Category Archives: Mirror Network

Lemann Foundation, an entrepreneur truly changing the world

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The Lemann Foundation is a non-profit organization, created in 2002 by Brazilian entrepreneur Jorge Paulo Lemann. The goal is to enhance the quality of public education in Brazil, with a focus on guaranteeing that every student learns, and to speed up social change in Brazil. They also focus on identifying and nurturing all upcoming talents to create an active network of game changers who will be able to move the country forward. 

The Lemann Foundation works on four key areas: 

> Innovation – promoting and facilitating the adoption of high-impact education innovations in Brazil

> Management – helping capacitate school systems and classrooms by identifying and training school leaders

> Policy – support research, test programs with all partners  in the field and disseminate promising models 

> Talents – nurture vocations for social change by training young leaders and connecting them

Instituto Ayrton Senna, enhancing the quality of public education

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What Formula 1 and the Instituto have in common are dreams. The pilot enabled many people to dream through his victories and he created the organization in 1994 to enable many more Brazilians to get a chance at making their dreams come true thanks to a great education.

The Instituto aims at addressing educational challenges in Brazil both from a qualitative and quantitative standpoint at the same time. They partner with the state, with ngos and with companies making sure all the actors play the same game and that their different efforts move forward in the same direction.

The Institute prepares more than 75,000 teachers and managers every year, and almost 2 million children and young people benefit directly from the work of these teachers, who are trained by the organization, in more than 1300 municipalities in various regions in Brazil. Funded by its own resources, besides donations and private initiative partnerships, the Institute provides to public administration, free of charge, management services of the educational process. This process includes diagnosis, planning, training of managers and educators, development of innovative pedagogical and technological solutions.

Their good results lead them to contribute to policy making in Brazil. The Instituto is a vivid example of amazing philanthropic engagement turning into high scalable impact. A model to join and replicate maybe?

CDI, pioneers of the digital inclusion in Latin America

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Founded in 1995 in Rio de Janeiro, CDI is a socio-enterprise using a unique socio-education approach to empower populations at risk. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) are used to fight against poverty and to stimulate change and entrepreneurship within the communities. The 150 employees and 2000 volunteers now manage operations in 11 countries in Latin America and Europe and thanks to them 724 digital inclusion spaces can welcome new students daily. In addition to low-income communities, these peculiar schools are also present in indigenous communities, psychiatric clinics, hospitals for the mentally and physically disabled, as well as youth & adult detention facilities. 

CDI helped families learn the ICT skills they need to reconnect with their lost members after the earthquake in Chile. CDI also enables inhabitants from Rio’s favelas develop the skills they need to get a job and even provide them with some working opportunities. Today, you will quickly be excluded without any basic technical know-how, CDI is trying to minimize this skills gap in order for everyone to be able to participate in the conversation and not to be ignored because their poverty level prevented them to access a computer.


+ Acumen – when great social impact becomes the best learning experience you have had

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Acumen paved the way of venture philanthropy and created a worldwide community of fellows changing the way we tackle poverty. Acumen raises charitable donations to then invest in organizations, in people and in ideas. Acumen is about impact, about community and about leadership.

No wonder many many people around the world wanted to join the movement. They created chapters to promote Acumen’s work and results but they wanted more. Therefore, the team launched + Acumen, a division dedicated to transmitting best practices and ground work lessons from Acumen to a larger community of volunteers and professionals from the non-profit and for-profit sector.

+ Acumen isn’t a classic e-learning platform. It goes far beyond that and actually creates a powerful and vibrant learning community at an international scale. All courses are based on actual experience and entail a transformative process you have to go through. They blend state of the art online learning – readings, videos, discussion forums, etc. – with offline experiences and always relate to your real life context to make the apprenticeship useful. They even succeed in delivering an adaptive leadership class through the web! More courses are uploaded regularly and will give you critical insight on the most current issues in the space. Should you want to enhance your potential to change the world, you will be able to do it: alone with a personalized curriculum and with great peers are you will be part of teams to accompany you through the learning process.

+ Acumen offers a unique blend that matches exactly the type of learning experiences that really impact you.


