The concept of planet schools. Efficient global change.

Update 2011-07-19: There is a domain for that – and a first mind map of the essential idea.

planet school – mind map

I just applied the following text at Under time pressure I could write this in minutes 🙂

M Y _ A P P L I C A T I O N _ T E X T _
( t o _ a w e s o m e f o u n d a t i o n . o r g )


I have been working for the progress of corporates for 16 years. 2009 was a wake-up call for me. UN Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 demonstrated the “systemic failure” of the political class. The PLANET is used beyond the natural limits. I know that as a foresight expert for years.

We have to thoroughly re-wire and re-educate politics, economy, society. Planet schools will be developed as serious starting points into a sustainable metabolism with the planet.

It is not enough to know and to lament.

There are countless initiatives of change all over the PLANET, great local and global communities and changemakers.

BUT the elite of tomorrow, the leaders in politics and economy are educated “as usual”. The mindset in 10.000 business schools worldwide is

quite unchanged ( Same in most of the public and private schools. The agenda, methods and the contents are not adapted to the mega-challenges of the 21st century.


Reforming old structures, to persuade established institutions seems quite futile in our situation. Time is running out. We need a fast track to change thinking and lifestyle. But not as a marginal movement. The change has to be mainstream to have the necessary impact!


Ahead is a huge transformation of our economical system. The goal is a sustainable and resilient smart green economy. To support the huge transformation of our systems we have to re-design and re-educate on all levels: Attitude, values, methods, habits. In the end we might even be more happy than with destructive consumerist mindsets.


Planet Schools will be the places for new learning and co-creating the new realities how we work and live. These Planet Schools are nothing to be build in brick and mortar with incredible investments. Some might be built, but this would be too slow again. “Planet School” is a label, a qualification. Any kindergarten, high school, community school, university can apply. If certain criteria are reached some “color badge” will be assigned.

Criteria are measurable: Agenda, contents, methods to educate for sustainable living and responsible leadership.

  • Where is the money going?

We do not have to start from scratch. Many insights, manifestos, methods and good practices are around on the globe. Finally “Planet School” is a kind of movement or educational brand to support the necessary global change.

Efficient Crowdsourcing: I will take 100% of the money as an award for the best idea to bring the concept of “Planet School” forward (I am not applying there).

Then this will go to as a real [collaborative] project.


A D D E N D U M _ 1

Recommended reading:

As I have said there are many initiatives all over the world, especially with education as a “natural target” to foster change. I want to specially mention one of them since it is (a) a very mature and well-founded concept, (b) it is done by an admired thought leader in the world of transformation, change management etc.: Otto Scharmer. Please visit his highly recommended blog and find the post: and post-bubble economics

Find the link there to the fine text (pdf), which starts this way:

This proposal describes a global action-learning platform that engages and connects leaders across sectors, cultures, and generations to create system-wide societal innovation. We are calling this platform for its emphasis on self-awareness as a core capacity of 21st-century leadershipand for its use of Theory U, and other awareness-based practices, as a meta-frame for integrating state-of-the-art methods of systems thinking, participatory innovation tools, mindful leadership practices, and generative stakeholder dialogue techniques. ( an awareness-based global leadership platform building cross-sector capacity for resilient societies DRAFT 2.0)

Comment: The idea is really great, but I think it is too near at the thinking and brand of “Theory U”. Some people might say that this is a bit too much “U”. Theory U is great, but strategically “U schools” appeaer somehow “pre-branded” too much and too close to the single person of its creator, Otto Scharmer. Second: The concept is clearly focusing the grown ups (not the little children and students), especially the leaders. Very important, but possibly not enough.

A D D E N D U M _ 2

The evening tv news are again about the struggling US and EU economy. Bad enough, but I would like to have debates about the global ecological situation and the planetaty “debt” (some trillions for our descendants. And I would like a kind of “GEX” (global ecological parameter index) report in the news.


Just for contextualization. I just realized that the first published ideas about “planet schools” go back rather far. See the paragraph “From “Business Schools” to “Planet Schools”  in the post “Titanic in full speed, me, you and the Trojan horse (II)” Oct. 2010 on my future facts blog.


5 thoughts on “The concept of planet schools. Efficient global change.

  1. Awesome – that’s what the idea of is based on. Wouldn’t it be awesome to combine all these different approaches around the world with very special blend of learning together?

    Lumiar – Ricardo Semler’s school in Brasil
    Team Academy – Management School without teachers
    Presencing Institute – Global change through social innovation on collective change

  2. Inspiring! James Tooley’s book “Beautiful Tree” is about 1.5+ million entrepreneurial schools for the poor — as cellphones and web access grow, they could be a great resource to engage in the Planet Schools system as co-creators of eLearning content, virtual field trips, and other explorations. I try to track opportunities along these lines on Glad to meet you thru NextEdge and I hope in person before long!

    Mark Frazier and

  3. Thanks Mark, Willi,
    To amplify what has started a while ago. The Web enables now the connections across boundaries (in time and space) even in areas which formerly were disconnected like in Africa.

    Mark, Am I right that you are working together with John Rob, I am in contact with John as well, even though I am not actively engaged in in the Time to get deeper connected 🙂

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