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

16 minutes

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The Simple Secrets to Bring More Joy to Life!

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Do you want to experience more joy? It’s actually pretty easy to make that happen! Joy is a deeply ingrained part of who we are, and there are small actions we can all take to surround ourselves with more of it. Take a look! 

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12 minutes

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How to Sail Around the World Without GPS or Technology — Just Ancient Knowledge!

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How in the world did ancient mariners navigate the vast oceans before GPS or technology? These techniques were almost a lost art. That is, until 2013, when Hōkūleʻa set sail to travel around the globe. Take a look at this remarkable ship’s voyage and how her crew is preserving the Polynesian tradition of open ocean navigation.

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15 minutes

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How Spain’s Human Towers Define Community

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How do you build a tower of people 50 feet tall and weighing as much as three elephants? Maybe more importantly, why? The castell builders of Catalonia, Spain are, quite literally, the definition of an uplifting and supportive community.

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6 minutes

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Mole Poblano Asuncion: The Sauce Made with 3 Generations of Love

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What tastes like home to you? When we’re far from home, food can bring us comfort and make us feel a little less homesick. The three generations of women at Mole Poblano Asuncion are bringing the flavors of Mexico to those who miss it most in New York City. Here’s their remarkable story!

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11 minutes

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Here’s How Seizure Detecting Dogs are Changing People’s Lives

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Can dogs really be life-savers? Meet the dogs that are helping their owners detect seizures up to 45 minutes before they occur! It’s a fascinating story. These pups are making life safer and easier for people who suffer from seizures.

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16 minutes

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Lessons on Being Prepared from One of the World’s Best Extreme Athletes

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Starting a new job, a new chapter in life, or maybe just doing something you’ve always wanted to do? Extreme athletes may seem like unlikely sources of inspiration, but their skill at how to avoid panic can be a great example of what we can do in our own lives!

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26 minutes

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Explore the Unseen Depths of our Oceans on One Breath Around the World

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Often the most extraordinary windows are opened for us when someone takes us on a journey we could never have gone on without them. Here is an extraordinary view of the unseen 70% of our planet. The video feels like a breathtaking freefall into wonder.

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16 minutes

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Tasting Peru: from Sea to Summit, the Andes to the Amazon

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Our foods and their traditions tell the stories of who we are. And even when we can’t seem to find common ground with someone on anything else, we can find common ground around the dinner table! Food is powerful. So we’re traveling to one of the most diverse foodscapes in the world to see how they’re preserving the legacy of their remarkable culinary culture! 

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6 minutes

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How a High School in a Nursing Home is Changing Lives

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What if we saw this new wave of people reaching retirement as a new generation of mentors? Connecting youth and older adults has remarkable benefits for everyone! Heres how one program is helping lead the way for whats possible.

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11 minutes

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Is the Yo-Yo Making a Come Back?

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When you think of a yo-yo you probably don’t think athleticism, creativity, and community. For those in the know, though, yo-yo can be all of these things! Yo-yos have become a creative and artistic outlet for a remarkable community of people. Check out how a world champion yo-yoer got his start and what world champion yo-yo skills look like!

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25 minutes

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How You Can Help Remove Thousands of Pounds of Litter from our Planet Every Year!

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Look almost anywhere and you’ll see litter, so what can we do to be better stewards of the environment? Why not join a growing movement of people taking little steps to collect thousands of pounds of litter, together! Heres a story that will inspire you to get involved.

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12 minutes

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Can You Hear the Golden Ratio?

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Could there really be a universal ratio that unites beauty, nature, and art? The Golden Ratio can be found all over the place if you know where to look. But did you know it’s found in music too? Is this coincidence, on purpose, or a creative tool? We’ll let you test it out and decide for yourself!

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15 minutes

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The Japanese Art of Waterfall Climbing

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When was the last time you had your breath taken away by the natural world? For Sawanobari climbers, these moments are all around them as they scale Japan’s magnificent waterfalls and experience the raw power of some of nature’s most beautiful features, in a whole new way!

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20 minutes

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ArtLifting: The Business of Empowering Hidden Talents

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ArtLifting began as a business working to empower homeless and disabled artists by giving them a marketplace for their work. Now, they’ve grown into a model that makes us ask: What if more businesses worked to energize the hidden talent around the world? How could that change all of our lives?

