Phil DeVol: Having been in a position to watch Bridges Out of Poverty grow, and I wish I could say I was a visionary and all of this came about through my vision, but that would not be at all true, what I find is that Bridges is something that people like for the content and the ideas in it, but they also like Bridges because it’s not a program. It’s a set of ideas, constructs, and thinking tools.

We invite people to take the ideas and run with them and to innovate. That means they get to innovate in their own personal life, they get to innovate in their institution, they get to innovate in the community, and all of this took place and was always a step or two ahead of where I was and where Terie Dreussi-Smith, who coauthored the first book with me and Ruby Payne, you know, and they used our work in such surprising and wonderful ways.

Gene Krebs: It’s a very organic process, isn’t it?

Phil DeVol: It really is. And people want to be really linear about doing it, but it’s all based on who likes it and who the catalyst is, you know? And you don’t know in the city or county who the catalyst is going to be and what backer or organization is going to get behind it. But now there are so many of us that we get to learn from each other.

Listen to the podcast for more.