Last week, amid growing movements towards isolationism throughout the world, the global education community doubled down on collaboration and partnerships across borders. From Lyon, France, where I attended a gathering spearheaded by Ashoka of education innovators and social entrepreneurs from 44 countries to Dakar, Senegal where the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) convened over 100 ministers from a diverse array of countries, the importance of working together to improve education was the theme of the day.

At the grassroots level, "education change leaders," as Ashoka refers to them, sought to find new ways for innovators to connect with each other, share learning, and align around a shared vision of supporting holistic education. The conversation placed a premium on developing relationships, networks, and collaborations across countries, actors, and themes.

Education innovators displayed interest in being part of a more organized bottom-up movement that actively facilitated collaboration around the topics of parental engagement, demand for education reform, project-based learning approaches, and leveraging media to education change. Examples included: school leaders working with troubled youth, meditation gurus hoping to support schools in cultivating mindfulness, and filmmakers with a desire to galvanize parent activism. Given our recent research on education innovations and the finding that there is limited connection between innovation spotters (i.e., organizations who are scanning the landscape of innovative programs, schools, policies, approaches, and tools), this type of network building seems to be an important next step for the education innovation community.

Read the full article on strengthening global education partnerships in an age of isolationism by Rebecca Winthrop at Brookings.