Igniting a New Way To Learn

The issue: We are all different as learners. But our learning environments are one-size-fits-all, which inhibits individual motivation, interests, abilities, and growth.

The solution: A paradigm shift in American education, to allow all learners to become active participants in shaping what they learn, how they learn it, and how they achieve their goals.

At ember, we use a learner-centric lens to find opportunities that change the fundamental design of learning environments to respond to individuals’ needs and aspirations. We know that learning can take place anytime, anywhere and at any age, so we work across contexts—with schools, in neighborhoods, and via social media platforms—to promote nontraditional learning opportunities where they can reach a variety of people.

We support innovators and entrepreneurs who have the vision, expertise, and commitment to lead the way by:

  • Upending traditional education models by designing and developing bold strategies.
  • Demonstrating positive impact on learners.
  • Driving systemic change.
“We need to consider what each person wants to learn, how they want to learn it, and what tools we can give them to achieve their goals. Only then can we achieve equity for all.”

— Jessica Berwind, Founder

What does the ember approach look like in practice?

Grantmaking

Individual schools face pressure from larger systems to maintain the status quo, despite the large numbers of students left behind. We support models that adapt to learners’ needs and aspirations. We partner with The Workshop School that enables students to learn through projects and real-world problem solving, and to master competencies in academic and non-academic domains.

Impact Investing

Our education system is designed with the assumption that everyone learns in lockstep. At ember, we know that technology can play an important role in giving learners more options and flexibility to determine how they want to engage. Yellowdig’s social learning platform enables learners to connect with their peers, instructors, tutors, and advisors in an online environment tailored to their individual needs.