Compass Education’s Internship Program

Starting in June this year, Compass Education has initiated a rolling 3-month internship program that is tapping into the passion and skills of young people who are keen to be a part of the growing sustainability, SDG and systems thinking movement. As CE continues to grow and expand its reach globally to schools in Asia, Latin America, the Middle East an Australia, we find that young people are eager to help us to develop our own abilities as an organization.

Agatha Pacis, a truly gifted and talented young woman from the Philippines was our first intern. She helped us immensely in improving our social media outreach to youth, relooking at our branding, and helping t facilitate our youth leaders camp to run smoothly.

We have lots of cool and creative challenges for other young people interested to learn about systems thinking and sustainability education and would like to live and explore Chiang Mai, Thailand for 3 months.

Please contact Khun Nong at if you are interested in applying.


Session 2 of School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST) at UNIS Hanoi

Hi from Bangkok and Jakarta! We are writing to give you an exciting update about the latest development from the Leadership/School Empowerment section of Compass Ed. 

Since we last wrote, UNIS Hanoi has now completed the second session of our Compass Education: School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST). Scott and Teresa got to work with the team again from March 3-4 to delve into systems, innovations, and strategies and reach the capstone of the Pyramid process!

Based on the vision they developed in October, the UNIS sustainability team spent the last few months gathering evidence of “What is happening?” in the community with respect to their adapted School Community Sustainability Framework. During our work together in session 2, the team:

  • Synthesized their evidence into ‘node cards’ that provided the raw material for their systems mapping process
  • Engaged in some of our favorite systems thinking experiences – drawing toast and systems diagramming a Dr. Seuss story – to develop systems mapping skills
  • Applied the systems mapping skills to generate four systems maps of sustainability at UNIS; a smaller team is now working on using Kumu to create a shared digital version of their school systems map
  • Identified four key leverage points for transformation, and developed innovations at each:
Leverage PointInnovation(s)
Communication networksPhoto series, assembly, building static content for UNIS Hanoi landing page
Professional development / trainingUpdating recruitment questions to include sustainabilityCreating resources for teaching sustainability and systems thinkingT.I.A.iBlock sustainability integrationSTEAMfest booth
ServiceBuilding on a strength of an already strong service learning program, creating a service hub for all stakeholders – students, staff, parents, teachers – to engage in meaningful service.
Data and policiesComprehensive Data Tracking Comprehensive Policies for Sustainability 
  • Considered the Gilman’s Equation to think of strategies for diffusing the innovations
  • Used the GIlman’s Equation, Amoeba, and Iceberg to develop their action plans!

WHEW! It was a jam packed, super invigorating, and awesome process to be part of. We will stay in touch with the learning community as they move into implementation, and hope that we will have more to share in the coming months and years about their sustainability transformation.

Thanks for your interest and support, and we are thrilled to have had UNIS Hanoi be our pilot school. We are also engaged in the same process with Green Shoots International School in Hoi An, Vietnam. We hope to engage more schools in the coming years (and their city names don’t have to all be anagrams of each other …)

In the meantime, we are really desperately trying to create a snappier, catchier, more innovative name for the process than “School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST)” as neither of us can ever quite get out all the words without stumbling over them. So, any suggestions are more than welcome!

We’ll keep you all updated, CE crew!

Teresa & Scott

ISH Youth-led Youth Empowerment and Leadership Training 2019

by Naia McPherson

In April of this year, I had the opportunity to travel to Cuba to teach students from the International School of Havana. In previous years I have taught at the annual CYCLe event in Chiang Mai, Thailand. This was my first time co-facilitating a group of students as part of an independent event. The overall experience was very enlightening not only because I got to travel, teach, and inspire (three of my favorite things) but mostly because I got to meet a group of students who are genuinely concerned about the wellness of our earth and are actively seeking means of being involved in the sustainability movement. In other words, I got to meet the leaders and change agents of tomorrow, or as I like to say, TODAY, because there’s no time like the present. It was very inspiring to watch them grasp important concepts and get excited about the chance to make a difference.

Roughly 40 students from ISH traveled to Varadero, Cuba, to attend this 3-day training centered around sustainability, leadership, and systems thinking. Over the course of the training, students were introduced to various systems thinking tools created and/or adapted by Compass Education to teach people about non-linear thinking, systems mapping, and creating action plans, amongst other important topics. The training provided ISH students with a collection of tools that, with practice, help develop critical thinking, problem-solving, and leadership skills in and outside of the classroom. For example, the Systems Iceberg was introduced as a method of analyzing a situation and identifying its root cause. This tool can be used to tackle a big-picture/world problem, or a smaller more personal issue; either way, it challenges students to dig deep in order to search for and find an answer to any problem they may have identified. This event was highly successful in my opinion as the students walked away from it confidently with tangible action plans and a better understanding of the importance of sustainability. It was an experience I would recommend to anyone and everyone.

Whole-School Professional Development: Introducing Systems Thinking

Hope for Tomorrow

YVFFF #4 - Hope for Tomorrow

[twitter style=”horizontal” float=”left”] [fblike style=”standard” showfaces=”false” width=”450″ verb=”like” font=”arial”]

Pioneering Compass Education’s School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST) at UNIS Hanoi

We’re excited to report that Compass Education (CE) has been working with the United Nations International School of Hanoi (UNIS Hanoi) to pioneer a new service: Compass Education’s School Community Sustainability Transformation (SCST). Organized as two 2-day face-to-face sessions with virtual support between and after, the SCST process is helping UNIS Hanoi and its school community develop their own holistic, systems integrated, schoolwide approach to sustainability.

Building on the VISIS pyramid, which Compass Educators who have been through Level 2 will be very familiar with, the SCST takes school communities through a proven sustainable development planning & action cycle that focuses on systems thinking and effective change strategies. This process empowers school to consider all areas in which they can have an impact on sustainability, and to prioritize initiatives that will have the greatest impact. School communities are able to develop realistic action plans that support the school’s mission and provide valuable feedback for future initiatives.

On October 18-19 CE facilitators, Teresa Tung and Scott Edwards, travelled to Hanoi to complete Session 1 with UNIS Hanoi’s sustainability team comprised of 30 community members including teachers, administrators, board members, support staff, parents and students.


As a result of the first session, the school community has developed a shared vision of sustainability, grounded in the school’s mission and stated values. They have also developed a customized sustainable school framework by adapting the Compass School Community Sustainability Framework prototype to align with their own strategic management and reporting structures.

Here is one of the feedback we received from the school:

Compass Education introduced us to a framework and tools around which to build a sustainability initiative tailored to our school. The facilitators were very effective in helping us to crystallise a personalised vision statement. The conceptual tools developed by Compass Education are clear, simple, and easy for a variety of stakeholders in our school community to use and understand.

Empowered with this, the UNIS Hanoi sustainability team will spend the next few months developing preliminary indicators and gathering evidence of systems that are currently in place. Teresa and Scott will return in March for Session 2 to delve into the Systems, Innovations, and Strategies levels of the VISIS Pyramid.

Wells International School Students Make ‘Every Action Count’

Wells International School Students Make 'Every Action Count'