If you could give your child one gift, what would it be?

March 30th, 2022

At the Alliance, we passionately believe that every child should be given the gift of knowing how to make a good decision.

I want children to know that with every decision, they have agency. And I want them to seek out decisions as opportunities to improve their lives, to treat those decisions as a way to pull different futures into the present.

Joe Sweeney

Alliance Executive Director

Alliance Executive Director Joe Sweeney shared what drives his passion for the Alliance’s mission on the Schroders Value Perspective podcast.

Every student, he said, should learn how to structure a decision, avoid cognitive biases, learn to think in probabilities, and develop the skills of valuing rationality.

“In valuing rationality, there are two key parts that can change everything for a child. They need to learn to see the world more accurately—to value truth seeking instead of wanting to be right. And, they need to learn to behave in ways consistent with their goals, not how they feel in the moment.”

Through Decision Education, which the Alliance is advocating should be a part of every student’s learning experience in the United States, students would learn all of these skills, and that will lead to improved decision-making and better outcomes.

“Do you want to see yourself as the author or co-author of your life? Or, are you just reacting, going with your gut and hoping for a good outcome? If decision-making is the way you author your life, you would think you’d want to get better at it. If we could get that in kids’ heads, the whole game changes.”

Decision-making principles and skills are already being applied by highly successful leaders and companies across many industries. That includes decision makers in finance and investing technology, professional sports and sports management, the military, and emergency response. “If it means a lot in the domains we know about, just think about what more we could and should be doing.”

Teaching these skills to students will empower them today and help them chart their futures. They will go on to positively impact themselves, as well as their families, communities, companies, and society.

“Whatever area of life you are passionate about—geopolitics, hunger, the environment, criminal justice—there are decisions being made. And the quality of those decisions is the thing that we have control over. If you could improve those decisions by even a little bit, everything we care about gets better.

The magnitude, and the responsibility, of what we can do simply by embracing Decision Education for our children today, is enormous.

Listen to the full interview on Schroders Value Perspective Podcast.

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  • Looking Ahead to 2024

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