Grantmakers for Education – A Pittsburgh Learning Journey


Collective Invention, since 2010, has worked with Grantmakers for Education (GFE) to design a series of learning journeys to examine the future of education in innovative cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Detroit and Pittsburgh. The most recent, A Renaissance of Wonder: Supporting Creativity through Digital Media and Learning, occurred in April 2012 and focused on Pittsburgh as a center for innovation and creativity.


Emphasizing the role of technology and its function in promoting creativity and learning, GFE examined how grantmakers can support the types of academic environments they were observing in the Pittsburgh ecosystem. Highlights of the tour included trips to Carnegie Mellon University, Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA).

Investing in technology and digital media as educational tools is increasingly important for education grantmakers. Technological innovations are not only changing how educators and students engage, but transforming classrooms, pedagogy and student opportunities. The range of investment options is extraordinary, and exploring the Pittsburgh ecosystem shed light on practical examples for education funders seeking to influence the world of learning.


A place-based program focusing on Pittsburgh as an innovation ecosystem, GFE explored numerous programs and partnerships that support formal and informal learning environments. Emphasizing the role of technology and digital media in promoting creativity and learning, GFE examined how education grantmakers can be catalysts for learning that spurs curiosity, nurtures talent and supports academic success.


As the series has continued, GFE has recognized a growing emphasis on collective action and collaboration to effect systemic improvements to education in communities across the United States. As grantmakers work to align and coordinate efforts, to stimulate student-centered innovation, GFE increasingly strives to locate the work of the philanthropic community inside a larger network of dedicated partners, those who can wholly embrace strategies and practices that support America’s learners on the path to successful education experiences and careers.


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