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Our Willingness for Vulnerability

Aaron Urbanski approaches education holistically, and his outlook on growth, education in a community context, and continuous learning are just a few of his perspectives that make him a truly valuable member of our community. Enjoy our Q+A with Aaron below, and be sure to check out his recent feature in this month's issue of En Root!

This month's theme is all about education. Tell us about how you interpret this theme, and how it has played a role in your personal or professional life.

My relationship with the idea of education is strongest when I remember learning is most effective inside a community.

At OutGrowth, we believe in designing the space and time to reimagine the path forward. How do you believe education plays a role in growing into our best selves?

Accepting the need for education is intimately linked to our willingness for vulnerability. That is, admitting we have things to learn is an act of bravery with few rivals.

Tell us about your most significant professional moment since the start of the pandemic.

In the summer of 2020 I volunteered to organize and produce a free series of web events through JHU Carey Executive Education. Each web event was attended by hundreds of individuals. It was clear we were providing an important service to people during tough times.

How did this experience change the course of your life, your career or your outlook from pre-pandemic times.

It committed me to updating my digital technology skills, most significantly in the areas of audio and video design.

What is one competency or skill you hope to develop in 2022?

Even though I work with with a small team, I can do better with knowing the limits of my capabilities while collaborating within the limits of my coworkers' skills. Oh, and I would love to get better with video production tools.

What inspires you these days?

Watching my children grow and develop outside of my shadow.

At OutGrowth, we believe in preparing the next generation of leaders. What is one resource (book, podcast, article, anything!) you'd recommend to those looking to carve out the time for growth in 2022?

For those who enjoy consuming literature and stories: Interview someone on how you should read a book. For example, maybe there is a classic you want to explore, but don't know how to approach it. Find out what other people love about a story and consider reading it through their eyes.

What's next? What are your next steps toward growth in 2022?

Our bodies are much more than our minds. Listening to my body as a whole will lead to the best version of myself.

Aaron Urbanski was raised in coal country in the northeast extension of Appalachia. He now lives near the borders of Pennsylvania and Maryland with his wife, Emily, and kids - Max and Paige.


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