​Mark Hancock was a student in the original “Third Wave” class (now simply known as “The Wave”), is now the class historian, and Associate Producer of two Third Wave documentary films: “Lesson Plan” in 2010 (which resulted in a national CINE Golden Eagle Award and bronze Telly Award, plus other film festival awards), and in 2019 the new film “The Invisible Line” produced by the History Channel in Germany. He is also manager and webmaster of the primary Wave story resource website www.thewavehome.com

An international teacher and speaker, Mark has visited and supported many Wave classes, theater projects, and film festival screenings in the United States and internationally, including in the US, Canada, England, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Spain, Israel and India. Providing media support in TV, radio and print, Mark has been quoted in the London Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post, and The Huffington Post. He has spoken at Holocaust centers and synagogues, and a highlight of his work was a presentation at the United Nations.

Mark is currently a PhD student in the Holocaust and Genocide Studies program at Gratz College. He holds a Master’s in Nonprofit [NGO] Leadership from Seattle University, and a BA in Architecture from the University of California at Berkeley. While at Berkeley (and before that at UC Santa Barbara) Mark witnessed the major student demonstrations and riots in the late 60s. One fun anecdote is that 6 months after the Wave class, Mark attended Dulwich College in London (the type of school Harry Potter was modeled after). Mark is a lifelong civic volunteer and activist, with a long history of community service, coming from a family of teachers and public servants. He cares deeply about the issues the Wave story raises, including leaders/followers, critical thinking, human rights, and promoting responsible and positive behavior in our complex world and democracy. Mark has traveled to over 50 countries and all seven continents, and is a licensed hot air balloon pilot.

Mark is a graduate of the month-long “International Seminar for Educators” program at the Yad Vashem Holocaust Center in Jerusalem, and his memberships include: International Association of Genocide Scholars (life), Washington State Council for the Social Studies, US Holocaust Memorial Museum, Seattle Holocaust Center for Humanity. Mark’s IMDB page is: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm4709523/

About Mark’s Visits

Mark’s main role is to support and enhance your work, however you use or want to hear about the Wave story. When visiting schools, Mark is equally at home in a classroom, or an assembly. Most often a class has already studied a Wave book or seen one of the movies, and Mark fields questions from the class. Sometimes Mark brings and screens the Wave documentary movie called “Lesson Plan.” In lieu of a movie when time is short, Mark has a 30-minute personalized presentation about the original Third Wave class, which is again followed by questions and discussion. It is of course possible, once there, to visit multiple classes at a school, or multiple schools in an area. Theater visits often include a presentation and discussion with the cast, and often a Q&A session with the audience after the Wave play or musical. Local media support for theater projects can assist in generating more exposure and interest in the production within the community and boost ticket sales. Mark brings the documentary “Lesson Plan” to film festivals and community organization events, where he is happy to support the screening with advance media support and then fields questions from the audience after the screening (he also attends and supports screenings of the other Wave movies).

Q&A discussions often cover the history, context and details of the original 1967 Third Wave experiment, as well as the subsequent Wave stories. Mark addresses his personal experiences as a student in that class, what he saw, what he felt, and what he learned. Themes and topics include charismatic leaders, group dynamics, followers, bystanders, upstanders and extremism in general. The Third Wave experiment was triggered by a student’s question about the appeal of the Nazis during a teacher’s Holocaust history lesson, and the Wave story lessons are also closely related to contemporary discussions around genocides today, as well as bullying and gangs.

While the Wave story serves as a lesson and a warning of what can happen when people get carried away with their cause at the expense of others, it is important to consider the positive things we can do to offset or prevent those things from happening. Positive objectives can include tolerance, coexistence, understanding, love and support of others. Identifying core values, sticking to them in day-to-day activities, and finding clarity and courage when faced with life’s difficult situations. Using independent informed critical thinking, speaking up and taking a stand. And ultimately, participating in our democracy and supporting our democratic freedoms of speech, information, press, assembly and of differing beliefs – democracy is not a spectator sport.

Ours is a shrinking world – this is a time to turn away from intolerance and hate, and to instead respect and embrace our differences and the strengths that we have working together.