un-school NYC fellowship June 2015

Here at Un-School HQ, we can hardly contain our excitement! In just 3 days, the first Un-School 7-day immersive Fellowship experience will begin. Back in April, we were overwhelmed by the amazing applications we received, 60 people, from 24 countries and 6 continents applied to join us in NYC this Summer. And now, on Sunday our cohort of 17 cool social innovators, creative rebels and change agents will be joining our 10 incredible mentors for a deep dive into disruptive design.  

We have designed an action packed week of unforgettable adventures, immersive educational experiences and leadership training set against the backdrop of NYC. Curated and hosted by our founder Leyla Acaroglu, we have a hot line up of mentors to inspire and challenge our fellows throughout the week.

We may be slightly biased, but our cohort of 16 Un-School NYC Fellows are a pretty damn fine bunch of creative rebels and change agents! Along with our mentors, these cool cats will be spending 7 days immersed in disruptive design, social innovation and creative interventions for positive change!

You can learn more about our fire hot fellows below, and follow our adventures on social media via #unshoolsfellow #unschoolnyc!


"I'm looking forward the creative energy I'll get by sharing an inspiring week with a diverse group of fellows and mentors."

Adam is from San Francisco, California. He's spending his summer consulting on a financial inclusion project and helping organize a design workshop focused on social impact. Check out Adam's work here >


"I'm looking forward to being inspired by amazing people, projects and ideas, and becoming part of a community of people that are motivated to make positive and lasting change."

Bec is from Dunedin, New Zealand. She is currently working on a business plan to start a company which will allow consumers to financially offset their shipping emissions on purchased goods. She is passionate about disrupting the current sustainability and climate change conversation and elevating true cost accounting to be a top priority for business. Check out Bec's work here >


"I'm mostly interested in the co-creative group dynamics-- how different personalities can work together to enrich the creative development during problem solving exercises, opening themselves to collaboration."

Diego Alatorre is from Mexico City, Mexico. He is a professor at Mexico's National University, where he teaches a course on Codesign and another on Experience Design. He freelances UX and UI research & design for multiple companies, including Disrupt Design. In addition, he’s starting up an Internet of Things company with friends. Check out Diego's work here >


"I'm looking forward to fresh perspectives from international design practitioners, practicing more conscience active listening, cultivating a community of practice around disruptive design, and a chance to practice my verbal narrative around my research.

Jason, a resident of New York, is conducting a research on a concept called Active Living Corridors (ALC's.) The project specifically aims to reduce chronic health disparities and improves equitable access to anchor institutions and destinations of interest in primarily underserved and vulnerable neighborhoods through active mobility, health-improving infrastructure, and participatory on-site programming. 


"The thing that I am most excited about is getting out of my regular day-to-day routine and energizing my thinking and creativity."

Jenn is from Toronto, Canada. She works for an environmental nonprofit, and her work focuses on product stewardship. She is interested in the intersection between design, research and sustainability; and how to move her career further in the direction of the design/innovation space.


"I can’t wait to meet new people, create new networks and gain practical design skills and tools to use in my community development work."

Kiri is a community development worker and gender equality specialist from Australia who lives in the Solomon Islands. Her company, Think Out Loud International, provides professional gender equality advice and services to the government, not-for-profit and private sectors primarily in the international development sector. She is passionate about the principles and practices of community development and the empowerment of women and girls. Check out Kiri's work here >


"I’m looking forward to learning more about how disruptive design and design processes can foster systemic and positive change. I think it's going to be a time for collaborative efforts, going outside the comfort zone, engaging in new topics and environments."

Line is from Oslo, Norway. She's part of the team that runs the organization Masterbloggen. She’s interested in ways of digitally communicating and creating engagements and designing sustainable business models which help scale scientific blogs. Also, she's interested in the role of learning networks in service development and using social innovation and design to improve urban environments and ecosystems. Check out Line's work here >


"I am looking forward to meeting interesting leaders (fellows and mentors) who can open my eyes to new ways of working and how to face nowadays challenges. Also to exploring new ways of thinking and innovating, specially for solving social issues."

Lourdes (Lula) is from Zapopan, Mexico. She is interested in opening up her mind to new concepts, especially with regards to figuring out ideas on how to generate excitement around citizenship and how to start civic mobilization in Mexico. Check out Lula's work here >


"I'm interested in using the knowledge I obtain through this fellowship to provide consulting advice to the education platform I'm working with."

Marce is from Mexico City, Mexico. She is really interested in transforming the traditional education system. She wants to learn techniques she can use to better herself and have more creative ideas. Marce would like to apply the knowledge acquired this week to all of the projects she's working on.


"I am looking forward to have a fruitful exchange. I want to learn, create, experience, work, be inspired, collaborate and share visions on sustainability."

Melina is from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is eager to adopt the new tools she learns through the fellowship in order to further develop her current projects. Check out Melina's work here >


"I am looking forward to discovering new points of view from mentors, classmates from all around the world, and from everyone working so hard to make this week perfect. I am also very excited to learn new techniques for disruptive design and to combine them with sustainability."

Nihan is from Istanbul, Turkey. She wants to learn how to think differently. Design Thinking and Sustainability are concepts she wishes to explore. In addition, Nihan is looking forward to learning new cultures and meeting amazing people who are open to change.


"I'm looking forward to discovering more scenarios where technology can help improve people's lives. I want to meet people from around the world who are super talented and excited to create a positive change. Inspiration, new approaches, life-long lessons and fun are some of the things I'm sure will be part of the fellowship."

Paulina is coming from Tampere, Finland. She is in a learning phase and contributes to research and development in projects such as OpenDesign Foundation and ongoing works at  the TUT's Human-Centered Technology Unit.  She is currently working on an app with a couple of friends and is hoping to pick up advice on how to handle open data and sharing economy principles.


"I am really looking forward meeting all of these amazing, crazy, inspiring people-- Un-School fellows & mentors. I’d love to share thoughts, knowledge, collaborate and push our brains, develop ideas, and create social and sustainable innovations!"

Sabine is from Schopfloch, Germany. She is in the midst of reactivating her career direction. Right now, she is in the developing stages of starting her own creative business. Check out Sabine's work here >


"I'm looking forward to diving into the creative adventure of disruptive design and collaboratively problem-solving with fellow passionate individuals."

Sally is a New York City Resident. She’s currently working to build Forage, a web application that will leverage perfectly good but otherwise wasted food to feed hungry New Yorkers. She’s looking forward to workshopping the idea with the group.


"I'm super excited to learn from the fellows, mentors and team members' experiences, strengths and the fields they specialize in."

Sara is from Guatemala City. Sara works in marketing and also coordinates a program that promotes entrepreneurship by providing the experience of creating a startup. She is super excited about the content she'll be exposed to during the fellowship and to learn from the mentors and other fellows.


"I'm looking forward to learning how other fields of design can be brought over in startup urban design. I also can't wait to see the Un-School's model so I can learn how to improve MPC."

Zach is an American living in Guatemala City. He is exploring how to improve self-organized learning environments and municipal reform through design. Zach is an entrepreneur who wants to gain a better foundation in design, to grow his appreciation for the field and to identify how design can be better incorporated into social enterprise. Check out Zach's work here >