ADVISORY BOARD

In order to help Design for Change spread to as many countries as possible and empower every child with the infectious I CAN Mindset, we have enlisted a range of superstars in the field of education from around the world to be part of DFC's advisory board. These experts will be using their extensive combined experience to provide guidance and direction to Design for Change and advance the I CAN movement globally.



  • Alison Bellwood
    The World's Largest Lesson, Creator & Director

    Alison Bellwood


    Alison is a creative communications expert with a specific focus on children and education. She worked extensively with some of the world’s most recognised brands (PepsiCo, Unilever, Nestlé) before partnering in the creation of a children’s learning programme to encourage global citizenship in K6 students.


    Since 2014 Alison has created and directed the World’s Largest Lesson, a programme delivered in partnership with UNICEF, to build understanding for the UN Sustainable Development Goals and inspire social activism in students. She has worked to bring together United Nations agencies, NGOs, high profile figures such as Sir Ken Robinson and Malala Yousafai and the educator community, to introduce thousands of educators and millions of students to the Global Goals in over 130 countries.


  • Yaccov Hecht
    Education Cities - the Art Of Collaborations, CEO

    Yaccov Hecht


    Each and every one of us is unique and exceptional. Yaacov Hecht has been carrying with him this belief since early childhood, as a dyslexic "problematic" schoolchild, and until today as CEO of Education Cities - the Art of Collaborations.


    Yaacov’s belief along with his desire to help every child find his/her uniqueness and bring it to fulfilment, drove him to found, 30 years ago, the Democratic School in Hadera, Israel - the first school in the world to be called a democratic school.


    Next, in 1993, he initiated IDEC - International Democratic Education Conference as an instrument to maintain his support of the international network, which convenes every year in a different continent. IDEC has facilitated the establishment of hundreds of innovative democratic schools around the globe, 30 of them in Israel.


    After the assassination of Israel's Prime Minister, 22 years ago, Yaacov was asked by the Israeli Ministry of Education to promote democratic values and democratic educational perception in schools nationwide.


    In 1996, he founded IDE - the Institute for Democratic Education that worked on integrating democratic and innovative processes in Israeli public schools. As part of Yaccov’s work in IDE, he opened the first academic program for training of democratic education teachers in Kibbutzim College of Education, Israel's leadingcollege of education. Then, he opened a graduate program in Democratic Education in Tel Aviv University. In 2007, Yaacov initiated the Pioneer training program for innovative and groundbreaking school principals.


    After years of collaborative work in schools with the Israeli Ministry of Education, Yaacov came to the realization that the center of gravity is shifting from the State to local authorities. For instance, Mayors can implement today innovative educational programs in their municipalities, and promote the necessary collaborations for transforming the city into "one big school". Education Cities organization, which was founded in 2010 by Yaacov, perceives the task of weaving and maintaining these kind of municipal collaborations as a work of art.


    In January 2017, Education Cities was chosen by the Finnish project HundrED, as one of the ten leading education initiatives in the world.
    Today, Yaacov's work in Education Cities is wide-ranging and comprehensive and covers all levels of education: In the classroom, in the schools, in the city, nationwide and in the world.
    As a whole, Yaacov perceives the task of preparing the education system towards the future as his life’s mission.

  • Wendy Kopp
    Teach for America, Founder
    Teach for All, CEO & Co-Founder

    Wendy Kopp


    Wendy Kopp is CEO and Co-founder of Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations that are cultivating their nations’ promising future leaders to ensure their most marginalized children have the chance to fulfill their true potential.

    Wendy founded Teach For America in 1989 to marshal the energy of her generation against educational inequity in the United States. Today, more than 8,000 Teach For America corps members—outstanding recent college graduates and professionals of all academic disciplines—are in the midst of two-year teaching commitments in 52 urban and rural regions, and Teach For America has proven to be an unparalleled source of long-term leadership for expanding opportunity for children. After leading Teach For America’s growth and development for 24 years, in 2013, Wendy transitioned out of the role of CEO. Today, she remains an active member of Teach For America’s board.

