The Starling Way
an inside-out journey into leadership.
The Starling Way is our introductory program on leadership, providing a new set of building blocks for a new kind of leader. Designed and delivered leveraging progressive philosophies on how people learn, this four-course journey offers a new kind of learning experience.
While you can’t become a great leader in just a few weeks, you can put in place the mindsets and habits that will help you become one over time. In the tradition of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and Harold Nelson and Erik Stolterman’s The Design Way, The Starling Way is more than a learning program—it offers first steps into a new way of being. One that—we believe—helps us build a more equitable, sustainable, and healthy future of work.
In each course, learners are exposed to a short synthesis of generally accepted perspectives, in addition to alternate and critical viewpoints. Don't expect lengthy videos—by design, our content is concise and plays second fiddle to the exercises and activities that truly help us learn.
While some may be more comfortable completing the courses in sequence, learners may complete them in any order and should find the experience equally rewarding. You do you!
Learn more about the courses in the Starling Way and apply to join an upcoming live cohort or enroll in one of our self-paced offerings below.
The Starling Way Program
How Will I Learn?
The Starling Way is designed to be a new kind of blended online learning experience—one that is fundamentally active, socially oriented, and designed with your brain in mind.
In an Online Format that Matches Your Needs.
We offer both live cohort-based and self-paced learning options. Cohort-based learning consists of a set of self-paced materials and activities to complete on your own time in advance of a weekly live session hosted on Zoom. Live sessions are facilitated by a guide and offer a high impact, interactive experience that builds on what you learned on your own and introduces the social component that is critical to effective learning.
On a Unique Platform.
After extensive research, we decided to host our courses and community on Disco, a purpose-built operating system for learning communities. The platform promotes ongoing discussion and conversation, seamless integration of events, and an organization of the learning experience that promotes self-directed behaviors.
With NO Experts.
Counter to traditional models and in keeping with more forward-thinking notions of teaching and learning, there are no “experts.” Our course designers are more like journalists or the smart colleague you like to go to for help. Through extensive research and in consultation with experts, they synthesize and summarize the range of perspectives that exist, and encourage you to formulate your own opinions. One of our founding beliefs is that you don’t need to learn from an exalted expert—we have a lot to learn from each other.
In changing the narrative on who we can learn from, we’re also changing the dynamics of the learning experience. Our traditional educational systems were not built to encourage questioning—ours is. The Starling Way encourages you to be an active participant and leader in your own learning, rather than just passively watching videos and answering simple quiz questions.
We ask our learners to contribute to the course. Lessons are punctuated with moments to contribute opinions, experiences, and expertise that are compiled and inserted as core content in future terms.
And Coming Back On Your Own Schedule.
By design, each course contains more than you likely want to tackle in a week. Our goal is to provide learners with the autonomy to choose what is of interest to them, while suggesting a path through the material for learners who prefer additional guidance. The Starling Way is designed to be a resource that you keep coming back to, either on your own schedule or as you continue with our curriculum.
Who Designed This Program?
Co-founder Rachel Koblic is the lead designer on The Starling Way, drawing on a braintrust of many talented leaders and designers, as well as her own nearly 15 years of experience “in the middle.”
Rachel has designed learning experiences, led learning teams, and built learning programs at everything from a library and a wine school to 2U/edX and Pavilion.
As a learning designer, her focus is on creating learning that works, learning that is fun, and learning that is accessible to a wide audience. As a leader, she believes in authenticity, transparency, and humility. She’s a generalist at heart and has both an M.S.Ed. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and an A.B. in History from Princeton University.
Rachel lives near Saratoga Springs with her partner, two dogs, three cats, and four chickens.
“Rachel embodies what I believe a modern leader should be like. Rachel manages to maintain a balance between being a deeply compassionate and caring leader who knows that her employees are human with the need to drive work forward in an innovative and visionary way."
(Customer Education Manager)