Hi there!

I’m Liesl Ulrich-Verderber, EWC’s COO, and the Founder of EWCed and Amazing World Media!

After graduating from Harvard University with a degree in architectural design and economics, I started working with Ever Widening Circles as our COO and took up our mission to expand into education with EWCed in 2018, and explore how we could bring positive media to healthcare in 2019 with Amazing World Media.

My Background

Most of my undergraduate design training at Harvard University was through the Harvard Graduate School of Design. There, I honed my design skills and representation techniques, always with a flair for design that filled the mantra “Is it novel? Is it useful?”

I’d like to think that I have taken a bit of that mindset with me here at EWC, EWCed, and Amazing World Media.

As a professional photographer since the age of 14, and have had a lifelong passion for finding beauty in the world. Now, I use those same instincts as a writer and curator for Ever Widening Circles.

A Passion for Education

While I still spend a lot of time keeping the show running here on Ever Widening Circles, I am now collaborating with educators on EWCed. Over at EWCed, we curate content from Ever Widening Circles for educators to use in the classroom. Our mission at EWCed is to inspire students’ curiosity, connect them to the wider world, and give them a sense of what’s possible. We want to ignite possibility in our education systems with the knowledge that it is still an amazing world.

I have had a life-long passion for education. After serving on the school board as a high schooler, I have been an advocate for customized learning plans, and have seen some of the possibilities for change that are available in our education systems. At Harvard, I designed and taught leadership curriculum and classes to middle and high school students through the Leadership Institute at Harvard College. As we designed EWCed, these experiences teaching a diverse range of students with a video and discussion-based approach to learning have been a major source of inspiration.

Image: Liesl as a kid playing teacher wearing glasses

As a child, I loved to “teach” classes on the various things I’d learned watching PBS documentaries. As a teacher, I would always wear my cat eyeglasses and have my grandfather’s extendable pointer in hand.

When I’m not running around talking to educators and students (which is my favorite part of my job) I’m back in the Ever Widening Circles office pulling whatever hat we need for me that day off the rack and tackling problems from marketing to microwave malfunctions.

In my free time, I am an aspiring—but more often floundering—outdoor enthusiast, a camera-toting traveler, and a global story seeker.

-Liesl

“Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”-Victor Borge

Liesl can be found on Instagram @Liesl.UV

Author's Articles

20 minutes

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Where Do Those Psychedelic Images of Space Come From?

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You’ve probably seen those psychedelic images from space; colorful clouds of swirling dust, galaxies colliding, and stars being born. But where do those images come from? How are they made? And does space seriously look like that?!

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17 minutes

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Hear the Howl of the Mightiest Mouse of the Desert!

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Many don’t know of the fearless predator that roams the desert of New Mexico. The grasshopper mouse may look adorable, but don’t let its cute exterior fool you. One of their favorite foods is the most venomous scorpion in North America. And how they catch their lunch could end up helping you, too! 

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12 minutes

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Why Spices Are WAY More Than the Spice of Life!

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Ever wondered why some cultures embrace all the spice in the cabinet and others are, well, a little blander? There’s a fascinating bit of science behind the difference in our food preferences around the globe, and it goes way past making our food delicious! Ready to look at your spice cabinet with fresh eyes?

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10 minutes

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Enjoy the World’s Greatest Museums in Your PJs!

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What if you could meet the world’s rarest animals, get up close to some of the most famous paintings, and dive into the wonders of science without leaving your couch? Museums and zoos are giving us a new way to explore the world through virtual experiences!

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12 minutes

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The Secret Power of Checklists

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The fastest way to start reducing your stress and increasing productivity doesn’t require any expensive new planners or apps. All you need to start working with the accuracy skill of a doctor or an astronaut is a piece of paper and a pen!

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15 minutes

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From Bunnies to Solar Systems: The Magic of Dust!

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What do the dust bunnies under your nightstand have in common with our solar system? Turns out, the answer to that is all about the wonder of connections! Read on and all around you will seem a mystery unfolding.

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7 minutes

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What Do New Yorkers Love About Their City?

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How does the way we talk about things shape the way we see them? On a hot July day, the artist Marco Santini took to the New York City subway to ask, “What do you love about New York City?” The answers will make you rethink the way language shapes our view of the world!

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35 minutes

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Can We Bridge Change By Starting With What We Love?

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Could we solve major problems by coming together with storytelling and the things we share a passion for? That was the mission of two native Michiganders as they hopped in a veggie powered van to discover why their homeland was so important to people, and rally them around saving it!

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17 minutes

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Ask Yourself These Three Questions and They Can Change Your Life!

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What if three questions could help us live happier lives filled with more joy and meaning? The answers to these questions have the power to change the way we interact with our loved ones, do our work, and live a more fulfilled existence together!

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10 minutes

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Start Small, Dream Big: The Secret to Accomplishing Life-Changing Goals

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How do we achieve even our loftiest goals? At 19 years old, Dave Jacka was left with only 6% of his physical function after a motorcycle accident. 25 years later, he became the first pilot with quadriplegia to fly around Australia solo! The story of how he got there has insights for us all!

