarded to TERC by the National Science Foundation entitiled "Supporting and Understanding Sustainability in Local Systemic Change (ESI 0088027)."

The purpose of this virtual conference was to bring together leaders of the Local Systemic Change (LSC) Initiatives in an interactive dialogue about the key issues involved in sustaining systemic reform. Representatives of twenty of the earliest LSCs prepared interactive posters which they then presented during the conference. Each poster reflected on issues concerning sustaining their efforts that needed to be grappled with as the end of NSF funding approached. These presenters have agreed to be part of a continuing research effort to understand the nature of sustainability through the eyes of those who are in the field. The experiences that they share will be invaluable to newer LSCs who are still grappling with what sustainability means and searching for the most productive way of achieving it.

The conference also included a keynote speaker (Larry Cuban), discussants (Chris Dede from Harvard, Jeanne Century from EDC, Larry Cuban from Stanford, and Dean Fink from University of Toronto), who commented on interactive posters and offered summary reflections of the conference, and four panelists from the LSCs , Mark St. John, Linda Gregg, Ramesh Gangoli, and Mike Klentshy who presented short papers and participated in follow on-discussions.

The conference provided an exciting view on a very large-scale initiative in educational reform, now entering a crucial new phase. The format itself, an innovative mix of presentation and interactive modes, seemed to stimulate rich discussions among practitioners and scholars, and the tones were lively and challenging. It is not often that when a conference closes, the participants are still engaged in energetic discussion, or reading presentations thoughtfully as the lights are dimmed, but that's what happened in the Sustainability Conference. The conference has been preserved in archived form and it continues to be visited and shared by participants and their colleagues. You can see this archive at We invite you to visit, and learn from this stellar group of voices from the front lines of educational reform.

We invite you to browse through the Poster Hall and to read the Keynote address as well as papers offered by Panelists and Discussants.

Below is a floor plan of the conference.

Thank you for your participation!
Joni Falk and Brian Drayton: PIs
Liza Applebee and Elizbeth Bleich: Conference Coordinators
Jon Obuchowski and Mike McCarthy: Technical Wizards
Scot Osterweil: Design Consultant

Related Sites:

Please visit two other virtual conferences that addressed sustainability of systemic change.
They can be found at:


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