Genevieve Griffin, Founder of Small Steps Go Places
My formal life began when I became a first generation college student in 1978. From then it has been an unexpected adventure. I headed down a pathway that had no familiar road map, and led me beyond my town, state, and country toward the land of discomfort. Although there were plenty of times I wanted to run away and hide, I learned by embracing the discomfort, acting as if I knew what I was doing, that I would put together the most unanticipated life.
Around 2012, I began using the designing process I had learned about decades before in grad school. Transition was my way of life, and incorporating and reframing others’ stories came naturally. I did not need to reinvent the wheel but also knew that transition did not need to be boring, dry, and a chore. Everyone transitions into something, and I knew how to break down what appeared to be insurmountable into manageable steps.
I believe I can help people do what they do, more effectively.
Sticking with my own vision has taken hours of research, trial and error, low-tech adaptations, and spunk. It has meant checking my ego at the door, learning to feel proud even when my output is not perfect, correct, or even pretty.
According to Peter Senge, there are four challenges in initiating changes. At first, I applied these to me:
- There must be a compelling case for change (that would be learning to go to college)
- There must be time to change (I have had so many opportunities)
- There must be help during the change process (my experiential approach)
- As the perceived barriers to change are removed, it is important that some new problem, not before considered important or perhaps not even recognized, doesn't become a critical barrier (using my core principles to choose ways to adapt but not box me in)
I realized I could help people learn to move beyond problem solving, to creating how they would transition. That realization has made all the difference.
Genevieve Griffin CV
1986, Masters, Urban Planning & Game Design University of Michigan
1982, BA Family Psychology University of Michigan
1980s highlights: University of Michigan, international trip through Poland, Russian, East and West Germany, Austria, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Greece, Turkey, and Israel. Relocated to the northeast. Residence Life work in the State University of NY system.
1990s highlights: Relocated to Washington, DC area, worked in Office of HUD, World Bank, and learned about food monetization. Refocused on HIV prevention. Relocated to NYC and developed CDC-funded program for adolescents in NYC. Married and had three beautiful children with the love of my life.
2000s highlights: Home-schooled our three beautiful children and lived a full life.
2010s highlights (so far): Finished home-schooling, parenting high school students who became college students. Started a blog, trademarked a phrase, had an idea that has grown into Small Steps Go Places Inc, OPTION PLAY, and more to come.