Peter Bergson co-founded Open Connections with Susan Shilcock in 1975 and served as its Executive Director until he retired in September, 2008. Peter now serves as Chair of the Development Committee, responsible for fundraising, and also as a part-time consultant to Open Connections, focusing on writing and other special projects for OC. He is developing ways to advance OC’s broader mission of extending the choice of Open Education and Self-directed Learning to all young people, particularly those in the inner-city. Toward that end, he has co-founded a new center called The Natural Creativity Center, located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He is currently the Lead Facilitator of NC’s teen program and a member of that Board as well as OC’s.
Peter graduated from Harvard College. His background includes work as Director of Training for Synectics, Inc.—a creative group problem-solving firm located in Cambridge, MA—in the early 1970s, and work in an innovative Montessori-based school in Connecticut. Peter and Susan were married until her death in 2005; their four progeny all attended OC up until college and continue as self-directed, life-long learners as adults.
Peter is committed to ensuring the sustainability of Open Connections and the mission of shifting America’s balance from the traditional school paradigm to one of self-organized education for all. He loves construction projects like the recent Tire Swing Environment project at OC, and spending time with his six grandchildren. He is also a key member of a group of educators who developed the website AlternativestoSchool.com.