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 from the National Institute of Design, she comfortably uses the language of design — iteration, prototype, design specs — to develop not only curriculum innovation, but also community-based social programmes.
Kiran founded the award winning Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India, in 2001. Riverside, is viewed as a laboratory to prototype design processes that uses a systems approach to build a culture of empowerment, graduating young citizen leaders with an ‘I CAN Mindset’ — using their agency for the greater good.
Riverside Learning Centre (RLC) started in 2016, has codified the practices and processes of The Riverside School and designed training programmes around the 6 Pillars of Curriculum, Parent Partnership, Personal & Professional Development, Community, Administration and Leadership that empower more schools to become user centered.
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, 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 is in 60+ countries — impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.
Kiran is a judge for the prestigious YIDAN Prize and a Visiting Global Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In 2019, she was awarded the Earth Prize in Luino, Italy, the Lexus Design Award for 2019, in Pune, India, and DFC has been recognised as one of the 100 most innovative educational programmes in the world by HundrED.org in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020.