carolyn hamilton

carolyn hamilton bw

[lake tahoe, ca]

intro’d to Carolyn via Logan‘s tedx.. when he shares that..

it was a relief when my good friends mom started Squaw Valley (Kids‘) Institute..


here’s an article talking about Carolyn starting the institute with 10 members.. via the squaw Valley Institute.. (exec director – Renee )

squaw valley article

For more than a decade, the Squaw Valley Institute has been bringing speakers to Tahoe to foster “uncommon conversations,” as its tagline states. But in the past two years, with the arrival of a new executive director and associate director, the institute has continually upped the caliber of its speakers, selling out tickets to many of its events. Even with heightened interest in the institute’s lectures, however, the nonprofit is still struggling to increase its membership, and its future remains uncertain.

Two years ago, Renee Koijane joined SVI as executive director and came up with a winning formula for bringing talented speakers to Squaw — selecting topics that are timely and relevant to the local community, and always striving to bring the highest-level expert in any field.

“I ask, ‘Has this topic not been heard before, do people here not have access to these speakers, and is there a constituency that needs to hear this now and will they come?’” said Koijane.

And came they did. Sir Ken Robinson’s talk in October on creativity and education attracted 830 people, the most attendees at any SVI event ever. 

In October, Matt Reardon, an events producer and former pro skier, joined the Squaw Valley Institute as its associate director. Koijane said Reardon’s arrival has energized the organization. The two are already busy planning next year’s lectures, which include a talk on bullying and another on hydraulic fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas from the earth. 

About six months after Koijane came on board, the institute launched the Squaw Valley Kids’ Institute, spearheaded by Carolyn Hamilton. The Kids’ Institute’s 10 members, who range in age from 11 to 14, get a chance to meet with the speakers and ask questions, along with studying the relevant topics.

“It makes kids feel empowered to sit at the table,” said Koijane. “It’s a little gem.”


and another – a more in depth write upsof Logan’s talk – including this insight from Carolyn:

logan via carol

“The easiest road is to do what everybody else is doing: to start with kindergarten, to let them get on the bus, and that’s it,” says Squaw Valley Kids Institute founder Carolyn Hamilton, whose family has been close to the LaPlantes since Logan was 8. “But these kids who throw their ideas out there into the real world with a book or a talk or an internship—they develop beautiful relationships with mentors.”

And that’s when you see how little difference there is, Hamilton says, between creating an innovative education and creating an innovative life.


here Carolyn is hosting a q&a with svki and Sir Ken:

oct 18, 2013