    Wendy led the development of Teach For All to be responsive to the initiative of inspiring social entrepreneurs around the world who were determined to adapt this approach in their own countries. Currently, the Teach For All network is comprised of partner organizations in 53 countries on six continents, including its founding partners Teach For America and the U.K.’s Teach First. Wendy has been recognized as one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People and is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and awards for public service. She is the author of A Chance to Make History: What Works and What Doesn’t in Providing an Excellent Education for All (2011) and One Day, All Children: The Unlikely Triumph of Teach For America and What I Learned Along the Way (2000). She holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University, where she participated in the undergraduate program of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Wendy resides in New York City with her husband Richard Barth and their four children.

  • Juan Antonio Ojeda Ortiz
    OIEC, Academic Director

    JUAN ANTONIO OJEDA ORTIZ


    Brother of La Salle. Doctor of Education from the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain, with the thesis: "The Universities in network for the generation and transfer of knowledge". Teacher and Bachelor of Pedagogy. Former Secretary General of Catholic Education in Spain. Former President of the National Association of University Teaching Centers of the Church, in Spain. Former Vice President for Europe of the International Association of Universities La Salle (AIUL). Former Dean of the La Salle University Center in Madrid, attached to the Autonomous University of Madrid. Speaker at multiple National and International Congresses. Trainer of trainers and Center Managers. Expert in Management and Organization of Educational Centers, as well as in educational trends, collaboration and networking. Advisor to different Educational Institutions, national or international, for the creation and development of a collaborative culture, working in their own networks and with others. He has been Director of the World Congress of Catholic Education, held in November 2015, in the Vatican, Rome. Gold Master Award from the Senior Management Forum and Gold Desk of the CEAAEC (Spanish Confederation of Alumni of Catholic Schools)

  • Marc Prensky
    Global Future Education Foundation, Founder

    Marc Prensky


    Marc Prensky is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed speaker & author, working to empower the planet’s two billion kids to Better Their World via a new, third-millennium upbringing and education. Coiner of the term “Digital Native,” Marc has authored seven books and 100+ essays -- translated into a dozen languages -- and has spoken and consulted in over 40 countries. He founded and currently runs The Global Future Education Foundation and the Real-World-Impact Project Education Network (ARISE-NET.WORLD). Marc attended Oberlin College and the Sorbonne, holds an MBA from Harvard, a Master of Arts in Teaching from Yale, and has taught at all levels from elementary to college. Earlier in his career Marc acted on Broadway, spent six years at the Boston Consulting Group, headed an early prototype charter school, and founded a learning games company that ran for over a decade. Marc’s writings, interviews and videos can be found at www.marcprensky.com.

  • Sandy Speicher
    IDEO, CEO

    Sandy Speicher


    Sandy Speicher is CEO of the global design firm IDEO. As a practicing designer and educator, Sandy is internationally recognized for her expertise in designing large-scale systems.

    Sandy has stewarded some of IDEO’s most significant client relationships creating impact for business and society. Her iconic work in Peru designing a school system from the ground up has been lauded as a game-changing example of systems design. As of 2019,Innova Schools has grown to 43 schools, 2,000 teachers and 43,000 students in Peru. It has recently scaled to Mexico, and the model is widely cited as inspiration in other countries.

    Sandy has been widely cited in publications such as the New York Times, Quartz, and the Wall Street Journal, and has taught at the Stanford d.school, Washington University in St. Louis, and Redding Elementary School in San Francisco. She serves as a member of the Thought Leadership Council at the Khan Academy, is a strategic advisor to Pearson, and frequently speaks about the value of design thinking to designers, educators, and leaders in business and government around the world.

  • Saku Tuominen
    HundrED, Founder

    Saku Tuominen


    Saku Tuominen is a Finnish entrepreneur, education innovation specialist and the founder of HundrED. HundrED helps schools change by seeking and sharing scalable innovations in K12 education globally. He has written 14 books, consulted various companies and been teaching innovation in Aalto University in Helsinki.

Sreeja Basu


Sreeja is passionate about solving problems, and finding creative and effective ways to do so. They are often initiated by her own life experiences, like the absence of sexuality education in her schooling, which led to her interest in this field. She likes to think in and explore range of mediums while approaching any project, and then select the most appropriate one. Illustration is where her expertise and comfort lies.

She is also extremely interested in food and takes every opportunity to try new food preparations. She had also started an illegal food business from her PG while in college with a few friends, which did take off… but had to be shut down.

