WHO WE ARE
We are a global experimental knowledge lab for creative rebels and change agents who want to activate their agency and help redesign the world so it works better for all of us.
We work with designers, artists, innovators, social entrepreneurs and world-changing-types to curate unique, cerebrally activating programming that re-orients the way we participate in the world around us, develops a divergent 3 dimensional perspective of the world.
The UnSchool is based on our three knowledge pillars of systems, sustainability and design. Combining these, we developed The Disruptive Design Method which helps anyone flow through a process of creative changemaking to enable systems levels change, as opposed to superficial design.
This approach is all about opportunities and is based on a growth mindset.
The Disruptive Design Method offers fresh approaches to skill development and knowledge transfer for the growing global community of people who want to participate in solving significant social and environmental issues.
We are a community creating and sharing positively disruptive approaches to activating social change
HOW WE do It
Our adventure based programs encourage people from diverse professional backgrounds to reorient the way they perceive and act in the world, to maximize their capacity to affect positive social change.
We use storytelling, challenge and play as catalysts for rapid knowledge transfer, community building and personal activation.
We help emerging leaders and established professionals rapidly up-skill in designing interventions for social innovation. All of our programs center on our unique approach to change-making through the Disruptive Design method and are designed for purpose-driven leaders, agitators and passionate communicators wanting to participate in solving and evolving planetary probelms.
The UnSchool exists to help fill what the knowledge/action gap that exists between knowing there are problems in the world and having the mental models and skillsets required to actively intervene and design solutions.
positively disrupt the status quo with us, for outcomes that generate new and creative solutions
WE BUILT A SYSTEM OF THINKING THAT ALLOWS ANYONE TO LEARN TO LOVE AND SOLVE COMPLEX PROBLEMS. BASED ON three FUNDAMENTAL knowledge pillars: systems, sustainability and design. THIS IS TRANSFORMATIVE THINKING FOR POSITIVE IMAPCT ACTIVATION
THE DISRUPTIVE DESIGN METHOD
Our iterative 3-part method of Mining, Landscaping and Building can be applied to business, government and individual change-making practice to overcome linear, reductionist thinking by developing new approaches to creative problem solving, and forming 3-dimensional perspectives. This method is underpinned by our 12 unit methodology of high-level concepts for professionals interested in activating positive social change through their work.
The full METHODOLOGY
The 12 units in the Disruptive Design Methodology synthesize a broad range of thinking and doing skills and tools, including systems thinking, gamification and game theory, ethics and empathy, life cycle thinking, research strategies, applied systems intervention, cognitive and behavioral sciences, ideation and creative problem solving, and sustainable production.
Each of these learning modules fit together to form the practice of Disruptive Design, which is the applied approach to designing creative interventions for positive social change.
We actively challenge the dominant idea that individual agency is limited in affecting positive change through professional and personal practice, and are committed to being a positive social force, activating self-selecting change agents (that's you!) to address complex social and environmental problems.
Our methodology IS UNLIKE ANYTHING ELSE. iT provides a detailed in-depth exploration of critical thinking practices, empowering LEARNERS to BECOME PIONEERS OF CHANGE, understand and creatively intervene in complex and divergent real-world systems. NOT QUICK FIXES, BUT QUICK THINKING TO GET TO BEAUTIFUL SOLUTIONS
TOOLS YOU CAN USE
"The masterclass was wonderful. It provided me with a set of useful tools I can utilize to affect change in my workplace and profession and also led me to be more observant of how design affects our everyday lives. I have also become more cognizant about how much impact simple actions have on the entire system. I highly recommend the course."
Megan Gabriel, NYC (New York Masterclass Alumni)
DR. LEYLA ACAROGLU, Founder & Chief Disrupter
The award-winning UnSchool model is the brainchild Sustainability provocateur and cultural protagonist Dr. Leyla Acaroglu who challenges people to think differently about how the world works. As an award winning designer, UNEP Champion of the Earth, sociologist, and entrepreneur, she developed the Disruptive Design Method and designs cerebrally activating experiences, gamified toolkits, and unique educational experiences that help people make the status quo obsolete. Her mainstage TED talkon sustainability has been viewed over a million times, and she leads presentations around the world on activating positive social change through creative interventions.
EMMA SEGAL, 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.
HEIDI SLOANE, 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.
VICKY KIM, 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.