Hi there!

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

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.

While I still spend a lot of time keeping the show running her 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.

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.

I have been a professional photographer since the age of 14, and have had a lifelong passion for design. With my photography skills, I built Phrog Eye Photography, a place that now holds my portfolio of work, including my work in photography, design, and public speaking.

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, and EWCed.

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

15 minutes

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Grandma Has a New Best Friend: ELLiQ

By

Seniors that feel a sense of loneliness and isolation are at an increased risk of health complications, dementia, and death. But there’s good news, a company called Intuition Robotics has created a robot designed to help elderly people feel less lonley and more connected!

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8 minutes

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Your World: Made Possible By Giant Fungi

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What does a 420 million-year-old giant fungus have to do with life on Earth as we know it today? Much more than you might think! (You might have to thank its early cousins for making our lives possible!)

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17 minutes

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The Warmer the Better! Right?

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Here’s an inspiring way to look at what will actually happen to our individual lives if, as predicted, it gets 4 degrees warmer. But this is a new approach: a refreshing look with a little humor and uplifting thoughts on climate change and how we are all empowered to transform the future.

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9 minutes

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How Cambodia’s Ancient Temples Can Help Us Plan for the Future

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The ancient temples of Angkor are some of the most beautiful in the world. They are the symbols of a once thriving empire. But the stories they tell go far beyond the ancient past, giving us a roadmap to ponder for our future.

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17 minutes

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#DialogueCoffee: Why We Need More Difficult Conversations

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The world can feel pretty divided right now, but we have a fix for you. It’s a technique called #DialogueCoffee and it makes talking to someone with an opposing viewpoint on the world a little easier (and much much more rewarding). Here’s the story of how it came to be!

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5 minutes

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Transforming Pollution into a Powerful Platform for Change

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Can pollution from your tailpipe be turned into something positive? Air-Ink has found a way to turn the smog that would normally end up in our lungs into inks that artists are using to raise awareness. This innovation points to new possibilities for our future—take a look.

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5 minutes

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Can Your Buttons Change the Way You Look at the World?

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It’s a simple innovation but the button is one of many small wonders we see every day. So what is it that makes the button so special, and could learning about it make us happier, maybe even come up with the next small wonder? It can!

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30 minutes

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Adventure to the Island that Came Back from Extinction

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Can we really save an entire ecosystem when it is nearly hunted to extinction? We can! Let’s adventure to an island of survival where life is once again finding a way.

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13 minutes

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What Does Impossible Mean?

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In the quest to achieve the highest jump on record, athletes are pushing the limits of the human body and redefining the word “impossible”. But what do record-breaking jumps like this say about what is possible for any one of us to accomplish?

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9 minutes

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Helping Kids Find Community Even Without a Home

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How do we give millions of kids stability and community in the face of homelessness? Girl Scout Troop 6000 has found a way to start in New York City’s Shelter system.

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13 minutes

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Shadow Dancing Taking Us to New Worlds!

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The dance troupe Pilobolus is known for their mind-bending work and their incredible experiments in shadow and performance will completely transform your sense of reality!

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9 minutes

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Doing the Impossible: Reconnecting Mind and Body

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What if paralysis is no longer inevitable with a severe spinal cord injury? There is a remarkable technology in development that will, hopefully, change the lives of many in the coming years! Once again, the power of the human brain is astounding to watch. Take a look!

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8 minutes

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Celebrating Culture and Empowering Youth in Hawaii

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How can farming blend scholarship, tradition, empowerment, and service to the community? MA’O farms in Hawaii is empowering the young people of Oahu’s Waianae coast with a program that is changing countless lives and building a stronger future!

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5 minutes

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These Books Could Be Hiding Secret Paintings on Their Pages

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Fore-edge painting is a dying art form, but these beautiful, hidden works of art remind us to look for and celebrate the hidden beauty all around us!

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14 minutes

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The Harder the Work, the Less Impossible the Dream

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Chris Boucher’s story is unique in the NBA. He didn’t grow up with a basketball in hand or aspired to play as a kid, yet he became a record-setting player. So what’s his secret? Even if sports aren’t what excite you, there’s something in his journey for all of us to apply to our lives. Let’s explore.

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12 minutes

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Libraries on the Front Lines of Homelessness

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Public libraries are finding novel and wonderful new roles in our communities despite the evolving digital world. Here is one that has it all: it makes the best of elements that were in plain sight and the model can apply to all kinds of problem-solving.

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11 minutes

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Lost Wallets Proving It’s Still an Amazing World

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When YouTuber Mark Rober lost his wallet, he turned it into an opportunity see if a lost wallet could prove people are good (or not) and the results… well, they’re pretty surprising.

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10 minutes

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Sadie McCallum Shows Us Why Invention is for Everybody

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Meet Sadie McCallum, a young inventor who is taking the unique problems she faces with Cerebral Palsy and building innovative solutions to help others!

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10 minutes

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The Fossil Lake that Froze Time

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In Messel, Germany there is a place where time was frozen. Preserved in magnificent fossils, the animals of land, water, and air tell a remarkable story.

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5 minutes

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Meet the Hindu Bagpipers Bringing Cultures Together

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It’s easy to look back and see that some of the best innovators in history brought together two things that no one had ever thought to combine. For the best kind of ingenious fun with that concept, take a look at The Shree Muktajeevan Swamibapa Pipe Band: a worldwide organization of Hindu bagpipers who blend Indian and Scottish music in a brilliant cultural mashup!

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8 minutes

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The DNA of CHEESE!

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Cheese isn’t just delicious, it’s also a remarkable feat of science! And scientists are using DNA sequencing to learn more about it. Let’s see what they’re finding…

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18 minutes

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Our Plastic Waste Problem: It’s Not About Perfection

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We all know that plastic waste is a huge problem, but what are we supposed to do about it? Turns out there’s a lot we can do with just a few little changes!

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13 minutes

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How to Catch the Winds of Luck

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What if you could have more luck without just wishing for it? Here’s a Stanford Professor, with decades of research, pointing to 3 simple ways to start increasing the odds of finding more “good luck” in your life!

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7 minutes

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Detecting Malaria with Magnets

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Detecting malaria can sometimes be difficult in the most rural places, but engineers have come up with a clever way to detect it with magnets! Here’s how this life-saving innovation works!

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6 minutes

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When Conservationists Become Matchmakers

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The Maned Wolf faces the threat of becoming endangered. So, scientists in the US are becoming matchmakers to these creatures to help keep the species alive!

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22 minutes

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What Life is Like with Cochlear Implants

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Cochlear implants were the first technology to restore a human sense, and since their invention, they have changed the lives of hundreds of thousands. These are some of their stories.

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35 minutes

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Listening to the Babies

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Baby babble isn’t just cute. When babies are babbling their brains are actually engaging in much more complex thinking than just making noises!

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8 minutes

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Bringing The World Into the Classroom

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Ever Widening Circles has moved into the classroom! Learn more about how EWCed is helping inspire students’ curiosity and connect them to the wider world!

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9 minutes

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Meet One of Nature’s Most Confusing Creatures

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Have you heard of the Tasmanian Tiger, or Thylacine? These wolf-like creatures are actually related to koalas! How? A process called convergent evolution.

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