Change you life in One Month – Code up!

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Time is everything in our fast-paced world.

One Month is simple, efficient, dynamic, interactive. One Month is lovable.

This online platform, its tutorials and really well-done material give you the possibility to get the tech skills you need to change careers, to create your product, or to work from home. One month to learn how to code and discover what freedom tastes like. You will get all the support you need and be able to earn a certificate to showcase your newly acquired competences.

See you next month?!

MIT Media Lab – exploring the future

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The Media Lab is an incredible but yet discrete place where great minds are envisioning the future of people, of media, of technology, of education, of energy, etc. They not only investigate this future but they design and contribute to build it while sharing their state of the art work and best practices with an international community.

The 25 research groups welcome students and amazing faculty and experts all collaborating in a very antidisciplinary and creative frame. Excellence is a requirement, tryouts and results a must and unconventional a rule.

If you are asking yourself questions you think no one else is thinking of, you might just find a team already exploring adjacent interrogations and testing innovative solutions there. A whole space to actively follow.

NuVu – PhD projects for middle and high school students

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So, at NuVu middle and high school students achieve PhD level design projects.

How? They can either enroll in the year long program by themselves and come from 9am to 3pm every week day to work in the studio with their peers, a coach and an assistant coach, to work on  “Balloon Mapping”, “Music and the City”, or “Future of Global Warming”. Or their can also participate through their school if this one choses to partner with NuVu on a term or year long basis.

What? This innovative pedagogical model enables students to develop both their analytical and creative skills. They build their own online portfolio and develop all the skills they’ll need for the 21st century. They have access to MIT and Harvard resources as well as to experts in the different fields they work on. Their work is reviewed every three weeks and they receive valuable and concrete feedback from highly experienced practitioners.

NuVu incarnates the new, let’s hope it becomes the norm!

HGSE – finally a practice based doctorate !

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Practice based research, many faculty worldwide would find this concept ridiculous and only worship “pure” research.

The Harvard Graduate School of Education is, once again, ahead of its time and created the first Doctorate of Education Leadership. This unique interdisciplinary model offers a curriculum shared with the Kennedy School of Government and the Harvard Business School to a cohort of talented practitioners and provides them with the opportunity to advance the field of education by doing and reflecting on their actions. In three years, participants will increase their level of expertise and strongly enhance their leadership potential while contributing to academic research. Finally a degree acknowledging expertise and experience.

It is most certain that this program will have the next major change-makers among its alumni.

Teach for America – from Ivy to teachers to policy

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Everybody knows TFA, don’t you?!

There is even an international branch of the famous non-profit working to change the way future leaders think about education by giving them a very close look into it. How? By turning them into teachers right after they graduate and before they move forward to their investment banking or consulting job. After a 5 weeks training they become teachers in quite a difficult school and get to experience the problems of the educational system first hand. This experience will enable them to care about the issue and to advocate for solutions when they will be in positions of power. Graduates from the program are indeed involved in making the new policies about to improve the US education system.

Even though this model is key in the policy battle, there also are some downsides: the TFA teachers only receive a 5 week training and that somehow discredits the 5 years of studies others go through to become teachers; the TFA teachers are not prepare to interact with others and their Ivy experience doesn’t necessarily contributes to improving school cultures or peer to peer exchange of best practices; the TFA teachers only experience very difficult schools and when they eventually get the possibility to change something they advocate policies based on this biased experience.

The TFA model can’t unfortunately work in all countries and should be refined in the US to better match the existing school system. But yet, it is the major improvement and effort made so far for American students and gives a unique experience to many many graduates who will most certainly impact the world for the better.

Kindertown, an app for parents to chose elearning tools

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KinderTown transforms mobile devices into powerful teaching tools by finding and organizing the best educational apps for kids ages 3-8 years old.

They want to improve early childhood education by empowering parents with the tools to be better teachers. They help them find the best educational apps for children. Each app has been tested and reviewed by educators, parents, and most importantly, children. They take many factors into account including educational value, ease of use, engagement value, design features, artwork, cost, and shelf life. Through this process, they help parents use their iPhones, iPads, and iPod Touches to teach their children anything.