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“Mattering” is What’s Missing in Schools: US Founder of Global Well-being Movement

31 May 2017

Student disengagement from school, the rise in mental health issues and the recent anti-establishment votes in the US and UK are a product of people not feeling valued or that they matter, according to the US founder of a global well-being movement.

In her first Australian appearance, Angela Maiers, will share how she initiated a global “mattering” movement and how it is transforming schools and influencing governments and global brands at Independent Schools Queensland’s State Forum – Limitless Possibilities tomorrow (1 June).

“With all the money we pump into education, kids are not running to school. They are not more excited and more empowered by their education. What kids want more than anything is to feel like and know they matter,” Ms Maiers said.

The US educator and author created the grassroots YouMatter movement six years ago after recognising a culture gap in schools.

Her message to students is simple: “You are a genius and the world needs your contribution.” Schools across the globe have adopted her philosophy and her “Genius Hour” initiative which empowers students to pursue “passion-driven” projects that make a difference.  

Ms Maiers said while her message should be “100 percent common sense, where it goes awry is that systems do not commit to turning it into common practice”.  

She says “mattering” is not an “add-on” or a “plug-in” to a school program that can be done in one afternoon or over the course of a term.

“The idea that mattering is ‘the agenda’ is a shift that’s happening in every industry and at a revolutionary level. It’s a global imperative because we are losing our best asset which is the potential of our people,” she said.

During her forum keynote, Ms Maiers will share with principals and leaders how to embed and sustain a culture of mattering in their schools through “consistent, focused and courageous leadership”. The next day, June 2, she will host a practical workshop for teachers that will guide them how to embed mattering and Genius Hour in the classroom.

ISQ Executive Director David Robertson said the biennial ISQ State Forum exposed Queensland independent school leaders and educators to new ideas and inspiring international thought leaders on education.

Also speaking at the 2017 ISQ State Forum at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday (1 June) is:

  • Richard Gerver, internationally recognised author and authority on change management. The former UK principal will share how unleashing human potential can lead to organisational transformation.
  • Professor David Christian, director of the Big History Institute at Macquarie University and co-founder of the Big History Project with Bill Gates. Professor Christian is dedicated to sharing his interdisciplinary approach to understanding the history of the world with schools around the globe;
  • Mark Sowerby, inaugural Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and influential business leader. Mr Sowerby will share his insights into Queensland’s start-up ecosystem – a key generator of jobs in Queensland’s transitioning economy.

For more information on the forum and to register go to

Media contact: Justine Nolan M: 0428 612 315 E:

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