Sometimes obsessively) striving for perfection, she is “Driven, and always driving, Sreeja doesn't only do, but also makes happen. Without a moment of disinterest, it is her conviction to goals that sets teams off!”- said Reetika Kalita, a fellow co-worker and friend at the fellowship.

Sreeja studied Art and Design at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, specializing in Communication Design. She then pursued a post graduation diploma in Liberal Studies at Ashoka University through the Young India Fellowship. Most of her work as been related to education (and more specifically sexuality and life skills education) and creating material for students and teachers.

Dominic Florisca


Dom has a BSc in Economics from the University of Bath in the UK and has worked as a Management Consultant with Capgemini around Europe for 3 years. Through volunteering and pro-bono consulting with NGOs Dom discovered his passion for working with young people and towards improving education globally. He is excited to be part of Riverside School and to be a Fellow at Design For Change.

Dom was born in Romania before moving to the UK, which explains his love of mountains and nature - and he also enjoys discovering new cultures and countries so much that you will likely find him exploring at every opportunity.

Anjali Chhabra


‘Outside the comfort zone, is where the magic happens’, is the motto that drives this dreamer. With a strong belief in the children’s power to become superheroes, Anjali Chhabra aspires to become a peace educationist by making education a laboratory of peace. A Journalism graduate with masters in Peace and Conflict Studies, she has done intensive field and research work in the border areas of Kashmir. Recently she graduated from Gandhi Fellowship, a two year leadership programme in Mumbai (Maharashtra) aimed at transforming the head masters of government schools to leaders of tomorrow. Her vision is to create a successfully scaled peace education curriculum based on PLAY and ultimately mainstreaming it in the state’s education policy.

Asma Hussain


Asma has spent half a decade with children inside the classroom as an educator. Spending her time inside classroom taught her to be patient, humble, curious and a believer in persistence. She has completed her Bachelors in Economics. She also has a Bachelors degree in Education. Before joining Design for Change, she was a fellow at Teach for India.

Amogh Lux


Amogh Lux is a recent graduate from Chapman University in Orange, California with a degree in public relations, advertising and fine art. He firmly believes in the power of innovation and simplicity in tailoring experiences. A self proclaimed brand enthusiast, Amogh's goal is to help spread the “I Can” attitude around the globe via social media. His plan is straightforward; to turn up conversation and keep social media social.

Pranay Desai


Pranay Desai is an integral member of Design for Change. He has 11 years of design practice behind him. He graduated from the prestigious MS University of Baroda and specialized in Visual Communication. He started ‘IINFI Design Solutions’ in 2000 with his partner, Chintan. His core competency is in the area of graphic design. He is responsible for the design and technology backend expertise and support for Design for Change.

Anshul Aggarwal


After finishing his BE in Mechatronics from Manipal University and working with IMEC in Belgium for 6 months, Anshul joined DFC in 2011. He has since slipped into the role of Chief of (pretty much) Everything with complete ease. It’s standard practice to find Anshul looking alarmingly sleep-deprived, as it is to find his emails in your inbox at ridiculous hours. Don’t be fooled by his frequently spaced-out look; Anshul is a stickler for perfection, and demands it of everyone around him.

On the rare occasions that he is not working, you’ll find Anshul in some remote corner of the country exploring his interest in folklore and storytelling or making an earnest, yet unsuccessful attempt at growing a respectable ponytail. The ponytail aside, we don’t know what we would’ve done at DFC without Anshul and his remarkable ability to get things done.

Nikita Desai


Nikita Desai joined as a member of Design For Change - Global team in 2017. She has been with Riverside School for the past 17 years as a parent, an educator, Head of Riverside Learning Center and as a School Leader for Key Stage 2. (Grades 3 to 7) The fundamental philosophy that drives Nikita’s impeccable work ethic of hard work, dedication and user-centered design is, knowing that with adequate opportunities and support, every child can do anything and everything. Attuned to the Design for Change motto of ‘I Can’, she aspires to help all her students become aware of what bothers them and then to empower them to shift focus from vision to action. Nikita’s understanding of the pedagogy has been strengthened through training in Multiple Intelligence, Differentiated Instruction as well as an online course by the Harvard Graduate School of Education - ‘Teaching for Understanding’. She was invited to present Riverside’s philosophy by the Royal Education Council of Bhutan and Day Star School, Beijing. She has also been to schools in Rajkot and Chittoor as an auditor for their pedagogy and practice. Nikita enjoys interacting with people and meeting new minds, photography, listening to music, traveling and trying different types of food.