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9 minutes

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The Largest, Most Viewed Paintings In the World That No One Knows About

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What’s your favorite old movie? Chances are there’s one character that connects all of our beloved old films. They are always there, we just never noticed. Any guesses who it is?

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15 minutes

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All Hail the Great Hellbender Salamander!

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Snot otter, lasagna lizard, grampus, whatever you call it, this gigantic, slimy, and loveable creature could be the unlikely superhero saving the world’s amphibians. How, you ask? Well, let’s get to know them a little better and find out!

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9 minutes

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Medical Device to Fashion Statement: The Amazing History of Glasses

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In the past few decades, glasses have become a fashion statement and form of expression. But how did they make the transition from a medical device to a stylish accessory? And can we transform prosthetics, wheelchairs, and hearing aids in the same creative and widely accepted way?

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8 minutes

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Helping Students Find Confidence by Helping Others!

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Could there be a simple way to change the lives of young people around the world? They may be on to something at Tilden Middle School—helping their students build confidence, empathy, and kindness towards other people in just a single day. Here’s how it works! (And how it can benefit you, too!) 

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13 minutes

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Bike Angels: Competitive Problem-Solving at Its Extreme!

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What happens when we use fun to inspire people to help the world in their own way? New York City tried out this experiment with their Citi Bike Bike Angels program and the results were, well, unexpectedly enthusiastic!

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23 minutes

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Is Going Zero Waste Really Possible?

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Have you seen those people who can fit a year’s worth of garbage into a mason jar? Is that even possible? Meet a family that tried to live zero waste for a month and see how it went!

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6 minutes

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Transforming Trash into Living Robots!

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You’ll find a lot of strange things on the streets of New York City, but the fantastical giant robots of Brooklyn RobotWorks will certainly stop you in your tracks. Meet the creative mind behind these incredible, walking works of art made from everyday objects!

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12 minutes

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How These Successful Coaches Are Helping Us All Unlock Our Full Potential!

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What if we could unlock 50% more potential from our teams tomorrow? There is a new recipe for success being revealed on the sidelines of major sports teams that can all use to start harnessing this potential. Here’s the secret!

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6 minutes

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How Do You Find the Right Words for Your Love?

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Have you ever felt an emotion you didn’t have the words for? This is where the beauty of other languages can step in. When it comes to love, there are a lot of feelings that English sometimes can’t quite express, but other languages have captured that magic!

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6 minutes

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The Surprising Genius Behind Your To-Go Cup! 

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There’s a little piece of history sitting right on top of the to-go cup of coffee you grabbed today. The coffee cup lid may seem like a humble piece of human innovation, but it’s got a secret history!

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8 minutes

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The Tiny Town That Became a Kingdom of Books

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In the 70s, the UK gained a new, independent kingdom: a kingdom of books! Explore Hay-on-Wye, a tiny town in Wales that is every book lover’s dream!

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15 minutes

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How Do You Become a World Champion Pizza Spinner?

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Pizza spinning is mesmerizing, but what if you added fire, multiple flying doughs, and the occasional behind-the-back spin? That’s how world champion spinner Justin Wadstein does it! Get ready—you’ve never seen dough spun quite like this before.

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5 minutes

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The Fabulous World of Flies!

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If you like chocolate and avocados, you have flies to thank for it! Flies are everywhere and may be some of the coolest creatures on our planet. So, let’s get to know these remarkable little creatures.

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14 minutes

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Reinventing Plastic with Methane and Microbes

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How close are we to reinventing plastic? Well, it looks like a future with easily accessible, truly biodegradable plastics that can replace the harmful plastics we use today is right around the corner—and it uses the power of bacteria! 

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16 minutes

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Feeding the Soul and Ending Loneliness

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Can food fight loneliness? In the kitchens of the Healing Meals Community Project, food is giving people a place to come together, work in the service of others, and leave people changed for life!

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10 minutes

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Indonesia’s Extreme Vespas

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Here are two words you probably haven’t heard together before: Extreme Vespas. On the streets of Indonesia though, extreme Vespas are pushing art and culture in some wild new directions!

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14 minutes

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The Bristol Bike Project: Building A Better Future on Two Wheels 

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What can an old bike do to impact someone’s life? Well, with The Bristol Bike Project, these old, broken bikes, are delivering remarkable new opportunities to those most vulnerable in their communities!

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10 minutes

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Meet the Couple that Helped Save 10 Million Acres of Patagonia

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Thanks to the largest private donation of land in history, 10 million acres of land are now protected in Patagonia: one of the most beautiful places on Earth. So, who are these remarkable donors?

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15 minutes

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This Disney Animator Brings Characters to Life in Virtual Reality! 

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What if you could step into an entire world created by one of your favorite artists? Here’s a peek at what happens when you mix the wonder of virtual reality with the magic of a Disney animator!

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