Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The Climate Change Imperative: What Every Georgetown Student Should Know About Climate Change

As a follow-up to Jim Yong Kim’s March 18 Global Futures lecture, “A Plan for the Planet: Confronting Climate Change,” the Global Future(s) Curriculum Studio would like to begin organizing a campus-wide conversation exploring the relationship between climate change and a Georgetown education.



To start the conversation, we have produced three videos featuring Georgetown faculty and administrators, in which they offer their perspectives on educating students about climate change. Each brief video explores a different theme or set of questions. Above, you will find the first video, which features interviewees discussing students’ “scientific literacy” with respect to climate change.

The second video explores the interdisciplinarity of climate change and its implications for education.

The third video describes what faculty and students are already doing to battle climate change on campus and beyond.

We hope these videos spark fruitful conversation about how the Global Future(s) Curriculum Studio can work with faculty, administrators, and students in the coming months to conceptualize new and strengthen existing curricular models to engage students deeply in the challenges of climate change and take informed action to battle it. If you would like to get involved specifically in this portion of the Studio’s newly forming work, please email Chad Anderson, project manager, at

VCU Vice Provost Asserts Universities Best-Equipped for Whole Person Learning

A general education should not give students a roadmap to a specific end goal; rather, it should provide them with the tools to navigate in the direction of their choosing, said Gardner Campbell to Georgetown faculty in April as a part of the Designing the Future(s) initiative’s Red House Speakers Series.

Dr. Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success at Virginia Commonwealth University, told faculty that an effective general education curriculum provides a framework to foster a mindset where students “see connectedness” in the world around them. In his remarks, he discussed that creativity emerges when we teach students to discover and investigate this connectedness.

Gardner Campbell_3

He also stressed that, while this understanding can come about in many contexts, universities are best equipped to support this type of formational growth in students. He reiterated that this deep, “whole-person” learning cannot emerge just from direct instruction, nor is it fully supported in co-curricular activities. At a university, he argued, students can take calculated risks and learn from them in the support of mentors and peers.

As Vice Provost at VCU, Dr. Campbell is responsible for efforts at VCU to enhance the quality of teaching and learning throughout the university, the first-year student experience, and advancing learning innovation and the strategic use of digital technologies. He also leads the university’s strategic vision for learning innovation, including the Alt Lab and Online@VCU initiatives as well as the highly successful VCU University College.

Curricular Innovation Showcased at Global Future(s) Curriculum Studio Launch Event

On Wednesday, March 25, Georgetown faculty and administrators from across campus gathered for the launch of the Global Future(s) Studio. With this inaugural event, Randall Bass, vice provost for education and Thomas Banchoff, vice president for global engagement, invited attendees to explore the following questions:

• How might new curricular formats and structures help us do more to prepare students to face complex global challenges?
• How might we create more opportunities for interdisciplinary, project-based teaching and learning?
• How can we expand the contexts for credit-bearing mentored learning?
• How might we better prepare students to develop creative as well as critical approaches to messy and complex problems?



In his introductory remarks, Vice Provost Bass posited whether the university’s structures and methods of delivering education are preparing students fast enough to match the urgency of the world’s needs.

The first of several Studio-related events this spring, the launch featured faculty leaders who are developing new forms of courses and collaborative course components, each at a different stage of conception and development. These faculty shared their experiences and works-in-progress in order to generate discussion and brainstorming around the work of the forthcoming Studio. The presentations included:

The Studio Collaborative: Bioethics, Science Policy and Rhetoric – Maggie Little, Philosophy; Matt Pavesich, English; Arjun Dhillon, Design
GUI2DE Development Incubator – Billy Jack, Economics;
Urban Mosaic and Studio – Brian McCabe, Sociology and Sherry Linkon, English
Social Change and Innovation Lab – Hollie Russon Gilman and Michael Chodos, Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation



A collaboration between the Designing the Future(s) of the University and Global Futures initiatives, the Studio will provide a space for faculty to create and experiment with new teaching and learning structures around the most complex global issues and challenges. Implemented in partnership with the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship, the Studio seeks to provide a context to bring together the most promising practices of the last 15 years in innovative pedagogy, new learning environments and experiential learning at Georgetown with the potential of new curricular and degree-level structures and models being developed under the Designing the Future(s) Initiative.

