Featured Rural Partners:





  • East Tennessee

With support from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, The Chapman Family foundation and local fundholders, World Savvy launched our first rural “hub” community in Knoxville, TN and the surrounding rural communities in fall 2017. This hub, called the East Tennessee Global Education Network, engaged local partners from higher education (University of Tennessee, Knoxville), community colleges (Pellissippi State Community College), K-12 schools (5 area schools) and philanthropy (East Tennessee Foundation).

Our work kicked off in spring 2018 and over the course of the next 15 months, World Savvy staff and consultants spent three days per month in East Tennessee working with K-20 educators.

Read about the work in East TN




  • Southeast Minnesota

In partnership with Somali Community Resettlement Services, we created the United Community for Inclusive Education in Southeast Minnesota, aimed at bringing together student and educator cohorts to create supportive and inclusive communities and schools for Somali youth.

In June 2019, we launched this effort with our Youth Leadership Summit, bringing over 30 Somali youth from the Faribault and Rochester area to collaborate and design together. For the 2019-2020 school year, we’re working with a cohort of K-12 educators from Rochester and Faribault and introduce them to World Savvy’s educational approach, including World Savvy Case Studies, an inquiry-based protocol for building background knowledge on a significant global issue, and the Knowledge-to-Action (K2A) design process which utilizes design thinking methodology to propose solutions to local issues. These educators will also engage in follow-up coaching to design and implement a K2A unit in their classrooms.

Read about the work in SE MN

Want to bring World Savvy to your community, or have an idea for a region that could benefit from this kind of partnership?

Why Rural Partnerships?

Our common future in the United States will include more ethnically and culturally diverse communities, a global knowledge economy that demands new skills of the workforce, and borderless challenges that require new kinds of collaboration and problem-solving.

Rural communities are experiencing these changes intensely. Globalization has changed their local economy. New immigrants are arriving every day. In the rural communities we’ve worked with, change moves at the speed of trust. Relational ties are strong. People know one another, show up for one another, and invest in each other. They understand best the issues that are impacting their communities. They also have a unique opportunity to model how to be inclusive and adaptive as the world changes around them.



Credit: The Washington Post

Education is a natural and powerful platform to leverage this opportunity, as it reaches a broad cross-section of young people and families from across communities, and can help build a foundation for critical thinking, collaboration, and inclusive and welcoming communities.
Our rural hub partnerships are designed to create education systems that prepare young people to thrive in this changing environment — and communities to build more resilient and adaptive local economies.

“In the 10 U.S. counties with the lowest per capita income as of the 2010 census, all of which are located in rural areas, whites constituted more than 61 percent of the population in only three.”Learn more by reading “Rural America Is More Diverse Than You Think” in The Week.

“Cities like Willmar are telling a story about America that we don’t often hear — a story about the people and organizations ‘willing to get caught trying’ to do the hard work of building inclusive, pluralistic and vibrant community.”Read Thomas Friedman’s profile of Willmar, MN in The New York Times

Our Criteria for Partnership

  • Historically homogeneous communities undergoing demographic transition and/or evidence of significant opportunity gap along racial/ethnic/cultural lines
  • Limited exposure to global education in K-20 landscape
  • Strong, local anchor institutions respected by community members (universities, community colleges, other nonprofits)
  • Committed cultural insiders who will be active champions of the work in the community, and who understand nuances within the local context

We Build This Work Together

World Savvy’s work on the ground is shaped by the needs of each community we partner with and designed in collaboration with local stakeholders. Here’s what this work looks like in East Tennessee:

K-12 School Partners

Yearlong comprehensive work to integrate professional development (workshops and coaching) for teachers, provide project-based learning and design thinking models for students, and leadership support for inclusive, adaptive school cultures.

Community Colleges

Leveraging a train-the-trainer model for faculty on globally competent pedagogy; engaging Leadership Team to define, activate and sustain welcoming campuses grounded in global competence.

Schools of Education

Introduction of Global Competence Certificate into Masters programming, collaboration on regional professional learning opportunities for rural teachers.

Local Philanthropy

Build local awareness and demand for global education within the philanthropic community.

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