The award-winning UnSchool model is the brainchild of sociologist, designer, and cultural protagonist Dr. Leyla Acaroglu (A-jar-a-loo), who is an internationally recognized expert in the fields of disruptive design, sustainability, and education. After completing her PhD in change-centric disruptive design in 2014, Leyla started developing the Disruptive Design Method that is the backbone of her unique approach to positively affecting social change; thus, the UnSchool evolved as a medium to agitate the status quo’s knowledge exchange methods and understanding of what it means to be ‘sustainable’. Her brilliant educational methodology and environmental expertise shows in her mainstage TED Talk that has over a million views and is one of the most-watched TED talks on sustainability. Leyla has won a host of design awards for her projects: The Design Play Cards, The Secret Life of Things, The Game Changer Game, Designercise. She also founded two additional design agencies, Eco Innovators and Disrupt Design, in support of her mission to activate positive change through all her creative provocations.
Design, Creativity and Positive Disruption
Creative changemaker Emma Segal brings over two decades of experience in designing and producing local and international manufactured consumer goods. She has a wealth of experience in sustainability, design and systems change that she brings to our dynamic creative approach to challenging the status quo by design. With formal training in international relations, graphic design and illustration, she has a wide range of work from creating multi-million dollar programs for companies such as Disney and La Senza, to projects with the CBC, Fashion Magazine and Fortnight Lingerie. She works extensively in textile print, catalogue, book, retail and package design.
Her experience also includes creating large scale fashion shoots, apparel production trips to India, Thailand and China, New York fashion shows & magazine press visits. Emma has won several design & illustration awards, and her work has been seen in Harrods, Nordstrom, Barneys, Fred Segal, Galleries Lafayette, movies, TV shows, fashion magazines and on celebrities.
Kathleen has been on the UnSchool's radar since it was still a brain-embryo-idea, and we are thrilled that she will now be running the show in Berlin for our first European fellowship program. She says herself that she would probably have been much better in school if real school had been a bit more the UnSchool. She got herself educated in various parts of the world, real life school, in New York, Melbourne, Berlin and Hamburg. With a background in cultural studies and arts management, Kathleen has always worked in the field of storytelling and/or curating events, from very DIY to very high end, mostly in the field of Arts and Media. She worked for music TV, public radio, governmental and non-profit institutions, currently as a producer for documentary films. Applying sustainable methods into the process of film production is one of her current topics and sometimes does her head in.
Communications and Strategy
Heidi is an action-oriented collaborator and consultant for social enterprises. She has been referred to as the "Mary Poppins of Startups" and has been an integral part of the UnSchool since Day 0. Her role involves a dynamic mix of strategy, communications, outreach, and community engagement. In her practice, she combines our Disruptive Design Method, the aspirations of Ephemeralization, and her experience in Lean Startup, pushing us to test out (and validate) the many avenues through which we can activate change as an organization. In addition to communicating what we're all about and what we've got on offer, Heidi looks for opportunities to amplify the voices of our growing community of alumni and mentors. Having dedicated her undergrad years to studying Alternatives, Social Change & Social Entrepreneurship, it only seems fit that she is obsessed with exploring and co-creating alternative ways to activate change and unschool with us. Originally from New York, she currently lives in Mexico City, where she explores personal projects that range from unpacking Chilango slang, to concocting the best possible batches of cold brew.
Vision, Education and Programs
Vicky is a designer of meaningful systems and programs. She is the wizard behind the curtain who makes good things happen beautifully and effectively. With years of experience developing and managing global education programs, she brings a strategic and analytic core to help grow the impact of UnSchool programs. As Global Programs Manager, she is focused on the consistently fabulous delivery of UnSchool core programs as well as evolving offerings to un-school more communities. Vicky currently lives in Carrboro, NC and consults with global organizations to build capacity with smarter strategies, systems and stories. She is obsessed with busting knowledge silos, systems thinking for change, and connecting people, ideas and tools for greater access and impact. With her curiosity in rethinking education pathways, she is thrilled to be a part of the UnSchool’s exploration of knowledge transfer.