We are building the first modern and global school.

Three years ago, an ever-growing group of people and organizations interested in improving education began to form around the idea of a modern, global school. Today, Whittle School & Studios is a collaboration of hundreds of educators, designers, architects, and professionals from around the globe working towards our goals of one, revamping the school for the Innovation Age and two, building the first global school with campuses around the globe. In the Fall of 2019, our first two campuses will open in Washington, D.C. and Shenzhen, China.


The need for change

At the heart of our work is the belief that schooling everywhere is stuck in the past and that a dramatic modernization is long overdue. In the last 100 years, nearly every sector of life (health, transportation, communications, agriculture, shipping) has changed radically. Propeller planes have become jets; clunky, tethered-by-wire phones are now on our wrists; organs can be replaced like spare tires; and packages that once took months to deliver find their way to the most remote villages in less than 48 hours. Mind-bogglingly complex institutions, unimaginable just decades ago, have been created from scratch. Apple. Alibaba. Amazon. FedEx. Google.

Schooling, however, remains largely unchanged. It is as if more than a century ago someone invented “school” and the formula was universally adopted, and since then it has been largely unchallenged. 

Our mission

We aim to create an extraordinary and unique school, the first truly modern institution serving children from ages three to 18 and the first global one. We want to change for the better the lives of those students who attend and, beyond our own campuses, contribute to the cause of education on every continent. We measure our merit not through the narrowness of exclusivity but through the breadth of our impact. Central to our mission are these features:

  • One School with 30 Campuses Across the World’s Leading Cities

  • A Common Curriculum Throughout Built on Best Practices & Research (adapted to local laws and needs in each city)

  • A Global Exchange Program That Facilitates Study Throughout the Network of Campuses

  • Powered by a Collective Intelligence and Supported by the Extensive Resources of a Global Headquarters



our team

To achieve our vision, we knew it would require a team that was more than just extraordinary. It had to be global, diverse, and passionate about our mission. At the time of this writing, about ten months before opening day at our Washington, D.C. and Shenzhen campuses, the Whittle team consists of 120 full-time professionals as well as hundreds of supporting “extended family members” in institutions deeply involved with us. Visit the main Whittle School & Studios website to learn more about key members of our leadership team, including:

  • Chris Whittle, Chairman & CEO; formerly, founder of Avenues: The World School, Edison School, and Whittle Communications

  • Nicholas Dirks, Vice-Chairman & Chancellor; formerly, Chancellor of the University of California, Berkeley

  • Benno Schmidt, Co-Chair of Global Advisory Board, formerly President of Yale University

  • Ian Thomas, Vice-Chairman & President; formerly, CEO of Boeing in China, India, and Australia

  • Jim Hawkins, Vice-Chancellor & Global Head of School Heads; formerly, Headmaster at Harrow School in London

  • Rebecca Upham, Vice Chancellor & Executive Chairwoman of D.C. Campus; formerly, Head of School at Buckingham Browne & Nichols in Boston