The Five Key Contexts for Planning Post-Pandemic School

Session Code: F01
Date: Friday October 1st, 2021
Facilitators: Homa Tavangar & Will Richardson

(simultaneous translation to be offered for this presentation)

Creating a new future of schooling calls for educators and leaders to see the world as it is, not as it was. It requires understanding new contexts, and building new lenses around vital questions of world, purpose, change, power and our stories. Your communities put trust in your schools’ ability to lead and navigate the volatile, confusing realities, from the pandemic to climate to racial justice, an “infodemic” and economic uncertainty – all on top of the changing learning landscape.
In this keynote, the founders of the Big Questions Institute, Will Richardson and Homa Tavangar, will push your thinking to embrace the new realities, or lenses, of the post-pandemic world. Each of the lenses will help you frame new questions and conversations that are fundamental to creating an experience of school for kids that will help them move beyond surviving, to thriving in whatever future they inherit.



Homa Tavangar

Homa Tavangar
For over three decades, Homa Sabet Tavangar’s work has addressed themes of culture, innovation, leadership, global citizenship and global competence, and deep diversity, equity, belonging and inclusion. She connects timely topics of the moment with the timeless desire to work with purpose and make a difference – whatever one’s circumstances.

Homa’s clients range from Fortune 50 corporations to public, international and independent K-12 schools around the world; from an Ivy League university to Disney Channel and numerous not-for-profit public and multilateral organizations and professional associations. Co-founding the Big Questions Institute represents a natural extension of her work, especially during a time of unprecedented global challenges.

Homa is the author of widely-acclaimed Growing Up Global: Raising Children to Be At Home in the World (Random House, 2009), Global Kids (Barefoot, 2019);  The Global Education Toolkit for Elementary Learners (Sage/Corwin, 2014), contributor to Mastering Global Literacy, Heidi Hayes-Jacobs, ed. (Solution Tree, Nov. 2013) and the 3-book Take-Action Guide to World-Class Learners (Corwin, 2016) series with Professor Yong Zhao. Growing Up Global was the inspiration behind NBC-Universal’s animated series Nina’s World, starring Rita Moreno, and has been hailed by international education and business leaders and media ranging from Dr. Jane Goodall to the BBC, NPR, NBC, ABC, Washington, Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, Boston Globe, PBS, Scholastic, Parents Magazine, Rodale, and many more.

Homa has lived on four continents, has heritage in four world religions, and is the mother of three daughters. She and her husband live just outside Philadelphia.

Will Richardson

Will Richardson
A former public-school educator of 22 years, Will has spent the last 15 years developing an international reputation as a leading thinker and writer about the intersection of social online learning networks, education, and systemic change. Most recently, Will is a co-founder of The Big Questions Institute which was created to help educators use "fearless inquiry" to make sense of this complex moment and an uncertain future.

In 2017, Will was named one of 100 global "Changemakers in Education" by the Finnish site HundrED, and was named one of the Top 5 "Edupreneurs to Follow" by Forbes. He has given keynote speeches, lead breakout sessions, and provided coaching services in over 30 countries on 6 continents. (Come on Antarctica!) He has also authored six books that have sold over 200,000 copies worldwide, and given TEDx Talks in New York, Melbourne, and most recently Vancouver.

Will has two adult children, Tess and Tucker, and lives in rural New Jersey with his wife Wendy.






The Future of the World is in Our Classrooms: Transformative Teaching,Learning & the Art of education for Sustainable Development & Global Citizenship

Session Code: S18
Date: Saturday October 2nd, 2021
Facilitators: Steve Sostak & Aaron Moniz, Inspire Citizens
Audience: All
Strand: Sustainable Development Goals, Global Citizenship
Simultaneous translation to be offered for this presentation

In this Inspire Citizens' keynote, we will begin to explore the WHY and WHAT of future-focused education via Futures Thinking routines, design a Portrait of a 2030 Graduate, and identify transformative learning goals for inspired global citizenship in a complex world. 
We will then examine HOW to make this crucial learning come to life through Empathy to Impact: Inspire Citizens' design cycle that amplifies student-centered learning for key areas of sustainable development: Harmony with nature, circular economics, equity, humane technology, and holistic well-being. Finally, we will unpack the transformative learning in these experiences, centering on modern literacies, cognitive skills, civic dispositions, integrated technology, and informed action that helps turn our schools and classrooms into community centers dedicated to a healthier and more just future.




Steve Sostak

Steve Sostak
Following 15 years teaching elementary and middle school on three continents, Steve Sostak founded Inspire Citizens, an independent educational organization working with diverse partners to reimagine schools as thriving community centers of transformative learning.

Steve wears many hats in his work with Inspire Citizens. He guides administrative teams on future-focused strategic planning around transformative learning goals; co-designs Empathy to Impact project-based units with both teachers and students; implements elements of the Global Impact School Self-Study to monitor student learning and agile systems needs; facilitates experiences connected to the Future Now student leadership toolkit; supports Futures Media member communities; and continues to offer professional workshops while leading the Inspire Citizens Master Teacher Endorsement, a 25-week deep-dive into the art of education for global citizenship and sustainable development.

In the end, his goal remains centered on teacher creativity and enhanced student learning. He aims to enable youth to develop more compassionate empathy; think critically about information and global issues; solve problems creatively through the application of interdisciplinary skills and civic literacies; embrace the challenges of uncertainties and complexities; make ethical decisions; and take informed action. 


Aaron Monitz

Aaron Moniz
Following 10 years of supporting teachers and students in inclusive education and success strategies for remedial readers and English Language Learners, Aaron brings this frame into his work with administrators, teachers, students, and community members within the three Inspire Citizens’ Impact Frameworks.  Aaron’s experience at the innovative Futures Academy at the International School of Beijing also developed his expertise in Project-Based Learning, Inquiry, Design Thinking, and best practice pedagogies for authentic and impactful action. 

Now, as the Co-founder of Inspire Citizens, Aaron works with schools to link the world’s greatest needs to applied learning and holistic education and move teachers, programs, and schools towards designing impact projects through best practice professional learning and whole school deep implementation approaches. By embedding the tools for global competence, community well-being, and sustainable development into existing curriculum or school programs, Aaron helps any school to become a Global Impact School and strives to help any stakeholders realize that all schools have potential for positive impact in the world.