On this episode of the Getting Smart Podcast, Tom is speaking with Amy Klement, Managing Partner of Imaginable Futures, a global philanthropic investment firm that believes learning has the power to unlock human potential and aspires to provide every learner with the opportunity and the tools they need to imagine, and to realize, a brighter future.
Amy formerly worked for eBay where she served as vice president of relationship marketing and as vice president of product strategy and operations. Joining as one of its earliest employees, Amy also worked for PayPal as vice president of product. She then went on to help lead Omidyar Network’s work in Education, Financial Inclusion, Property Rights, and Consumer Internet & Mobile initiatives in key geographies.
Join in on the conversation to hear all about the incredible work Imaginable Futures is doing, the grantees and investments they’re making, and Amy’s overall philosophy on educational philanthropy. Amy also speaks about the recent report she collaborated on with IDEO titled, “Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures,” and touches on the themes of equity, impact investing, and the importance of values.
[:10] About today’s episode with Amy Klement.
[:40] Tom welcomes Amy Klement to the podcast.
[1:06] Amy speaks a bit about her time as an early employee at PayPal.
[1:24] Amy shares some highlights and key takeaways from her seven years with PayPal and interacting with some of Silicon Valley’s biggest personalities.
[5:47] About Amy’s shift from PayPal to eBay and her experience in the VP role.
[6:36] About Pierre Omidyar and why Amy decided to help him launch the Omidyar Network.
[8:44] Amy and Tom highlight a few of Imaginable Futures’ grantees, starting with Wonderschool.
[10:30] What Amy appreciates and loves about Bridge International.
[12:56] What Amy appreciates about the innovative African network, SPARK Schools.
[14:20] About the incredible global network, Teach For All, and what Amy loves about it.
[16:40] About Imaginable Futures; their structure, the work that they do, and more.
[18:43] Is Imaginable Futures an impact organization, first and foremost?
[18:54] Amy elaborates on how Imaginable Future’s flexibility allows them to structure investments in a way that promotes both scaled impact and sustainability in the most efficient way possible.
[20:28] Imaginable Futures has a wonderful but challengingly broad agenda; investing from early learning through post-secondary in America, Africa, and Latin America. What does Amy think about collecting the best ideas and narrowing those down to investment choices?
[22:55] Imaginable Futures’ beautiful set of values: where they came from, how they uphold them, and what they are.
[24:15] Are Imaginable Futures’ investment 50/50 between return-seeking and philanthropic? And is it by design or did it just work out that way?
[24:55] The importance of taking on risk when it comes to philanthropy.
[30:10] About Amy’s new report, “Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures”.
[31:52] Two key provocations from Amy’s report: 1. What if student agency became the most important measure of learning? And, 2. What if young people connected in new ways, developed voices, organized for change across politics, climate, systemic inequities, and even their own learning?
[34:25] Amy and Tom discuss other provocations in the “Learning Reimagined” report: “What if learning progressions were based on competencies?” And: “What if home-schooling became the new school if we learned more about different school formats?” Amy also shares her thoughts on whether she thinks we’ll see home-schooling innovations take off as a result of the pandemic.
[35:25] The importance of addressing inequities quickly (and now more than ever).
[36:29] Amy’s closing thoughts on what’s next for Imaginable Futures.
[37:58] Tom thanks Amy for joining the podcast!
Mentioned in This Episode:
- Amy Klement
- Imaginable Futures
- Pierre Omidyar
- Omidyar Network
- Bridge International
- SPARK Schools
- “SPARK Schools: Scaling Affordable Excellence in South Africa,” by Tom Vander Ark | Getting Smart
- “Low–Cost Schools Are Transforming Africa,” by Tom Vander Ark | Getting Smart
- Teach For All
- “Teaching Without Internet” on WhatsApp
- “Learning Reimagined: Radical Thinking for Equitable Futures”
- African Leadership Academy
- Teach for India
- Kids Education Revolution
- Difference Making at the Heart of Learning: Students, Schools, and Communities Alive With Possibility, by Tom Vander Ark and Emily Liebtag
- Getting Smart Podcast Ep. 282: “Shauntel Garvey on EdTech Impact Investing”