How many of us recall our elementary and secondary education experiences truly mattering outside the four walls of our schools? Surely our parents, relatives or neighbors saw some value in what we studied, but few if any programs focused on supporting students in community outreach and impact.

Thankfully, that’s changing. There are many exciting digital initiatives and brick-and-mortar organizations geared toward involving students in the betterment of the world today in a variety of ways. However, often these innovations are only known within their origin. A Finland-based nonprofit, HundrED, is dedicated to helping these spread on a global scale through identifying and sharing impactful and scalable K-12 innovations. Each year, they research pedagogically-sound educational innovations from around the globe and select 100 that are proven to be working and have the potential to work in many countries.

Here are 10 global innovations highlighted by the team at HundrED that are enabling kids to make real contributions to their communities.

1. CommunityShare
Multiple locations, U.S.A.

CommunityShare transforms cities into human libraries through an online platform and offline relationships that connect local community expertise and knowledge to real-world learning experiences with students and teachers. CommunityShare has connected over 10,000 students and teachers with community partners who have served as volunteer mentors, project collaborators, guest speakers and more.

2. Youth Made Initiative
Multiple locations, Malaysia

The Youth Made Initiative is a collaboration of education and industry to help contextualize design and technology for K-12 students. Local companies agree to help schools on a range of endeavors: in-person visits, work experience, live design briefs and more. This builds familiarity with STEM education while enabling staff and students to ‘upskill’ with relevant, modern skills and knowledge required for the world of work. Current collaborations are taking place in Malaysia, Singapore and the United Arab Emirates.

3. Global Create-a-thon
Napa, U.S.A.

What happens when you give students a high visibility community space to present their creative projects and then give them a day to create art, animations, drawings, photographs, stop-action or green screen videos to fill that public space? Pure magic. The Global Create-a-thon project is a daylong design challenge where the best artwork created is incorporated into Lighted Art Festivals around the world.

4. Gold Youth Development Age
Cape Town, South Africa

This organization’s audacious goal is to develop 10 million young African leaders with character and integrity to mobilize members of their generation with the knowledge, tools and support to reach their full potential. They’re focused on achieving concrete results in social behavior change, education and job creation through embedding the format of long-term peer leaders and mentors into schools and communities.

5. Initiative for Peace
Singapore

The hope of those leading this initiative to train young people to become peace-builders is that it will ultimately inspire them to bridge gaps within their own communities toward lasting peace. Facilitating peace conferences for youth from areas of conflict or post-conflict remains one of its chief aims.

6. Green Hope Foundation
Toronto, Canada

Green Hope Foundation is a youth organization working on education for sustainable development, children’s rights and environmental protection by empowering young people and helping to build effective partnerships with all stakeholders of civil society.

7. Redes de Tutoria
Mexico City, Mexico

An educational movement to build networks of learning based on personalized dialogue, reflection, and community presentations.

8. Green School Bio Bus
Bali, Indonesia

Bio Bus addresses transportation and waste problems in Bali through education and community mobilization. It aims to provide sustainable transport services to Green School and local communities by offering sustainable transportation, solutions to health and waste problems around used cooking oil by converting it into biodiesel, and deliver real-world, integrated learning to youth.

9. Global Minds Initiative
Pittsburgh, U.S.A.

Global Minds Initiative (GMI) is a youth-imagined and designed program for combating intolerance by fostering intercultural friendships and global understanding. Global Minds promotes inclusive spaces by investing in the next generation of leaders.

10. High Resolves
Multiple locations, Australia

High Resolves has developed and refined an award-winning, comprehensive citizenship curriculum rooted in cutting-edge learning science and more than 14 years’ experience in the field. The curriculum includes professionally delivered and film-based immersive experiences, a library of over 80 teaching resources and real-world application exercises on topics like social justice and inclusive leadership. It has expanded to Brazil, Canada, China and the U.S.

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