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.

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 eye glasses 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.

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

12 minutes

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Can You Hear the Golden Ratio?

By

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

By

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

By

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

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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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16 minutes

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Aging Gracefully Alongside Your Loved Ones

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What if love and laughter could replace some of the struggles we face as our loved ones age and their memories decline? Could we see them and ourselves in new ways? Here are some insights from caretakers who have found ways to bring their relationships to life with a little creativity.

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17 minutes

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How the Jump Rope Became an Elite Sport and a Symbol of Community

By

Double dutch may be one of the most underrated sports out there. These young athletes combine football star levels of footwork with the flexibility of gymnasts and the speed of sprinters. Better yet, they are a part of a community built to give them the support and love they need. Now this is inspiring!

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16 minutes

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Fly Through London with Some Urban Bees

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Explore London from the fun and fascinating perspective of some of its smallest and most industrious inhabitants, the bees! They may not seem like the perfect urbanites but they have found some remarkable ways to adapt to life in the big city.

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7 minutes

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The Artist Who Brought the World Joy One Egg at a Time

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How can we spread joy with our work? Certainly, the answer is unique to each of us, but sometimes we need a little inspiration to get ourselves started. So let us introduce you to one of those sources of inspiration, Shari Kadar.

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13 minutes

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The Secrets Hidden in Your Sunday Crossword

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There’s a lot more to these puzzles than meets the eye. So what goes into making them? Why do we love them so much? And is there really any truth to the claims that completing a puzzle a day will ward off aging? Here’s all you could want to know about the world of crosswords, with a bit of fun added in! (We promise, it’s quite exciting!)

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11 minutes

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The Planet’s Unsung Hero, the Dung Beetle

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There’s a remarkable reason why there is not dung everywhere in our world. Think about it: the multitudes of creatures on this planet produce a lot of waste! So, what happens to all of it? Well, let us introduce you to one of the planet’s greatest unsung heroes, the dung beetle! Get ready to be astonished.

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32 minutes

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Exploring The Legacy Not Left Behind

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We may not get to go back in time to relive some of the planet’s wonders lost to human influence, but this is the story of a rare moment we get to catch a glimpse of the past to help us learn for the future.

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9 minutes

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Save the World One Paper Towel at a Time

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Want to be a part of making the world a little better place? Here’s a profoundly simple but impactful way to start! The U.S. uses 13 billion pounds of paper towels a year! And you—yes you—can begin to make a dent in that after you learn to shake and fold.

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16 minutes

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Do You Have a Doppelgänger?

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Do you have lookalikes out there? We’ve seen the images of people who have met their doppelgängers, but is there really a face like yours out there or are our own brains just being fooled? Here’s your marvelous brain at its best!

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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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