E5 – How one Mother’s Search for Better Education is an International Curriculum now

As March is International Women’s month, I have decided to go with the theme “Women on a Mission” and as with the other episodes this month this episode is also an interview with a member of the Vital Voices family.

In this episode, I interview Kiran, who is an incredible woman. When she realized that the curriculum at her young sons school wasnt up to the standard that she wanted it to be, she started a journey to creating one that was, and now, that curriculum is being shared with 2.2 million children around the world.

Kiran is a Designer who became a Teacher, a Principal who grew into an Education Reformer and subsequently morphed into a Social Entrepreneur.  A trained Graphic Designer, she comfortably uses the language of Design – iteration, prototype, design specs – to develop not only curriculum innovation, but also community-based Social Programmes.

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.  

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

  • 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.
  • In January 2019, she has been honoured with the Lexus Design Award for 2019, in Pune, India

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!!! 

www.schoolriverside.com  |  www.dfcworld.com  |  www.aproch.org  

You can listen to the other episodes of the podcast here

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