Visit the Designing the Future(s) initiative in the coming weeks to learn more about the Studio. To receive email updates, contact Chad Anderson, Project Manager, at

Formation x Design Hosts Australian Professor of Learning Informatics

Simon 1

Simon Buckingham Shum, professor of learning informatics and director of the new Connected Intelligence Centre at University of Technology Sydney, visited Georgetown March 23-24, 2015 as a part of the Formation by Design project. During his time on the Hilltop, Shum met with the Center for New Designs in Learning and Scholarship and Designing the Future(s) stakeholders—as well as students enrolled in Vice Provost Randall Bass’s “The University as a Design Problem” course—to discuss learning analytics and the changing landscape of higher education. Shum’s visit culminated in an interactive workshop titled “Can You Tell from Someone’s Digital Profile If They’re Learning Deeply?” in which he led over 35 Georgetown faculty and administrators through an exploration of ways to use the analytics emerging out of various digital environments. Shum also began to unpack the implications of these perspectives for identifying and assessing Magis Measures data from students across diverse contexts.

Shum emphasized the need for campus practitioners to understand that any given set of analytics data does not simply speak for itself, but is tied to the worldview of the researcher. He urged the audience to choose which analytics to study and how they interpret them based on the learning outcomes most pertinent to the research question.

To learn more about Shum’s workshop, visit the Center for New Designs in Teaching and Learning’s recent blog post about the event.

Designing the Future(s) teams with Georgetown alums to host Interactive Design Lab in Boston

In the first design lab of 2015, the Designing the Future(s) initiative collaborated with Georgetown alumni Jerry Jacobs and Lucy Kapples to host an interactive design lab in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-five alumni and parents of current students, representing various career fields, participated in the event. Vice Provost for Education, Randall Bass, facilitated the design lab, asking participants to reflect on their most transformational moments at the University and those communities, networks and experiences that have shaped them. During the lab, some alumni said the “single best thing” about their Hilltop experiences included community; exposure to diverse people, experiences and geography; and the caliber of fellow students and professors.

IMG_0222 copy

As Bass explained, there is a vital importance to integrating such high-impact experiences into learning at Georgetown. The re-design of curricular and co-curricular models developed through the Designing the Future(s) initiative seeks to build upon critical networks and communities in order to foster optimum, rewarding opportunities for Hoya students.

Following the design lab, attendees capped off their evening with a Boston Bruins game. Conversations around the topic of higher education did not wane during the hockey game as participants offered ideas and insights to Bass and his colleagues about the Future(s) initiative.

Georgetown Joins Area Colleges and Universities in the 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge

The Designing the Future(s) Initiative is pleased to announce that Georgetown University will join a multi-institution cohort convened by Education Design Lab to participate in the 21st Century Skills Badging Challenge. Along with five other area schools, the team will explore how to develop and pilot opportunities for students to showcase and receive credentials for their co-curricular involvement, especially since this learning is not typically visible on a traditional transcript. Co-curricular badging in particular can improve student reflection, retention, and career and graduate school readiness in ways that are meaningful to employers and recruiters. The Georgetown team has chosen leadership for the focus of its badge while other institutions have chosen skills such as storytelling and collaboration.

Badging Cohort

Co-convened by Erika Cohen-Derr, assistant dean for Student engagement and director of the Center for Student Engagement, and Michael Schaub, executive director of the Cawley Career Education Center, the Georgetown team also includes representatives from the Center for Social Justice; the Athletics Department; the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access; the Office of Fellowships, Awards, and Resources, as well as faculty and students. The other institutions in the cohort are George Mason University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, University of Baltimore, University Maryland University Campus, and the Universities at Shady Grove.

Stanford Fellow Engages the Designing the Future(s) Community


From February 26th – 28th, the Designing the Future(s) Initiative and the Beeck Center sponsored a visit with social entrepreneur and researcher Nadia Roumani. A lecturer of design at Stanford University’s and the Walter and Esther Hewlett Fellow at Stanford’s Center on Philanthropy and Civil Society, Roumani spent her visit to Georgetown meeting with members of the university’s design community. She discussed with faculty how design thinking can inform current and developing Future(s) projects and engaged with the inaugural class of the Board of Regents Future(s) Fellows. During her conversations with Georgetown faculty members, Roumani emphasized that interdisciplinarity and empathy were crucial foundational steps to effective design solutions, and should be integral in the teaching of design to students.  Roumani said that empathy—whether gained through immersion or ethnography—allows a designer to “sit with the messiness” of a problem and better understand a user’s position in a system or landscape, their motivations for navigating it, and the challenges that sparked the need for the new or redesigned product, service, or system.

