Steve Kopelman is one of OutGrowth's kindred spirits. Dedicated to immersive, community-based learning, Steve inherently understands the value of meaningful experiences as paths to learning, perspective-building and ultimately, personal and professional success.
We love being in partnership with his organization, and look forward to seeing where we go next! In the meantime, we got to learn a bit more about Steve through our rapid-fire Q+A. To read on about his work and successes, take a moment to check out his latest En Root feature, Designing Optimal Experiences.
Tell us about your professional journey to date. How have you remained dedicated to immersive learning?
I started my first business right out of college, which involved running and organizing corporate sports leagues. It grew from eight teams and 150 people playing softball to 800 teams and 15,000 people playing sports with their co-workers and friends, all year round. Active Excursions grew out of that business.
At OutGrowth, we are committed to giving access. Talk to us about your take on the importance of providing access to immersive opportunities.
I think it is great when folks can have cool, hands-on, interactive experiences. We love to watch people enjoy these moments.
Tell us about a pinnacle point or moment when immersive/experiential learning had an impact on your personal or professional life.
Watching some of the kids come to the Piedmont Learning Center and experience wildlife for the first time, or put on a bee suit and see the honey bees up close--it is amazing seeing their reactions.
What are your top three pieces of advice for students and professionals who are looking to find ways to get involved in immersive learning opportunities within their day-to-day?
Do it. Do it now. Do it right now.
What is your favorite quote?
"The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing." -Walt Disney
Based on your professional experience, what are the top three career competencies that you believe can be gained/developed from immersive learning?
2. Problem Solving
3. Work Ethic
Steve has been an enthusiastic and committed entrepreneur since his graduation from the University of Maryland in 1990. The first business he developed was a college project that turned into a business upon graduation.
Steve started SportsLeagues, LLC, with eight softball teams in the summer of 1991. From there, he grew the business to 800 teams and 15,000 participants.
Steve's original idea for Active Excursions was hatched over 10 years ago while he was running and organizing the sports leagues and programs: aside from running softball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, and flag football leagues, why not take this same clientele on trips and help them with travel and event planning? Active Excursions evolved from his love of the outdoors, his desire to help people connect with nature and protect the environment, and his passion for introducing people to holistic ways to health and healing.
Now, Steve operates his newest non-profit, the Piedmont Learning Center, which connects environment, education and community in an interactive and outdoor learning space.