So, speaking of certification:
Becoming an Eagle Scout is a big deal. It’s a lifelong title, and involves not only earning a fistful of merit badges, but organizing and leading a community service initiative. So returning that Eagle Scout badge in protest is a big deal, too… and as of today 150 one-time scouts have done it, in protest against the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to uphold its anti-gay membership policy.
I found out about it when fellow speechwriter Hal Gordon, who wrote for the Reagan Administration, blogged the letter he sent to the BSA (along with his badge), and linked to this Tumblr blog, Eagle Scouts Returning Our Badges. Have a look – the letters vary widely in tone, but I was struck by the passion and, very often, sadness.
On a happier note, have you checked out Mozilla Open Badges? To make it easier for people to get recognition for the skills and knowledge they’ve gained, Mozilla has created an infrastructure that allows organizations to issue and manage badges that people who earn them can display across the web. (Naturally, the first badge you earn is the “I really get badges!” badge.) You collect your badges in your Badge Backpack, and the idea is you’ll be able to display them on your blog, a company web site or your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles. It’s still a work in progress, but this could be the beginning of something awfully great.