born 1966

Kiran Bir Sethi was no stranger to the power of design. Her father created India's first lathe machine; she went on to use her visual-communication degree to design restaurants. But, it wasn't until she put her training towards designing empowering educational experiences that Kiran found her true calling.

Dissatisfied with the schools available to her sons, she decided to open her own. Her common-sense + creative curriculum asked kids to take charge ~ in the classroom and in their communities. Today, Kiran and her Riverside School are at the forefront of the global movement Design for Change that has catalyzed hundreds of thousands of child changemakers.

bio bits

her quotes

all quotes by Kiran Bir Sethi (10)

"When children are empowered, not only do they do good, they do well."

Kids, take charge | november 2009

"When I started Riverside school 10 years ago it became a lab, a lab to prototype and refine a design process that could consciously infect the mind with the 'I Can' bug."

Kids, take charge | november 2009

"Education should teach us that 'we can.'"

A Conversation with Kiran Bir Sethi | september 2011

"If today you are better than yesterday, that is The Good Life. If today I have learned something from yesterday, that is leading The Good Life."

A Conversation with Kiran Bir Sethi | september 2011

"Empathy is slowing down a bit and being able to observe the patterns of behavior that are linked to an area that causes concern. It's with that pause and stepping back that you truly understand what might need to be the solution."

Empathy 101: Feel. Imagine. Do. Share. | october 2011

"We're more often than not solving the wrong problems. And then we wonder why change doesn't happen."

Empathy 101: Feel. Imagine. Do. Share. | october 2011

"'I can't' . . . It's a subversive message that on a daily basis our children get from the 'system.' It's about the subtle-explicit instructions regarding their day-to-day learning when they are told to do 'as instructed,' with no room for creativity, choice, opinions."

Ready for the Real World | may 2014

"A lot of the lessons that happen in schools are left open-ended and unfinished. Students don't know why what they're learning is important . . . Let's just chuck the whole thing out and start from a completely fresh template."

Ready for the Real World | may 2014

"The basic message that Design for Change tells everyone is that children are not helpless, that change is possible and that they can drive it."

Kiran Bir Sethi interview at EDULEARN14 | july 2014

"I teach because I love learning. And, no two days are ever the sameā€”so, everyday I can become an explorer or an artist, a magician or a storyteller!"

Kiran Bir Sethi - Global Teacher Prize - Top 10 Finalist | february 2015
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curated with care by Alicia Williamson {april 2015}