World Savvy educates and engages youth to learn, work, and thrive as responsible global citizens.


World Savvy envisions a K-12 education system that prepares all students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for success and active engagement in the global community.

By 2035, World Savvy’s goal is to engage a network of 10,000 K12 schools in diverse geographies across the US, representing 10% of the public schools across the country, and reaching an estimated 5 million students.

“Public schools were not only created in the interests of industrialism—they were created in the image of industrialism. In many ways, they reflect the factory culture they were designed to support.”

Ken Robinson
The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything

World Savvy was founded in 2002 by Dana Mortenson and Madiha Murshed in the wake of 9/11 to address the need to educate and prepare young people in the US to become informed global citizens. The founders believe that educating for global competence will ensure that students have the skills to be successful as professionals, citizens, and community members in a rapidly globalizing world.

The organization has grown from providing programs to one high school in Oakland, CA to 808,900 students and 6,836 teachers. World Savvy works toward systems change by creating the conditions for global competence to be deeply embedded into teaching, learning, culture, and policy.

The current K-12 education system is an outdated model designed for the 20th century when standardized learning and testing prepared young people to succeed in standardized jobs and homogeneous communities. This is no longer our reality, and thus it is no longer a viable educational option for our children.

We strive to create and support an educational system in which diversity is elevated, promoted, and celebrated as an asset. All kids deserve to feel safe, engaged and empowered. Our programs co-create inclusion and social cohesion by preparing teachers to integrate global competence into teaching and learning. It is not only possible for schools and classrooms to become spaces for students to engage in and lead deep, culturally and socially relevant learning. It is imperative.

We will leverage the learning and impact of our network toward broader policy change toward recognition of global competence as critical to a quality education across the country. Only then will our educational systems truly prepare young people for future jobs, citizenship, learning, and problem-solving.

Our FY19-21 strategic plan includes the following initiatives:

Integrate: Building Future-ready schools

  • Aligning our programs and services to strengthen whole school transformation.
  • Build and enhance multi-year pathway for transforming school’s pedagogy and culture;
  • Develop additional structures to support school leaders to develop cohesive visions for global learning in their schools;
  • Expand place-based partnerships which support schools, including funders and community partners;
  • Identify and support referential school sites in every region that can showcase success to larger network of schools.


  • Expand virtual learning opportunities and online learning communities;
  • Expand partner school sites with a new focus on rural communities;
  • Enrich classroom resources for a larger network of teachers;
  • Expand and deepen professional development around supporting multilingual learners, sustainable development goals (SDGs), and social and emotional learning (SELs).

Evaluate and Communicate

  • Advance our principles-based approach to evaluation and solidify World Savvy’s thought leadership in education.
  • Deepen capacity to share impact data on school transformation;
  • Strengthen connections between World Savvy’s impact data and mainstream education priorities (closing the Opportunity Gap);
  • Leverage new networks of educator ambassadors, to showcase the impact of World Savvy’s model;
  • Advance thought leadership through public engagement—through media, publications and policy work.


  • Enhance and grow World Savvy staff capacity;
  • Align our business model with current and future market realities;
  • Grow our geographic footprint, including rural expansion.
Interested in learning more about our strategic plan and vision?
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