Cultural Principles

  1. WE DO THE BEST WORK POSSIBLE IN SERVICE OF OUR MISSION. We are committed to highest quality work product and standard of professionalism. We act with integrity in every interaction,prioritizing honest dealings with one another, constituents, and the public.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Follow through on our responsibilities and commitments.
      • Produce work of the highest quality, based on strong/sound external research.
      • Use observation and questioning as a way to improve the quality of our work.
      • Think deeply about how our work connects with the field of global competence and education, and don’t shy away from speaking up when we see an opportunity for us to lead.
      • Make ethical choices, even in challenging circumstances.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Help everyone feel connected to the mission of the organization and understand their role in achieving that mission.
      • Make sure everyone has what they need to do their best work and grow their skills.
      • Make sure people have the time and space needed to fully be prepared.
      • Choose to say and listen to hard things when they’re the truth while understanding they come from best intentions.
      • Pivot and orient our work and decisions around quality data and learnings from past lessons.
  2. WE BELIEVE COLLABORATION IS ESSENTIAL. We believe in and commit to working with and learning from one another and others, and to sharing knowledge to advance our mission and the field of global competence learning. We think empathically about others on our team, how their work intersects with ours and the larger goals, and we work to help lift them up and support them as a part of our everyday jobs.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Engage in active listening.
      • Make sure our teammates can count on us.
      • Embrace others’ ideas and engage in generative dialogue.
      • Support colleagues with our knowledge, time, and energy.
      • Seek out colleagues for their knowledge, time, and energy.
      • Support colleagues in meeting their goals.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Look out for opportunities for collaboration and encourage people to reach out to others.
      • Proactively make space for collaboration, even if it might take a bit longer.
      • Create systems and processes to encourage collaboration.
  3. WE SEE PEOPLE AS WHOLE HUMAN BEINGS. We care about each person’s cognitive, social, emotional, physical, and ethical well-being. We intentionally build relationships that center this with everyone we work with, including our colleagues, students, teachers, and administrators. We are there for each other, and we know our coworkers will be there for us when we need it.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Are curious about what interests people, both related to the work and outside the work.
      • Welcome people’s whole selves to the work.
      • Recognize that everyone lives full lives and priorities that often need attention and support.
      • Share a bit about ourselves, and look for ways to learn about others.
      • Assume positive intent, and work to earn those assumptions from our colleagues.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Make space for people to get to know each other.
      • Prioritize time spent on relationship-building
      • Do our best to be physically, mentally, and emotionally present during our time together.
      • Focus our work on the whole child.
  4. WE INTENTIONALLY GROW AND CHANGE. We know that each person and our organization can always be doing better. This means we don’t hide from mistakes, instead using them as a chance to grow. We give feedback openly, and proactively seek it out for ourselves -- even if we know the feedback will be uncomfortable. We encourage the personal and professional growth of the team, and we are committed to ‘being aware’ of who we are and our impact in the community.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Seek out feedback and input from colleagues and partners.
      • Use observation and questioning as a way to understand our work.
      • Analyze and apply feedback as appropriate, and get support from our supervisors when we’re unsure how to apply the feedback.
      • Seek opportunities to learn new things related to our work and what’s going on in the world.
      • Intentionally plan for time and space for ongoing learning and reflection.
      • Take ownership of our own professional learning plans, and work to support others’ plans.
      • Are honest and self-aware about our strengths and areas for personal growth.
      • Persevere through challenging and ambiguous experiences with positivity.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Prioritize time for reflection and learning, both during and after a project.
      • Are transparent with external stakeholders and share our growth.
      • Encourage (and provide a budget for) professional development.
  5. WE LEAN INTO COMPLEXITY when it’s called for. We recognize very few things are as simple as they may appear, and we seek out the nuances and details that can shift how we approach the work, making it even more effective.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Look for nuances in information and try to integrate that into our work.
      • Embrace patience and allow time to analyze the work.
      • Lean on each other’s strengths and are vulnerable to ask for help across the whole organization.
  6. WE BELIEVE BIG THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, whether that’s our mission or the project on the table. We are equal parts optimistic and realistic, looking for ways to make things happen even when they’re difficult. We are flexible to do what’s needed to get the job done.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Do our best to make things happen, even with limited resources;
    • As an organization, we:
      • Give new ideas the space to grow and thrive, and don’t pull the plug too quickly.
      • Create systems that allow for big dreams to become reality.
  7. WE NOTICE AND DISRUPT EXCLUSIONARY PATTERNS. We know that racism, sexism, and other -isms are in the air we breathe, and that means it will show up in how we work unless we work hard to prevent it. We proactively work to shift how we do things to be increasingly inclusive -- even if that can feel uncomfortable in the moment. We make a point to include the voices of all stakeholders (in all aspects of the work), and reduce barriers to engagement for those who have been traditionally marginalized.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Learn (through feedback and self-reflection) about our blind-spots and other ways we may be reinforcing -isms, and shift our behavior.
      • Recognize that the impact of our actions is more important than the intent.
      • Give feedback on hurtful behavior, while assuming best intentions.
      • Consider how accessible everything we do is for diverse audiences.
      • Look out for equity of voice during meetings and discussions.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Align our work, products, and services in a culturally responsive way.
      • Ensure all staff get training on our anti-oppression lens.
      • Make space to talk about where people feel challenged, and look for ways we can shift to be more inclusive.
      • Proactively plan resource allocation (financial, human capital, other) to reflect our commitment to equity.
  8. WE BRING HOPE, JOY, AND A SENSE OF ASPIRATION INTO ALL THAT WE DO. We celebrate students, teachers, and accomplishments. We honor each other for both big and small successes.
    • As individuals, we:
      • Approach our work with positivity and optimism.
      • Believe our work makes a difference.
      • Actively participate in creating opportunities to have fun and feel deep joy.
    • As an organization, we:
      • Celebrate our accomplishments and colleagues’ personal milestones.