This Earth Day two exciting new ventures are being released that represent new directions in the future of education—for elementary and college students. These initiatives are close to my heart and worth knowing about: here’s why.

Three years ago, I began putting together a team of Advisors to guide the development of the Cyberhero League. One of those advisors, Gary Tomchuk of AwareCinema, introduced me to Carolyn Scott of Cool Planet Labs. Carolyn is an environmental educator and award-winning filmmaker. From our first email there was palpable synergy; she invited me to her off-grid home and we talked nonstop for several hours about our joint mission to mobilize people, especially young people, to support and implement effective, action-oriented, community-based solutions to global challenges. Carolyn’s project, The Storybox Adventure, is now ready to launch. 

Solutionaries, used with permission
Source: Solutionaries, used with permission

Designed for elementary and middle school children and their families to explore climate change solutions, The Storybox Adventure is an interactive app that takes viewers on a quest to discover seven “Solutionaries” (climate change heroes) who have implemented strategies to solve climate change. Participants find clues to the identities of the seven Solutionaries hidden throughout the eBook which was written by award-winning playwright Kristin Carlson, with creative direction and illustrations by Carolyn Scott. Celebrated artists from around the world have created “treasures” as part of the game play. The artists include Margaret Atwood, Lily Yeh, Fran Forman, Mia Tavonatti, Giulio Menossi,Marie Gibbons and Ron Seivertson.The Solutionaries project is part of a larger mission to build a multimedia, online Climate Change Solution Library.  Visit  Solutionaries to learn more or download here.

Ubiquity University, used with permission
Source: Ubiquity University, used with permission

The second educational venture slated to launch on Earth Day is Ubiquity University, a radical new approach to higher education. Ubiquity first came to my attention when I was approached to contribute to departmental and curriculum design. What’s radical about Ubiquity? For one thing it’s the first University to be integrally-informed from the outset. For another, the Founders are on a mission to make higher education affordable. But what really excites me about Ubiquity is their next-generation social learning platform that enables students to take action on a variety of global challenges—as part of their coursework. Eminent philosopher, Ken Wilber, is the University’s Inaugural Chancellor.

Ubiquity is designed to address the needs of Millennials who feel the traditional 4-year degree is suspiciously allied to the 9-to-5 grind—which holds no interest for them. The Hippie gene has made it’s way into the Millennial’s DNA. The “old school” approach to work and education is not right for them. A Millennial would rather be a “freelancer” than a “cog-in-the-wheel” of so-called progress. Their highest aspiration is to become “independent freelancers and global citizens who make a difference in the world.”  I’m excited to be part of this new endeavor. If you or someone you know would like to learn more, check out the free webinar on Wednesday April 22nd.   Happy Earth Day!

About the Author

Dana Klisanin Ph.D.

Dana Klisanin, Ph.D., is an award-winning psychologist exploring the use of media and digital technologies to support human flourishing. Her research focuses on mindfulness, altruism, and new forms of heroism.

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