What Is Everyone Else Doing? A Visit to HundrED.org

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. That makes sense.

What happens in our schools stay in our schools? Now that one doesn’t make so much sense. In fact, the number one question people ask me when I tell people I’m a doctoral student in the Global Executive EdD program, where we visit different countries to learn about their challenges and opportunities when redesigning education systems is, “What is everyone else doing?”

Who are HundrED?

Our first site visit in Helsinki was to HundrEd whose goal is to answer the very question I am always asked. HundrEd seeks to share inspiring innovations in K12 education. They research innovations in K12 education from around the world and select 100 Inspiring Innovations every year all of which you can find in their yearbook or on their website. Their goal is to have at least half of the innovations spread more than 10% annually shared Saku Tuominen, who is the CEO of HundrED.

I’m a big advocate for schools and educators sharing their story and the work that is going on to redesign teaching and learning. Educators work in perhaps one of the most isolating professions for a group that is to prepare people for all different walks of life. It is in this isolation that people often believe they are alone in the change they are creating. Feeling as if you are alone in creating change can be frightening, however when we begin to pull back the curtain and take people into our schools and classrooms we begin to realize we aren’t so alone after all.

Pukhraj Ranjan, Head of Community and Media (who is a delight to follow on Instagram and Twitter) shared how 83% of students want a greater focus on skills that prepare them for their future career and life and that 55% want to learn how to live a sustainable lifestyle. With so many creative ideas taking place worldwide HundrED is a place where you can go to access them all in one place.

How Are The Innovations Chosen?

What I particularly liked about HundrED was how they select their top 100 innovations. Tuominen highlighted that it isn’t necessarily the case that each year there are a new “100 innovations.” Often times the same ones are chosen that have demonstrated growth – it’s about going deeper not wider. These are easily accessible on their website and tagged to include themes such as empathy, math, personalized learning etc.

When examining the innovations there are two key criteria they are looking for – innovativeness, impact and scale. The HundrED yearbook outlines the process and rubric used:

How to Scale Innovation

The team at HundrED emphasize that small actions build momentum, it is the primary way to bring about change and innovation in schools. Over the years their experience has confirmed that there is no shortage of innovation taking place across education. There is however a shortage of awareness. Now the team is going one step further and creating a platform to connect innovators in education with investors – HundrED Connect. For the best innovations in 2019 7% were funded by capital investments and % were funded by governments. The majority of breakout innovations (51%) were funded by donations and grants and nearly a quarter (23%) were self-financed by the teachers or communities that started them.

So the next time you are looking for an idea to redesign the learning experience for your students, browse the incredible library at HundrEd.

I’m Sabba.

I believe that the future should be designed. Not left to chance.

Over the past decade, using design thinking practices I've helped schools and businesses create a culture of innovation where everyone is empowered to move from idea to impact, to address complex challenges and discover opportunities. 

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