The art of the possible. The delight of wondering. The liveliness of diverse perspectives. The excitement of realized solutions. The reward of impactful transformation.

Oops-penandnapkinThe Office of Possibilities ignites and cultivates college-wide innovation to advance the future of learning. We are the “what could be” engine of Hope College, sparking a culture of possibility thinking and persistent imagining where ideas flow and people flourish.

Our aspiration is simple – help Hope College be captivating and impactful for those within and beyond. 

Exploring ideas should be fun, so we encourage a culture that is willing to try new things without fear of failure — “fail often to succeed sooner” is a central value for our office.

An incubator for ideas focused on learning innovation, the Office of Possibilities is an inviting and courageous space to explore and advance emerging insights and inspirations. It is a place where anyone with an idea can get help turning it into a reality. 

IDEA encapsulates our approach in working with you:

  • Imagine — What would bring Hope College to the forefront of learning innovation?
  • Develop — Who should be at the table to advance your idea? What information would enlighten the conversation? What are some potential approaches for implementation?
  • Evaluate — Which alternative reveals itself as the wisest approach?
  • Apply — What is necessary to realize the innovation?

Have ideas? Send them our way or reach out to talk!

Origins of the Office

On September 21, 2020, President Matt Scogin announced the Office of Possibilities in an email to the campus community.

Read the email from President Scogin

FROM: President Matt Scogin
TO: Hope College Campus Community
: Looking to the Future 

To help institutionalize creative thinking broadly around “the future of learning,” we will begin planning for a new innovation lab at Hope – an internal think-tank that we are tentatively calling the Office of Possibilities and Applied Innovation.

The vision is to have a safe and inviting space for big and bold thinking. This will be a place for us to explore what could be and test ideas together, especially ideas that may seem crazy or wild at first, so that we can actively shape what the future looks like both for learners as well as our academic and campus environment.

For example, we have learned much during our COVID-driven pivot to new modes of teaching and learning. How does this inform the potential for expanded infusion of digital experiences into our curriculum, while also continuing to invest in a high-touch liberal art educational experience? Might our gained expertise in online learning allow us to provide a more distinct, customized learning experience, or perhaps allow us to imagine novel educational pathways at Hope College?

Once fully operationalized, I envision this office staffed by a small team. Some might be rotating positions while others could be more permanent. Furthermore, I imagine opportunities for this office to engage the entire campus – inviting participants in for specific projects or idea generation.

The office will report directly to me and will be funded from outside the general operating budget by donor-supported funds. I have asked Dave Van Wylen to work with the development team on raising funds for this office and lead our initial efforts to get this up and running. His deep academic experience as well as his leadership as a dean will provide a great “face” for this ambition as we seek donor support. Beginning in early October, Dave Van Wylen will start transitioning out of his role as Dean for Natural and Applied Sciences. Our goal is to have the office fully established and funded within the next six months.

Spera in Deo!