Aaron Moniz

Aaron is the co-founder of Inspire Citizens, an educational consulting company that links global competency and social action projects to existing curriculum in schools. Aaron recently worked at the International School of Beijing’s innovative Futures Academy that specializes in integrated project based learning, but now he has left to take his experience with integrated curricular units, authentic project-based learning, design thinking, experiential learning, social action projects, and global citizenship education to schools worldwide. Aaron’s vision for education is that all schools embed the UN sustainable development goals to curriculum in hopes that we create progress towards global social imperatives now and prepare future leaders with the empathy and skills necessary to act for a sustainable future.

Steve Sostak

After 15 years as a middle school and elementary teacher, Steve now specializes in embedding global competence frameworks and sustainable thinking into classrooms. He prepares primary and secondary school teachers to incorporate global competence in their curricula and lesson plans, remaining sensitive to standards and criteria, language objectives, and tools for effective and efficient planning, feedback, and assessments. He is also co-facilitator of the Empathy to Action, Student Leadership, and Impact Campaign programs for students.

 

Inspire Citizens Keynote and Workshop Series:

As administrators and educators, we strive to develop students who are global citizens. Our school missions are crafted around meshing innovation, creativity, and citizenship, calling on our classrooms to be hubs for sustainable thinking and social change. Most, if not all of us, understand the what and why of global citizenship but struggle with how to embed it into projects and programs that go deeply into empathy, United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and targets, metacognitive and 21st century skills, and impactful action all linked to school disciplinary, literacy, and technology standards.


Inspire Citizens and Jakarta Intercultural School have partnered to ensure all middle school students will be empowered via SDGs and design thinking to identify problems, build empathy, and craft innovative, impactful, and sustainable solutions to address community needs and global issues. Design for Impact is a program dedicated to the cultivation of personal interests, the merging of problem solving and interdisciplinary skills, and the rich communication of design thinking and learning experiences to make communities better and inspire a global network of SDG-driven change agents.


The Inspire Citizens active-learning experience at this conference will follow an Empathy to Action journey through the Design for Impact program. Workshops will also illuminate other ways in which Inspire Citizens and schools have:

  • Developed professional learning around SDG-embedded curricular frameworks linked to a range of standards and criteria
  • Created Global Youth Media Makers programs connected to empathy and SDGs
  • Embedded Activists in Residence into a whole-school SDG/PBL experiences
  • Facilitated Student Leadership Impact Campaigns: 17 Skills for 17 Sustainable Development Goals.


Keynotes:

Inspire Citizens & Design 4 Impact:

Teacher & Student Journeys from Empathy to Impactful Action


Leveling up the impact of student action-projects in solving challenging local and global problems works best when students care. However, how do we create, facilitate, and monitor opportunities for empathy to impactful action in a world where technology makes us to feel more and less connected at the same time?


In this keynote, we will examine how Design (and EdTech) 4 Impact and a deep connection to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Targets is a powerful opportunity to implement empathy into learning, wellbeing, and sustainable communities.



The How:

Professional Learning to Ensure Students Develop Global Competence


School missions appear to understand the urgency and the what and why of global competence, citizenship, and service learning. But are our pre-existing standards and criteria enough to ensure that student learning in global competence is enduring and actually leads to a more impactful global citizen?


The door is open to lead in this critical area of school development, professional learning, and student empowerment without having to lose connections to most pre-existing units and standards. Which schools are willing to be the global leaders?


In this keynote, we will look at opportunities to be an innovative school in this endeavor, focusing on measurable indicators, teacher learning and capacity-building, action-research, and student empowerment that actually supports school missions and desired outcomes for global competence, sustainability, and service learning.  



Workshops:

What’s Your SDG Target?

17 Goals

169 Targets

1 Solution at a Time


The TeachSDGs movement is coming and are we prepared to lead or follow? Participants will have the opportunity to actively dig into the power of using United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and Targets as a powerful pathway to global competence as well as launches into authentic inquiry, design thinking, project-based, and service learning.

 

The Why of Making:

Design4Impact & Citizens Makerspaces


Design programs and makerspaces possess immense potential to spark rich interest in STEM/STEAM education that prepares today’s youth for jobs in innovative industries but also as a way for students to experience school as relevant to their real passions, including wanting to make the world a better place. Using School Sustainability Indicators and UN SDG Targets, participants will assess the poignancy of school design programs while examining how a simple link to sustainable targets can level-up a design program to provide the crucial WHY for kids.

 

Global Youth Media:

Member Stations Wanted!


Media making and production, a powerful form of inquiry, design thinking, and truth seeking, helps open student and community minds through building skills in critical thinking, active listening, storytelling, and authentic literacy. Student voices stemming from investigative journalism spark rich opportunities for citizenship and leadership via media production in a complex world. Participants will follow the journey of Global Youth Media students and member stations in Beijing, Kosovo, Seoul, and Chengdu in learning how to craft missions, organize program storytelling and technology blueprints, and join the growing Global Youth Media Network.

 

The Empathy to Action Cycle:

Unit Planning for Embedding and Assessing SDGs and Global Competence in Pre-Existing Curriculum



The The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) clearly outlines the what and why of global competence:

 

What is global competence?

Global competence is the capacity to examine local, global and intercultural issues, to understand and appreciate the perspectives and worldviews of others, to engage in open, appropriate and effective interactions with people from different cultures, and to act for collective well-being and sustainable development.

Why do we need global competence?

  • to live harmoniously in multicultural communities

  • to thrive in a changing labour market

  • to use media platforms effectively and responsibly

  • to support the Sustainable Development Goals

The question remains, how? Participants will work with Inspire Citizens’ frameworks to tweak pre-existing units to embed UN SDGs and global competence skills to make units pop with relevance. Participants will also work to develop innovative assessments for student learning and enduring understandings in these crucial areas.

 

17 Skills for 17 SDG Goals:

Student Leadership in a Challenging World


The mission of Inspire Citizens' student leadership and internship program is to provide leadership opportunities and identify skills to learners in the areas of empathy, sustainable thinking, global competence, communication, collaboration, and impactful action. Students often follow their learning by facilitating an SDG Leadership Conference in their local communities.


“17 Skills for 17 Goals” is a flexible program that can be implemented in stand alone workshops, mentoring and advisory programs, enrichments, or embedded into curriculum.


Participants will experience mini-workshops in some of the skills and examine student evidence and learning through the three phases of the program:

  1. Identify problems. Build empathy. Analyze needs.
  2. Find your essence. Craft a vision. Act sustainably.
  3. Overcome obstacles. Tell your story.  Impact Communities.

 

Breathing AIR Into Schools:

Activist In Residence Programs

 

Participants will experience the Inspire Citizens’ AIR program by examining stories and evidence of the deep curricular integration of partnerships with Salva Dut of Water for South Sudan, the Out of the Blocks award-winning podcast, and paraplegic rock climber and activist Lai Chi Wei.  


The workshop will focus on how to partner with activists, artists, podcast hosts, and other change-makers to develop inspiring, authentic, project-based curriculum that can transform a school culture by connecting all people in a school community, divisions, or specific classrooms. 21st-century learning, empathy, service, sustainability, and linking to standards will be the priorities of the dynamic workshop.


 
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