Parul Patel


Not only has she seen the beginning of DFC, Parul has been around since the founding of the Riverside School itself, way back in 2001. A graduate of B.Com, Parul uses her administrative super powers to ensure the smooth functioning of DFC as well as Riverside. With her knack for building enduring relationships over phone, email, or in person, Parul is the point of contact for all our India partners and an indispensible asset for the team!

When she is not walking around campus interacting with students and teachers, you will find Parul perched on her favourite chair, which offers her the perfect vantage point to keep one eye on everything that’s happening while doing her work.

Ruchi Junnarkar


Ruchi Junakar is a graduate from Sophia College, Mumbai and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media with a major in Journalism. She joined Design for Change in February 2013 and is the main Coordinator for DFC’s annual Be The Change Conference, as well as the overall operations of DFC. Her persistent hard work and genial nature makes her a valuable teammate.

Nilufer Singanporia


Nilufer Siganporia is an Administrator & an Examinations Officer for Key Stage 3 at The Riverside School. She is a Commerce Graduate, and has a Diploma in Secretarial Practice. She is essentially a PR/HR person, and the first face of Riverside!! This makes her the perfect Coordinator for Hospitality, Guests and Communication for Design for Change. Her inherent love for children has made her a popular ‘Agony Aunt’ for everyone at Riverside. She is ‘high on life’, and strongly believes that ‘God has a plan for our life, and that’s all we need to know’.

Akanksha Agarwal


At Design for Change, Akanksha is trying to bridge the theory and practice of school improvement and learning through Design Thinking. She was a Gandhi Fellow and has worked with Bombay Municipal School Headmasters on designing more engaging learning environments in public schools. She dreams of designing a relevant and inclusive public education system. She has studied literature from Miranda House, Delhi University and has a Masters in Development Studies from TISS, Mumbai.

Over the years, Kiran, Riverside and Design for Change have won several accolades and Awards, and some of them are:

In 2011, Kiran won the prestigious "INDEX – Design to Improve Life Award".

In 2012, "Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Award".

In 2014, Design for Change was declared Lego Foundation's "Reimagine Learning Challenge Champion".

In 2015, Kiran was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize - instituted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation.

In 2015, Design for Change won the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Award.

In 2015, Kiran was conferred the Asia Game Changer 2015 Award by Asia Society.

In 2017, Kiran met the Pope in the Vatican to sign an Agreement whereby DFC is being introduced in over 460,000 Catholic Schools across the Globe.

In 2017, DFC has been recognised as one of the 100 most innovative educational programmes in the world by HundRED.org (based in Finland).

In 2018, Kiran has been awarded the “Light of Freedom” Award, at the Vital Voices, U.S.A., Global Leadership Awards.

In 2018 Edutopia covered The Riverside School for best practices. The Riverside School is consistently ranked as the No.1 International Day School in the City of Ahmedabad and State of Gujarat by EducationWorld India School Rankings.

After graduating from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (India) in 1989, Kiran successfully ran her own Graphic Design Firm for over a decade. She moved into Education when she founded The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India in 2001, which is now viewed as a Laboratory to prototype “design processes” that enables “transformative” student learning experiences.


Kiran is also the founder of 'aProCh'—an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she received the "Call to Conscience Award" by the King Centre at Stanford.


In 2009, Kiran launched ‘Design for Change’ which uses a simple 4 step design framework – FIDS (Feel, Imagine, Do, Share) to cultivate the I CAN Mind-set in all children. Today, DFC is the world's largest movement of change - of and by children, and is in 60+ countries—impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.


Kiran currently resides in Ahmedabad with her Husband – Geet Sethi and two wonderful children – their son, Raag and daughter, Jazz. She loves listening to music, watching movies, singing, dancing and has an insane love for fruit-filled Dark Chocolates!!!

Rahul Shah


Rahul is currently working as a management consultant in a firm specialized in strategy consulting. In his 15+ years of experience, Rahul has worked on various domains including technology, retail, airlines, insurance and manufacturing. Besides strategy formation, Rahul specialises in creating customer centric solutions, sales process optimization, organizational operational efficiency and process improvement, and business development .