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20 minutes

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Preserving Our Nights Skies: A Mission Beyond the Stars

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When was the last time you gazed up at the stars of the night sky? Imagine if future generations didn’t have access to that wonder? Light pollution impacts 80% of humanity, and it can have serious impacts on our health and the planet. Here are the people working to save our dark skies and the easy ways you can make a positive impact too.

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14 minutes

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How Music Reshapes Our Brains

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Have you ever gotten chills when the right song comes on? What about that feeling of euphoria you experience singing your favorite song at the top of your lungs on a beautiful day? Is this just a quirk of humanity or is there something deeper going on here that connects us to our shared humanity? Science has some pretty remarkable answers to these questions!

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17 minutes

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Meet the People Using Technology to Save Our Coral Reefs

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Coral reefs are some of the most important ecosystems on the planet to each and every one of us, but few realize the connection. You may know coral is in danger, but the future isn’t as dark as we so often hear. Meet the people who are hard using amazing, cutting-edge technology to save our corals and building a brighter future for us all!

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20 minutes

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Celebrating a Global Communi-TEA!

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Did you know you probably have some fascinating connection to tea? This beverage has reshaped history and cultures around the world and led to many aspects of our lives today. So what does that say about some of the universals of human nature and our shared humanity?

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18 minutes

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What Ants Can Teach Us About Problem-Solving

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Did you know that there is FAR more to the ant/human relationship than painful bites? Turns out, weaver ants have been used for centuries to help farmers protect their crops! And better yet, these remarkable problem-solvers have some tips that can teach us all about our own lives.

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15 minutes

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Giving Our Skin Superpowers with Tattoo Nanotechnology

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You’ve probably heard of wearable technology, but what if your own skin could be used as a form of technology? What if it could tell you things about your health and wellness you didn’t have access to before? Nanoscience is teaming up with an unexpected artform to create an innovation that could revolutionize our collective future!

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15 minutes

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How Teaching Improv Skills to Scientists Will Change the Future

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What would the world look like for us all if we could understand each other better? Alan Alda may be best known for his skills as an actor in the hit series M*A*S*H* but for the past two decades, he has been educating scientists on how they can communicate their important work to all of us. His methods aren’t just for Ph.D.’s though, they are skills every one of us can use to become better communicators!

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14 minutes

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The Mystery of the Mini Mammoths

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Fossils are the gifts that keep on giving! They hold mysteries that challenge our notions about what is possible, then leave us with new questions. So when the fossils of a tiny mammoth were found on islands off the coast of California, scientists had a multitude of questions. The biggest, of course, being: How did evolution shrink the mammoth?

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50 minutes

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Taking on the Fundy Footpath!

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Have you ever been inspired to embrace a passion for something and then quickly realized you don’t have the training to enjoy it as you imagined? Maybe what we can appreciate is something very different than what we had in mind, and that makes the adventure even better.

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7 minutes

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Medical Clowning: The Noble Job of Spreading Joy

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What if there was a way to reduce stress, anxiety, and pain for patients in the hospital without the use of medication? And what if that “therapy” came in the form of an unexpected group of performers? It turns out medical clowning can have a profoundly positive impact on healing!

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27 minutes

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Reality, Illusion, and What’s In-between

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What illusion are you believing? Magician and puzzle master David Kwong knows a thing or two about tricking our brains. Here’s how we can use those insights to see our own biases and make ourselves less vulnerable to deception.

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20 minutes

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Bringing the Symphony to the Street

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We have all felt the connective and uplifting power of a great musical performance. But what if you couldn’t access to those moments that most feed your soul? Thanks to the work of a remarkable organization, the residents of LA facing homelessness and incarceration, these moments are no longer lost.

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16 minutes

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This Tiny Island Could Lead a Global Example

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How could a tiny island change the way the world thinks about tackling the problems of balancing economic prosperity with the environment? What connection does deforestation have to clean water, food security, and education? Here are a few reasons why our climate future isn’t as bleak as we so often hear!

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Meet the Dancer Combining Sign Language & Hip Hop

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Shaheem Sanchez lost his hearing as a child, but now as a professional dancer, teacher, and advocate he is on a mission to make ASL dance a movement. His work points to possibilities all around us, probably hiding in plain sight, if we can just eliminate our assumptions.

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8 minutes

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How Fossilized Poo Changed Our View on Dinosaurs

By

Fossilized dinosaur dung is one really precious gem! From these wonders (really, they are quite beautiful) we can understand the lives of animals that died millions of years ago and the details of their ecosystems. Not to mention, these fossils played a role in the life of one of the most notable women in paleontology!

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