Workshops that spark innovation and transformational change in education.

ISKME’s Action Collabs™ are dynamic workshops that use the design-thinking framework to innovate new ideas with actionable next steps. Collaboration and ideation happen in four steps: Identify Opportunity, Design, Prototype, and Scale and Spread. And throughout the experience, participants engage in improvisational exercises specifically designed to encourage expansive thought and accelerate meaningful collaboration.

Action Collabs access groups' collective brainpower by focusing creativity and structuring brainstorming in a unique method that leads to new thinking and solutions. An Action Collab can focus on detailed projects such as lesson and curriculum creation or on larger systems thinking applied to school and districts.


Action Collabs are an innovative way to:

Tackle a familiar challenge from a new angle.
Spark strategic thinking around a new initiative.
Discover partnerships waiting to happen.

"I'd never seen myself as someone who 'makes' things, and for the first time, I saw myself conceptualizing and making a solution. It was really eye-opening." Action Collab Participant
"It was that transformation of creating order out of chaos that struck me as one of the more useful practices and techniques that could be applied to day to day level of an institution, even a smaller level such as a a department. In a sense, it is about letting people talk, vent, and having confidence that no matter how varied their background, there are things we share as educators, and it is very likely that we will come to some broader consensus." Action Collab Participant


Four stages of Action Collab:

Identify Opportunity: During Identify Opportunity, participants gather real-world insights by interviewing people directly affected by the Design Challenge.
Design: The group brainstorms new methods, tools, processes, ideas that answer the Design Challenge and serve research interviewees' needs.
Prototype: The Design is modeled using 3D materials, which allow the group to get feedback on the detailed facets and refine the design into a both innovative and feasible solution.
Scale and Spread: Scale and Spread expands the group’s idea into the world by deciding how it fits within a larger scope and then develops details of how the idea is piloted.

ISKME offers a range of Action Collab workshops that vary in audience, length, and focus:

• Intensive Action Collab: Focus on a group's specific Design Challenge (2 days)
• Basic Action Collab: Focused on a group's specific Design Challenge (1/2 - 1 day)
• Process Action Collab: Learn the standard framework of the Action Collab process (1/2 day)
• Team Building Action Collab: Learn new tools for collaboration and field-building (1/2 day)
• Action Collab Module: Inserted into a larger event and focused on a group's specific Design Challenge or the standard framework of the   Action Collab process (1/2 day - 1 day)
• Action Collab Facilitator Training: Training certifies Action Collab Facilitators (2 days)
• Action Collab for Kids: Focused on a group of younger learners' Design Challenge (1 day)
ISKME will customize an Action Collab to serve a client's individual needs.

Prior to the Action Collab, ISKME and the client craft a Design Challenge and determine the flow and other details for the workshop. A certified Action Collab Facilitator then delivers the workshop. ISKME's expertise in event design and facilitation lead the client through a process that delivers a generative, creative, and results-oriented experience for all participants.


ISKME Action Collab Clients:

Adobe: California

AgroKnow: Greece

Bay Area Society for Organizational Learning: California

Big Ideas Fest 2009: California

Big Ideas Fest 2010: California

Big Ideas Fest 2011: California

Big Ideas Fest 2012: California

Big Ideas Fest 2013California

Coast Community College District: California

City College of San Francisco: California

Danish Ministry of Education: California

Gateway Public Schools: California

Glendale Community College: California

Green Ideas 2011: Greece

Green Ideas 2012: Italy

Innovation in the Teaching of Sustainable Development in the Life Sciences in Europe: England

Lumina Foundation's College Productivity Initiative: Montana

Manteca Unified School District: California

MDC hosts Developmental Education Initiative: North Carolina

Missoula County Public Schools: Montana

National League of Cities hosts Communities Learning in Partnership: California

Open Discovery Space: Greece

Stanford University School of Education Orientation 2011: California

Stanford University School of Education Orientation 2012: California

The Shuttleworth Foundation: England

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation hosts OER 2011: The Impact of Open on Teaching and Learning: California



Action Collab Design Team

Lisa Petrides, ISKME
Jonah Houston, IDEO
Chris Miller, LifePlays
Andrea Saveri, ISKME

To bring a customized Action Collab to your organization, please contact ISKME’s Director of Training & Design, Andrea Saveri.

Action Collab™ is a registered trademark of ISKME.