R2i2: Institute of Innovation

Richland Two Institute of Innovation

Destination: Innovation

A hundred years ago, most graduates seeking employment could rely on a dependable set of skills: reading, writing, and arithmetic. Specialized training was necessary for some professions, to be sure, but even in those fields, the body of knowledge you needed wasn’t likely to change much over time.

Fast-forward to our age of “disruptive technologies,” when a new idea can quickly change an entire industry. Graduates with a finite skill set will be limited within this new economy, while those who can evolve and adapt will thrive. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are a great foundation, but what else should be in our students’ tool kits? The ability to collaborate, think critically, solve complex problems, synthesize multifaceted information, and innovate are hallmarks of today’s learners. Those who master these skills will be the leaders of the future.

Designing the Future

Committed to developing “global citizens of tomorrow,” Richland School District Two in Columbia, SC, had a bold vision for a leading-edge facility dedicated to instilling these 21st Century skills in its students. The district wanted to build a “fishbowl of learning” which would be an inspiring facility to attract students, faculty, and administrators and provide district-wide educational opportunities. This learning hub supporting a variety of diverse functions would welcome multigenerational stakeholders from across the Sandhills community. Connectivity, flexibility, and sustainability would be paramount; unique functions from district administration to project-based learning would work together seamlessly.

This was a tall order.

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