Roumani has extensive experience as a community organizer, economist, development specialist and social entrepreneur. She served as a Fellow from 2012-2013, where she co-developed the foundational course “Design Thinking Bootcamp: Experiences in Innovation and Design.”

Chad Anderson and Christina Ferguson contributed to this post.

Formation by Design Collaborators Span the Globe

The Formation x Design project is transcending national borders thanks to the collaboration of Randy Bass, Georgetown’s vice provost for education, and international leaders. Ruth Deakin Crick, program director for the Master in Science in Systems Learning and Leadership at the Graduate School of Education in the University of Bristol; and Simon Buckingham Shum, professor of learning informatics, and director of the new Connected Intelligence Centre at University of Technology Sydney, are part of the project’s consultant team. Since its advent, the project has gained momentum in determining how formational learning occurs, and how it can be measured and best applied within higher education. Both Buckingham Shum and Deakin Crick – whose work focuses on formational pedagogical practices, digitally integrated education, and learning analytics – are working with the Future(s) team to advance a deeper understanding of Georgetown’s value to educate and develop the whole person.

ruth and simon
Ruth Deakin Crick and Simon Buckingham Shum | Source:


Recently, Buckingham Shum composed a piece on the Learning Emergence website about Bass’s direction for higher education and how Formation x Design is “defining the contours of this new landscape.” To read more about Dr. Buckingham Shum’s perspective on the Formation x Design initiative, visit Learning Emergence.


Announcing the Spring 2015 Board of Regents Future(s) Fellows

The Designing the Future(s) Initiative is proud to announce the first cohort of the Georgetown University Board of Regents Future(s) Fellows Program.  The program is named for the Board of Regents to honor its members’ generous support for the Designing the Future(s) Initiative. The twenty-five undergraduate students in this inaugural cohort were chosen from a highly selective application pool and will join administrators, faculty, and staff to reimagine life on the Hilltop as higher education faces new challenges and new opportunities in the 21st century.

rh_event10 edit

Fellows will grapple with such questions as: how can we more closely connect student learning to the University’s impact on the worldHow can we move beyond grade point averages to develop a more holistic means of measuring progress? In what ways can we leverage technology to help students take charge of their personal and academic development? And how can we develop a curriculum that better integrates their experience inside and outside the classroom?

As a part of this select group, Future(s) Fellows will engage intensively with these questions during monthly events and discussions taking place over the course of the semester. They will participate in and offer their diverse perspectives on the curricular innovations currently being developed at the Red House incubator, regularly interact with University officials, providing support for leading-edge campus-wide efforts at enhancing education, both at Georgetown and for higher education as a whole. Additionally, Fellows will participate in workshops and events created specifically for them and hosted by leaders in the fields of higher education and design.

rh_event2 edit

The Future(s) Fellows program will take place throughout the Spring 2015 Semester, and is intended to continue with a new cohort in the Fall 2015 Semester.

The Spring 2015 Board of Regents Futures fellows are….

Erika Bullock (COL ’17)

Arianna Calabrese (SFS ’17)

Ariel Chu (COL ’18)

Michael DiPietrantonio (COL ’16)

Michael Donnay (COL ’16)

Jacob Haberman (MSB ’18)

Olivia Hinerfeld (COL ’17)

Samuel Holley (COL ’16)

Enushe Khan (MSB ’17)

Jack Maher (COL ’17)

Abbey McNaughton (COL ‘16)*

Nandini Mullaji (SFS ’17)

Noah Museles (SFS ’17)

Duncan Peacock (COL ’16)

Jason Petty (COL ’17)

Jack Sanford (MSB ’17)

Aristides Serlemitsos (COL ’17)

Parth Shah (COL ’17)

Adrianna Smith (COL ’15)

Shane Thomas (COL ’15)**

Emma Thompson (COL ’17)

Jacquelyn Trujillo (COL ’17)

Melissa Vargas (NHS ’18)

Colton Wade (SFS ’18)

Angela Williams (COL ’17)

*Abbey McNaughton is Research Assistant for the Designing the Future(s) Initiative

**Shane Thomas is Future(s) Fellows Coordinator