Working with leading innovation thinker Charles Leadbeater, we looked at several challenges facing education and noticed that there were remarkable similarities between the challenges faced by different communities. Some were more extreme than others, but they were in essence the same challenge—some schools in the United States might be facing a shortage of science teachers, and schools in Africa might have no teachers at all. Maybe they would have similar solutions.
This sparked an idea that Charles and Annika Wong took as the foundation of this report: that by looking at similar problems in different contexts, we might yield some global insights. And by looking at learning in the most extreme environments, we might just find the most innovative ideas of all.
They did in-depth research into some of the world’s leading educational innovations, meeting remarkable, inspiring people from around the globe. Some of these people have transformed education in their countries, often building from nothing and creating incredible institutions that are, right now, transforming thousands of lives. It is humbling to see them doing this without most of the resources that many education systems take for granted: often without funding, usually without teachers, sometimes
without buildings, and often without supportive governments. Many have used technology, but they’ve used it in a new way: not simply to automate processes but to inspire, to engage, and to connect.