2. About

Founder and editor Ted Wachtel

Founder and editor Ted Wachtel

My name is Ted Wachtel. I started working on this website in late 2015, a few months into my so-called retirement.

I had completed most of my responsibilities in the transition to my successor, John Bailie, the second president at the International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), an accredited master’s degree-granting school in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, U.S.A., where I was founder and first president.

I say “so-called” retirement, because I’m only 70 and I’m not dead yet. My dad died in 2014, a couple of months short of his 100th birthday, and my mom was 91 when she passed. In light of my parents’ longevity, I hope I’ll have time for at least a couple more projects.

My life might be described as a series of projects, some short-lived, but many ongoing:

Experiments, Prototypes, Working Models, Demonstration Programs

Young Ted Wachtel

Ted Wachtel in his teaching days

Since my graduation from Miami University (Ohio) in December 1967, I and various colleagues—often working with my wife, Susan—have organized projects to try out our ideas in the real world, through experiments, prototypes, working models and demonstration programs.

Susan Wachtel as Community Service Foundation Program Director

Of course, some of the projects did not work out the way I had hoped. But as a pragmatist, I know that I can learn as much from my failures as my successes. For each project, you ask the questions: “What works? What doesn’t? How? And why?” After which, you can apply the new knowledge and understanding to your next efforts.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. The most powerful and useful approach to learning is direct experience. It requires a willingness to fail and look foolish. But if you have thoughtfully considered your project and see enough value in it, you take a chance and leap into the fray of life.

1 – Local voter registration and political campaigns (1970 – ongoing)

Ted Wachtel monitoring poll results

Ted Wachtel monitoring poll results

 

Susan Wachtel helping distribute voters' guide

Susan Wachtel helping distribute voters’ guide

2 – School district-wide multimedia center for AV, TV and libraries (1970-1980s)

Ted Wachtel with superintendent William Keim

Ted Wachtel with superintendent William Keim

 

Media Center

District-wide Media Center

3 – Educational multi-media “Sensory Experience Room” and related slide shows (1970s)

Sensory Experience Room Setup

Sensory Experience Room Setup

 

Sensory Experience Room

Sensory Experience Room

4 – Individualized audiovisual secondary school “American Culture” course (mid-1970s)

Pioneering Ted's individual group discussion model

Pioneering Ted’s individual group discussion model

 

American Culture Course

American Culture course student handbook

5 – Educational sound filmstrip rental company (1973-1974)

Ted's Multimedia company

Ted’s multimedia company

6 – High school student-run local access cable television station (mid 1970s-1980s)

Student-run local access cable TV station

 

Student-run local access cable TV

7 – County government reform referendum, slide show and related research (1973-1975)

Governmet Reform Referendum

Government Reform Referendum

8 – Toughlove parent support groups and related books (1979-1983)

The ToughLove Books

The ToughLove Books

 

ToughLove

The ToughLove program gets national media attention.

9 – Elementary and secondary private academic alternative schools and related building construction projects (1977-ongoing)

Community Service Foundation

Community Service Foundation

10 – Group homes for delinquent and at-risk youth and related building construction projects (early 1980s-ongoing)

11 – Drug and alcohol treatment programs (early 1980s-ongoing)

12 – Day treatment programs (mid-1980s-ongoing)

CSF Day Treatment Programs

CSF Day Treatment Programs

13 – Workplace restorative practices implementation (1980s-ongoing)

IIRP DVD on Restorative Practices in the Workplace

IIRP DVD on Restorative Practices in the Workplace

14 – Natural food co-operative store (early 1980s)

CO-Op Store

Natural Foods Co-Op Store

15 – Organic mini-farm (early 1980s)

Ted's colleague and student working the mini-farm

Ted’s colleague and student working the mini-farm

16 – Geodesic greenhouse (early 1980s)

Growing salad greens in the winter

Growing salad greens in the winter

Geodesic Greenhouse

Geodesic Greenhouse

17 – Geodesic home and alternative septic system (early 1980s-ongoing)

Organic Mini-Farm

Geodesic home in early stages

18 – Solar envelope house design (1979-1981)

Ted Wachtel's architectural drawing of his solar house design, where he and Susan live today.

Ted Wachtel’s architectural drawing of his solar house design, where he and Susan live today.

19 – Passive solar housing development (1979-ongoing)

Roadbuilding to solar residential development

Roadbuilding to solar residential development

Framing out the second solar house

Framing out the second solar house

Building the first of the residences

Building the third residence

20 – Local conservancy for voluntary rural open land protection (1992-ongoing)

Local Land Conservancy

Local Land Conservancy

Tinicum Conservancy

Tinicum Conservancy

21 – Book publishing company (1992-ongoing)

The Piper's Press logo

The Piper’s Press, the publishing division of Ted’s management and consulting firm

22 – Computerized telephone referendum voting system (1992-1994) and related book and media tour

The Electronic Congress - Book about computerized telephone referendum voting system

Ted’s book about computerized telephone referendum voting system

 

Review of Ted's book, "The Electronic Congress"

Review of Ted’s book, “The Electronic Congress,” from the Midwest Book Review

 

23 – “Real Justice” training programs for schools and courts (1994-ongoing) and related books and videos

RealJustice program brochure

RealJustice program brochure

An issue of the RealJustice newsletter

An issue of the RealJustice newsletter

 

24 – Restorative practices training organizations in multiple countries & related books & videos (1994-ongoing)

25 – International restorative practices conferences, websites and eForum (1998-ongoing)

Conference Books

Conference Books

26 – Whole school restorative practices implementation program and related research (1999-ongoing)

Brochure for the SaferSanerSchools program

Brochure for the SaferSanerSchools program

27 – Accredited master’s degree-granting graduate school (2000-ongoing)

International Institute for Restorative Practices logo

28 – Special education licensing for multiple schools (early 2000s-ongoing)

29 – Management and consulting company (2004-ongoing)

30 – Si Lewen art collection and museum (2006-ongoing)

Brochure for the Si Lewen Art Collection

Brochure for the historically significant Si Lewen Art Collection

31 – College campus residential life restorative practices implementation program (2009-ongoing). See related book at right.

32 – Residential solar electricity project (2011-ongoing)

Ted and Susan power their residence (of Ted's design) with a passive solar array.

Onsite solar electric panels power the Wachtel’s passive solar residence.

33 – Building a New Reality website (2015-ongoing)

BuildingANewReality.com

 

NOTE: I am currently working on three prototypes that my colleagues and I hope to build and evaluate, with the support of those who share my concerns about governance, enterprise and learning.

34 – True Representation (2017-ongoing)

True Representation logo

True Representation is an experiment in governance built on RP principles. “True Representation” advocates for election by lottery and other forms of direct democracy.

35 – GLIA (proposed)

GLIA (Global Local Investment Association) is a proposed experimental non-profit association, guided by restorative principles, that fosters investment in globally aware, ethical local corporations. The global association will ultimately be based on local membership chapters.

36 – Threshold (proposed)

Threshold Logo

Threshold is a proposed non-profit or certified B/benefit corporation dedicated to building a non-graded, non-school lifelong learning system — an approach first proposed in an article by Kenneth Silber in 1972. Threshold will develop non-graded, participatory experiences for independent learners, homeschoolers and for schools that foster self-directed learning.