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

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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5 minutes

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The Shoe that Grows Keeps Growing!

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What if more businesses were built to have a positive impact on the world? Kenton Lee, the founder of The Shoe that Grows, is working to make an even greater positive impact on the globe with the launch of GroFive, and Expandles!

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20 minutes

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Preserving the Cultural Heritage of Rapa Nui

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Rapa Nui, or Easter Island, is well known for its Moai. While many go to see these incredible stone statues that tower over the landscape, few are introduced to the rich culture they represent. This is the story of that culture and the people working to preserve it!

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11 minutes

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The Beautiful World of Bacteria

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Before you cringe, bacteria aren’t all “scary” or “bad”. In fact, bacteria are not only beautiful, they are essential to keeping us healthy and alive! So here are some of the artists and scientists who are celebrating the wonders of the microbial world.

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5 minutes

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Masterful Mimics of the Natural World

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There are numerous species of insects and spiders (like this little friend pictured here) who have evolved to look like other animals, the natural world, and even bird poop. But how has this happened? And why?

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6 minutes

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The Universal Language of Our Emotions

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Does your smile mean the same thing as my smile? What about your frown? How is it that we can intuitively understand another person’s emotions simply by looking at their expressions? There are a few universals in life, and our smiles may just be one of them.

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9 minutes

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How Cecilia Chiang Changed Food in America

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If you’ve ever enjoyed Chinese food in the United States, like potstickers and Peking duck, then we’d like to introduce you to Cecilia Chiang. She’s the “Julia Child” of Chinese cuisine, and the story of how she changed the way Americans eat is as remarkable as her influence!

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8 minutes

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Your Dance Moves Say More About You Than You Think!

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Whether your preferred move is the running man or the moonwalk, here’s the science to help you bust it better!

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13 minutes

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The Case For Making Useless Things

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How can we bring joy and humility back into the work we do? Why not have more fun! Simone Giertz is the queen of terrible robots, and she makes a great case for why we should embrace making “useless things”.

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16 minutes

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When (Artistic) Worlds Collide

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What happens when you take a graffiti artist and a painter and give them one day to create a mural together? (Spoiler: it’s definitely some sort of magic!)

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5 minutes

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This Museum is Sparking Curiosity Anywhere!

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Meet MICRO, an amazing organization bringing the wonders and knowledge of museums to everybody, with tiny museums built to inspire curiosity!

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4 minutes

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The (Actual) Magic of Mona Lisa’s Smile

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Great art can be hard to “get”, but here’s how Leonardo da Vinci used his masterful understanding of human perception to craft the Mona Lisa and transfix us 500 years later!

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8 minutes

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Visit the Water Park of an Inspired Future!

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Morgan’s Inspiration Island is the world’s first ultra-accessible water park, and this remarkable place not only connects kids with the power of fun but is spurring on meaningful innovation!

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9 minutes

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This Beautiful Image Comes from a Dinosaur Bone!

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Have you heard about the scientific field called Paleohistology? Scientists are creating stunning images that are not only breath-taking but revealing new insights into the lives of dinosaurs!

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12 minutes

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Meet Lucas the Spider, Your Cure for Arachnophobia!

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If you’re one of the many people who suffer from a fear of spiders, we may have found a very adorable way to lessen your fears! (And if you are already a spider fan, well, you’ll love this.)

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15 minutes

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How Does Language Shape the Way You See the World?

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Lera Boroditsky shows us how our language shapes our perception of the world in her fascinating TED talk! What are the implications of these variations?

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15 minutes

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Why Does van Gogh’s The Starry Night Captivate Us?

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We’ve all seen this painting before, but why do we love it so much? The answer is a fascinating mix of science, legend, mathematics, and our place in the universe.

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9 minutes

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Exploring Emergence, The Universal Property That Shapes Us

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At what point do you become you? How many neurons does it take to make you who you are? How many cells? Today, we celebrate emergence, the universal property that makes us who we are and shapes every corner of our world.

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7 minutes

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It’s a Dog, It’s a Deer, It’s a… Whale?

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Whale evolution is a remarkable story in the history of life on earth! Here’s how the whale went from a tiny deer-like animal to the creatures we know now.

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4 minutes

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Taking a Quiet Moment for Wonder

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Need a little break in your day? Take a moment to appreciate a little bit of wonder and let us introduce you to one of the most beautiful videos we’ve come across thus far!

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7 minutes

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How is Bitcoin Influencing our Search for Alien Life?

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In all that you’ve heard about Bitcoin, you’ve probably not thought about its unintended consequences on the search for extraterrestrial life. Here’s how these two seemingly unrelated worlds are colliding.

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