Kiran Bir Sethi is a Designer who became a Teacher, a Principal who grew into an Education Reformer and subsequently morphed into a Social Entrepreneur. A trained Graphic Designer, she comfortably uses the language of Design – iteration, prototype, design specs – to develop not only curriculum innovation, but also community-based Social Programmes.
After graduating from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (India) in 1989, Kiran successfully ran her own Graphic Design Firm for over a decade. She moved into Education when she founded The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India in 2001, which is now viewed as a Laboratory to prototype “design processes” that enables “transformative” student learning experiences.
Kiran is also the founder of ‘aProCh’—an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she received the “Call to Conscience Award” by the King Centre at Stanford. In 2009, Kiran launched “Design for Change” which uses a simple 4 step design framework – FIDS (Feel, Imagine, Do, Share) to cultivate the I CAN mind-set in all children. Today DFC is the world’s largest movement of change – of and by children, and today, it is in 61 countries — impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.
Over the years, Kiran, Riverside and Design for Change have won several accolades and Awards, and some of them are:
- In 2011, Kiran won the prestigious INDEX – Design to Improve Life Award
- In 2012, Kiran was awarded the Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Award
- In 2014, Design for Change was declared Lego Foundation’s Reimagine Learning Challenge Champion
- In 2015, Kiran was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize instituted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation.
- In 2015, Design for Change won the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Award.
- In 2015, Kiran was conferred the Asia Game Changer 2015 Award by Asia Society.
- In 2017, Kiran met the Pope in the Vatican to sign an Agreement whereby DFC is being introduced in over 460,000 Catholic Schools across the Globe.
- In 2017, DFC has been recognised as one of the 100 Most Innovative Educational Programmes in the world by HundRED.org (based in Finland).
- In 2018, Kiran has been awarded the Light of Freedom Award, at the Vital Voices, U.S.A., Global Leadership Awards
- In 2018 Edutopia covered The Riverside School for best practices.
- The Riverside School is consistently ranked as the No.1 International Day School in the City of Ahmedabad and State of Gujarat by EducationWorld India School Rankings.
Kiran currently resides in Ahmedabad with her Husband – Geet Sethi and two wonderful children – their son, Raag and daughter, Jazz. She loves listening to music, watching movies, singing, dancing and has an insane love for fruit-filled Dark Chocolates!!!