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

12 minutes

[ ]

The Very Curious Way Robins Keep Their Nest So Clean!

By

When a nest of robins took up residence on this reporter’s porch, she had more than a few questions for her new neighbors. One of those questions lead her down a rabbit hole of curiosity that you might just want to know the answer to as well!

Read More

7 minutes

[ ]

Meet the Unexpected Monster of the Ancient Americas

By

They were once the size of elephants and others lived at sea, so what happened to the massive number of fantastical sloths that once dotted the landscapes of the Americas?!

Read More

6 minutes

[ ]

How the Printing Press Can Help Us Live Better in the Digital Era!

By

Why do people flock to a remote farm in Vermont to witness an art form that’s centuries-old? Well, perhaps it has something to do with reminding us all to reconnect to the slow, meaningful moments in life! Pause for a moment and join us for this wonder. 

Read More

15 minutes

[ ]

How We Predicted the Walk on the Moon, Cell Phones, and Siri!

By

For centuries now we have had a way of looking into—and even shaping—the future. But how is this possible? Well, some of our favorite movies and television shows are already giving us a glimpse into what life may look like in tomorrow’s tomorrow! Ready to take a peek?

Read More

9 minutes

[ ]

Feel the Magic That Happens When 17,000 People Sing Together!

By

When we’re forced to be apart from each other, remarkable ingenuity pops up to find that connection we crave. And nothing is more connected than a choir of voices singing together; let alone a choir of over 17,000 people! Here’s something to make your heart sing again. 

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

There Are Two Ways to Think About Time: Which Are You?

By

What if the tension and conflict you experience with your loved ones or your co-workers could be explained in terms of time! Your perception of time may be entirely different than somebody else, but knowing how this works could leave you with a lot less conflict in your life. This simple test will help you get started! 

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

Stitching Together History: The Incredible Work of Bisa Butler

By

Most of us want to be more tomorrow than we are today; to know more, to love more, to see more that expands what we think is possible. Even if you aren’t an “art” person, the extraordinary, life-sized work of Bisa Butler will leave you in awe of the history and future of humanity.

Read More

7 minutes

[ ]

Travel through Time While Reconnecting with Your Roots

By

What stories do you surround yourself with? Here’s how to start to travel through time by just appreciating the life you’ve built around you!

Read More

10 minutes

[ ]

The World’s First “Rock Star” Isn’t Who You Think!

By

Who was history’s first rockstar? I’ll give you a hint: he had long flowing hair, refused to bow to convention, made audiences swoon, and even broke a few instruments in his day. He wasn’t from the 1960s, or the 1950s, no, he made his name in the 40s—the 1840s! Any guesses yet?

Read More

7 minutes

[ ]

Meet a Man and His Dog Taking a Walk Around the World!

By

Join a man and his pooch on an epic walk around the globe! When we travel we are reminded of the things that make life worth living: natural wonders, the joy of discovery, and warm conversations with kind strangers. Here’s what can happen when you bring your best pal along for the journey. 

Read More

6 minutes

[ ]

When Is a Haircut More Than a Haircut?

By

Where do you go where you’re welcomed like a true friend? COVID-19 has made these places really stand out, like our salons, for instance. But even with closed doors, some of these barbers and hairdressers are finding ways to keep that connection going. Here’s a fun look at why!

Read More

10 minutes

[ ]

Where There’s a Weevil, There’s a Way!

By

Here’s a story that shows what’s possible when we use our strengths to solve big problems. When a Texas lake and way of life were threatened by an invasive species, scientists, community members, and weevils teamed up to save their beloved waters!

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

The Green Book: Why a 1950’s Travel Guide is Important Today!

By

In a time before the internet and GPS, Victor Green connected people all across the United States! He created a revolutionary travel guide that made the tradition of family road trips explode across the country! Here’s how the Green Book changed history—and why you’ve probably never heard of it.

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

Ping Pong Makes Progress for Parkinson’s Patients!

By

Adding a little fun to our problem solving can lead to great results! Don’t believe us? Well, in rec rooms across the world, there’s a table, two paddles, and a ball that may help reverse the effects of Parkinson’s Disease! Here’s that story. 

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

How to Become a Planet Hunter & Other Important Life Lessons

By

Have you ever had a moment that changed the trajectory of your life? For Anne Datillo, a moment of curiosity took her from college student to Planet Hunter! Whether or not we’re reaching for the stars, her story has some wisdom we can all learn from!

Read More

20 minutes

[ ]

The Conspiracy Chronicles: Having Difficult Conversations, July 2020

By

How do we keep difficult conversations productive? Here are some tips you can use and a great organization, Listen First, to explore!

Read More

13 minutes

[ ]

Become an Instant Backyard Scientist with iNaturalist! 

By

What if you could go on a safari and get up close and personal with hundreds of plants animals, no plane ticket, no fancy guide, and no money required? Now, all of us can experience our own backyards with a little more wonder thanks to this amazing app!

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

What Are These Walking Jellybeans Doing on Your Plants?

By

Most people would overlook these candy pooping, clone birthing, walking jellybeans, but you are not most people! These little gals will have you turning over more leaves, getting more excited about the world, and letting curiosity be your guide!

Read More

10 minutes

[ ]

How Dogs Are Helping Us Detect Cancer!

By

A group of highly trained dogs is learning to smell some of the hardest to detect forms of cancer! So, what are we learning from these super-sniffers?

Read More

8 minutes

[ ]

It’s an Octopus?! It’s a Blanket!? What is this Awe-some Creature?

By

Sometimes we need a little awe to reset our sense of wonder about the world!  When it comes to finding inspiration we need to look no further than the natural world. Billowing through the ocean, this giant creature will leave you with your jaw on the floor!

Read More

20 minutes

[ ]

Where Do Those Psychedelic Images of Space Come From?

By

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?!

Read More

17 minutes

[ ]

Hear the Howl of the Mightiest Mouse of the Desert!

By

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! 

Read More

12 minutes

[ ]

Why Spices Are WAY More Than the Spice of Life!

By

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?

Read More

10 minutes

[ ]

Enjoy the World’s Greatest Museums in Your PJs!

By

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!

Read More

12 minutes

[ ]

The Secret Power of Checklists

By

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!

Read More

15 minutes

[ ]

From Bunnies to Solar Systems: The Magic of Dust!

By

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.

Read More

7 minutes

[ ]

What Do New Yorkers Love About Their City?

By

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!

Read More

35 minutes

[ ]

Can We Bridge Change By Starting With What We Love?

By

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!

Read More

17 minutes

[ ]

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

By

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!

Read More