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.

How to Map Your Curriculum to 21st Century Skills

Aug 15, 2019

21st century skills—otherwise known as soft skills, human skills, or mobility skills—are the future of work. The last time we dove into skills mapping, we aimed to help our partners better understand it as a key tool for designing educational programs that better equip learners for the needs of an evolving workforce. So, what do you do if you’re not able to quickly and drastically redesign your curriculum to meet employer’s skill needs? Meet 21st century skills curriculum mapping.

Read More

4 Ways to Design a Better Workshop: Notes from the Lab

Aug 1, 2019

At the Lab, we take great care in designing sessions with our partners that are productive, engaging, and learner-centric—and we’re always looking for ways to improve our practice. Earlier this month, our team gathered in DC to reflect, expand our methods toolkit, and ultimately, get better at what we do.

Read More

Starbucks U: Evidence the School/Life/Work Weave Model Could Begin to Scale

Aug 1, 2019

Last week, EdSurge published “5 Years Since Starbucks Offered to Help Baristas Attend College, How Many Have Graduated?”, a report on the 5 year outcomes of the Starbucks College Achievement Plan, which has helped over 3,000 Starbucks employees earn their first bachelor’s degrees at minimal personal cost with a combination of scholarships and reimbursement funds.

Read More

Designing for Motivations and Barriers: Preparing learners for “what they don’t know they don’t know”

Jun 13, 2019

In our human-centered design work, we’re often faced with the conundrum of balancing (often at odds) learner input and the defined needs of supervisors, educators, or employers. Two weeks ago, we faced this very issue during our second design session to advance our UpSkill SA! work with Palo Alto College, Alamo Colleges Online, and Goodwill San Antonio.

Read More

Middle skills workers don’t have time for college, so we’re bringing college to them

May 22, 2019

Goodwill workers are rich with 21st century skills but not getting credit for them

Read More

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.