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Creative Constructor
Lab Virtual
Leadership Exchange
at ISTELive 21
Edtech Advocacy &
Policy Summit

Become a Social-Good Innovator and Create Access to Innovation Culture

Explore and create

Explore and create : Creation lab

Friday, December 4, 12:30–1:20 pm PST (Pacific Standard Time)

Dr. Lisa Dawley  
Monte Kalisch  
Alina Mitchell  

Ready to build a better world? Discover Pactful, a research-based app that supports social-good innovation with teens and their teachers. Participants will work in teams using design thinking, aligned to the UN’s Global Goals, to identify and work through a local or global problem and pitch a solution.

Audience: Curriculum/district specialists, Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices required
Attendee device specification: Smartphone: Windows, Android, iOS
Laptop: Chromebook, Mac, PC
Tablet: Android, iOS, Windows
Participant accounts, software and other materials: A Google account is required to use the software, but not required to participate in the session.
Topic: Innovative learning environments
Grade level: 6-12
Subject area: STEM/STEAM
ISTE Standards: For Educators:
  • Shape, advance and accelerate a shared vision for empowered learning with technology by engaging with education stakeholders.
For Students:
Innovative Designer
  • Students know and use a deliberate design process for generating ideas, testing theories, creating innovative artifacts or solving authentic problems.
For Education Leaders:
Empowering Leader
  • Inspire a culture of innovation and collaboration that allows the time and space to explore and experiment with digital tools.
Additional detail: Session recorded for video-on-demand
Influencer Disclosure: This session includes a presenter that indicated a “material connection” to a brand that includes a personal, family or employment relationship, or a financial relationship. See individual speaker menu for disclosure information.

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

Research demonstrates that your opportunity to innovate is greatly determined by your context: the city where you were born, the race and socio-economic class of your parents, and your gender. White, wealthy men are 10x more likely to innovate than women, minorities and children living in poverty. Our goal is to quadruple the rate of innovation in America and beyond by creating access to innovation culture and tools, so all people can understand their ability to design and build a better world in partnership with others.

1. Participants will develop an innovator’s mindset by completing activities in each stage of design thinking using Pactful, a social good innovation app for teens and teachers who want to build a better world.
2. Participants will become familiar with the 17 UN Global Goals by targeting one goal to work on in-depth.
3. Participants will understand and apply social good innovation strategies by identifying problems, brainstorming solutions, and learning to tell the story of their solution.


1. Overview of data about innovation rates in the US, who becomes innovators and why (10 min, presentation)
Introduction to Pactful app (10 min, video overview and login)
2. Overview of UN Global Goals (5 min, small group discussion)
Team building and choosing a goal area (5 min, small group work)
3. Understand the problem (15 min, small group work)
4. Ideate solutions (10 min, brainstorm and narrow down)
5. Build a solution (15 min, draw a prototype)
6. Pitch a solution (20 min, prepare and share your solution with whole group)
7. Wrap-up and next steps (5 min)

Supporting research

Bell, A., Chetty, R, et al. (2019). Who becomes an innovator in America? The Importance of Exposure to Innovation.

Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2019). US Innovation Index.

Couros, George. The Innovator's Mindset: Empower Learning, Unleash Talent, and Lead a Culture of Creativity. Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc., 2015.

Liedtka, J., Salzman, R. & Azer, D. (2017). Design thinking for the greater good: Innovation in the social sector. Columbia University Press.

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Dr. Lisa Dawley, University of San Diego

Dr. Dawley is Executive Director of the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego and co-inventor of Pactful, an app to support social good innovation with teens. Formerly, she served as a professor of Educational Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship at UNC Chapel Hill School of Education, where founded ImagineLab, a UNC initiative to support teen innovation. She is former CEO and Founder of GoGo Labs, a gamified educational technology spin-out from Boise State University, where she served as Professor and Chair of the Dept. of Educational Technology.

Monte Kalisch, Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Ed

Monte Kalisch is the Director of Technology of the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego. He has spent his career building and scaling digital products primarily in education organizations. Monte is the former Chief Technology Officer of Connections Education where he spent 15 years helping to create the K–12 virtual public school industry. His contributions included creating an education platform that still serves over 80,000 full-time students, overseeing all technology services and operations, and being part of an executive team that culminated in a $400M acquisition to Pearson in 2011.

Alina Mitchell, University of San Diego

Alina Mitchell is currently the Learning Experience Specialist for the Jacobs Institute in Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego, a role in which she furthers professional learning initiatives including Pactful, Ed Innovation Professional Learning Certificate, & Remake Learning San Diego. She is a former K-12 principal and Founder of the Enrichment through Science, Mathematics, Athletics and Research Training (ESMART) Academy, a year-round STEAM enrichment program. She has taught at the University of Alabama Huntsville and was the former Program Coordinator at Morehouse School of Medicine.

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