Catalyst, New Global Community for Education Change Agents, Completes Multinational Launch Series — Finds Educators Worldwide Share Similar Challenges

SEL, student equity and agency, education technology, and immersive learning spaces predominant challenges identified

Calgary, Canada — December 11, 2019 — Catalyst, the first global community for education leaders and change agents to collaboratively create and activate education improvements, concluded its launch event series across four continents last week, finding that education leaders around the world share similar challenges and concerns about prevalent nonacademic topics that impact student learning.

Event gatherings were held in Sydney, Johannesburg, London, and Washington, D.C., attracting education leaders from the national, district, and school levels to begin to harness the power of the collective to move the needle on important issues in education and learning. Since its launch in October, Catalyst has attracted 400 participant members across 18 countries in four continents, including Panyaza Lesufi, the MEC for Education and Youth Development in Gauteng Province; John Short Ring, Deputy Head at King’s College School in the United Kingdom; Dr. Phil Lambert, professor and former Regional Director for the NSW Department of Education in Australia; and Scarlett Lewis, founder of the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement, and Dewayne J. McClary, Director of Educational Technology & Library Programs at D.C. Public Schools in the United States.

Regardless of locale, education culture, and school structure, four consistent challenges emerged:

  1. Implementing social and emotional learning programs to meet the needs of all students.
  2. Creating a culture of equity and building student agency.
  3. Future-proofing technology purchases to support emerging instructional trends, including personalization and differentiation.
  4. Creating immersive learning spaces that improve student learning.

“Action and outcomes, rather than solely knowledge sharing, are at the heart of our Catalyst community,” said professor and researcher Stephen Heppell, cofounder of Catalyst. “We see too often that educators are isolated — in their own states, provinces, or countries. They’re facing largely the same challenges but working independently to solve them. Catalyst provides a home for problem-solvers to work together, developing and sharing effective, pragmatic, and tested solutions.”

Through in-person meetings and an online hub, Catalyst links education innovators with experts and each other to jointly create, implement, and refine new approaches to tackling some of the most complex challenges in the sector. The next series of Catalyst events will take place in the beginning of 2020 at major conferences worldwide — bett, FETC, TCEA, didacta, and SXSW EDU — where attending educators can easily participate and contribute to the conversation around these pressing education issues.

“Overwhelmingly, we heard from those working to address education’s challenges that they needed a safe place to openly collaborate and ideate together, to directly connect with peers and experts, and to collectively develop and build on promising practical solutions,” said Jeff Lowe, Cofounder and CMO of Catalyst. “We developed Catalyst to serve that need and to offer a structured approach for members to build solutions together.”

Catalyst’s international roster of founding partners includes Jaime Goldstein, Director of Strategic Projects and Innovation Grants, the Harvard Initiative for Learning & Teaching; Nancy Conrad, founder of The Conrad Foundation; professor and researcher Stephen Heppell; education strategist Ken Shelton; SMART Technologies; and Learnit World Limited.

To be a Catalyst member is to be a force for change in education -- an innovator who finds no contentment in the status quo, and no greater thrill than making an impact that matters. Education leaders and those interested in driving change in education globally are invited to join the Catalyst community for free at 

Posted: December 18, 2019
in Media Releases