The Innovator Network

A collective of individuals, universities and employers committed to student-centered academic transformation. Curated and hosted by Education Design Lab, the Network fosters thoughtful dialogue, collaboration and solutions to challenges facing higher ed today.

The Learner Revolution

How Colleges Can Thrive in a Skills and Competencies Marketplace

Education Design Lab's 2019 white paper

Reflections from five years of applied human-centered design at 100+ institutions

The Learner Revolution Discussion

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, we celebrated the Education Design Lab's five year anniversary by hosting a dinner and discussion about the future of work and the demand for new postsecondary education-to-workforce solutions.

Moderated by Kathleen deLaski, Founder and President of the Education Design Lab, and featuring George Mason University President, Ángel Cabrera, and Amazon Web Services Senior Manager of Worldwide Education Programs, Ken Eisner.

Discussants include Goodwill Industries International Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement, Wendi Copeland, Penn Foster CEO, Frank Britt, League for Innovation in the Community College President and CEO, and Lab board member, Rufus Glasper.

A New College Model? Design it with Students.

Jul 9, 2020

When I got a phone call from the Provost of Catholic University three years ago, I did not know why he wanted to meet. But that meeting led to a design sprint, which led to a groundbreaking pilot that launches this fall, COVID notwithstanding. Catholic University wanted to return to an original mission in its 130-year history, to serve those who could not afford its private college sticker price and not only those who could travel to Washington, DC, to live on its storied campus. They were the first university to ask the Lab to help them create a much more affordable version of themselves, and one designed with first-generation Latinx students in parts of the US that have no Catholic colleges. As Provost Andrew Abela, who is now Dean of the Business School, describes it, “We wanted a program that was low-cost and high tech, but also high touch.”

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DCPS and Education Design Lab Team Up with Employers to Offer Remote Summer Internships

Jun 18, 2020

Education Design Lab, the national nonprofit that pioneered the concept of learner-centric design in education, today announced the launch of a paid remote internship program with District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) that will offer students hands-on work experience through real-world projects submitted by employers. More than 100 local high school students will participate in the Creativity for COVID remote internship program, an immersive, six-week experience that will culminate with students presenting their plans to employers and earning an industry-supported digital credential in creative problem-solving.

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Two Pathways, One Purpose

Jun 18, 2020

Over the past 15 months, the Lab has worked with partners in San Antonio, Texas, to design and launch two upskilling pathways to expand career opportunities for frontline workers. So far, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio, our employer partner, has seen substantial gains among program participants in productivity, collaboration, and leadership, skills essential for positioning frontline workers for middle-skill jobs.

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Now is the Time for Systemic Change

Jun 5, 2020

The Education Design Lab stands in solidarity with the Black community against the killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others whose lives have been stolen by institutional racism and injustice. In this moment of collective mourning, we lift our voice to join with those gathered in peaceful protest to demand an end to white supremacy and anti-blackness, ideologies upon which this country and its institutions were built.

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Engaging Learners Online in COVID-19: An Actionable Framework

May 7, 2020

A year ago, the Lab had just released The Learner Revolution, a whitepaper sharing learnings from five years of work with 125+ institutions on how higher ed leaders must position their institutions to improve learner outcomes, support learners’ economic mobility, and ultimately thrive in a rapidly changing landscape of learning options. Fast forward, and today COVID-19 has accelerated the forces necessitating these changes, most acutely impacting those students—like low-income learners, parent learners, first gen students, and others from historically underserved and underrepresented groups—who were already in need of a redesign of higher ed to enable their success.

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What is the Innovator Network?

We’re glad you asked. It’s a collective of individuals, universities and employers committed to student-centered academic transformation.

Curated and hosted by Education Design Lab, the Network fosters thoughtful dialogue, collaboration and solutions to challenges facing higher ed today. We hope you’ll join us.

Learn more or…

The Innovator Network is a place for you to form connections with similarly motivated colleagues in higher ed, as well as other higher ed institutions and industry. The Network also serves as a community and sounding board for issues and opportunities that you and your institution face.