The Big Picture

Here is a fantastic blog post from EdWeek by Sanjli Gidwaney that describes the kind of work we will be doing at the Summer Institute:

Opinion: Global Learning - How Design Thinking Helps Students Take Action, March 20, 2017


United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) contributes to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational, scientific, and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with the fundamental freedom of expression proclaimed in the United Nations Charter.

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) represent a universal, ambitious, sustainable development agenda, an agenda “of the people, by the people and for the people”

Pooran Desai and Sue Riddlestone founded BioRegional which led to One Planet Living -- a framework which makes it easy for individuals, businesses and municipalities to understand and engage in a sustainable future.

In this talk, Pooran Desai asks questions that are crucial to the survival of our species: Can we live happy and healthy lives within the environmental limits of our one planet? Can we harness environmental and social technologies to create a future of abundance rather than scarcity?

Mission: “Transition US (TUS) is a national hub organization for the international Transition Towns movement of communities transitioning off fossil fuels, living in balance with resource limits, and building equity for all. Our mission is to catalyze and strengthen a national network of citizen-powered groups who are building local resilience through community action.” Online Training Archives, Transition Stories, and more.

Alexandre Magnin covers related topics such as: Sustainability Explained with Natural Science, 4 Root Causes of Unsustainability, and a Sustainability Challenge.

Recorded on April 19, 2012 in Mayser Gymnasium. Van Jones, environmental advocate, civil rights activist, attorney, and co-founder of three non-profit organizations: Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change, and Green for All.


World Savvy - an overview

World Savvy is a national education nonprofit that works with educators, schools, and districts to integrate the highest quality of global competence teaching and learning into K-12 classrooms, so all young people can be prepared to engage, succeed, and meet the challenges of 21st century citizenship.

Will our kids be ready for the world in 2050? World Savvy founder, Dana Mortenson, explores how teaching and learning in the U.S. is changing, or should change, in our rapidly evolving, interconnected global society.

Fernando M. Reimers is the Ford Foundation Professor of Practice in International Education and Director of the Global Education Innovation Initiative and of the International Education Policy Program, Harvard Graduate School of Education. In his Keynote speech, Professor Reimers talks about how education and the UN's Sustainable Development Goals are intricately linked. Here is his article Educating for Global Competency.

Participate strives to encourage global competence and advance sustainable development goals through a teacher exchange program, professional development, school transformation initiatives, and an excellent blog. Mission: All learners deserve access to quality education that prepares them to succeed in an increasingly global society.


Students and teachers need not memorize the five environmental principles and fourteen supporting concepts. Rather, they are “big ideas” intended to inform standards-based instruction and fuel student inquiry. Official California curriculum: 85 unit guides, aligned with the ELA, NGSS, and Social Science standards for K-12 teachers. PDFs, free online and free printing by request.

Pandora Thomas and Zakiya Harris aim to reconnect youth of color to the earth using innovative strategies "Get Fresh" and "Grind for the Green."


"We know not everyone can make a trip to the to experience how we teach design thinking. So, we created this online version of one of our most frequently sought after learning tools."

The great challenge of our time is to build and nurture sustainable communities, designed in such a manner that their ways of life, physical structures, and technologies do not interfere with nature's inherent ability to sustain life. To do so, requires a new ecological understanding of life, as well as a new kind of "systemic" thinking.

Systems & Design Thinking: A Conceptual Framework for Their Integration, by John Pourdehnad, Erica R. Wexler, and Dennis V. Wilson explores the relationship between Systems and Design Thinking. It specifically looks into the role of Design in Systems Thinking and how looking at the world through a systems lens influences Design.

Peter Senge's keynote speech "Systems Thinking for a Better World" at the 30th Anniversary Seminar of the Systems Analysis Laboratory "Being Better in the World of Systems" at Aalto University, 20 November 2014.

A Little Film about a Big Idea

A short film from Cabrera Research Lab, who recently released the book, Systems Thinking Made Simple.

This is a brief introduction to the ideas behind Systems Thinking.