The Mount Vernon Institute for Innovation (MVIFI), the R&D lab and transformation studio at Mount Vernon Presbyterian School in Atlanta, Georgia, is transforming schools and education as a whole, through people-centered design principles. By accelerating and amplifying the School’s work, MVIFI is impacting our schools, our community, education, and the bigger world around us.
MVIFI hosts dynamic learning events where participants become immersed in the design experience and learn by doing. School Visit Days and Flashlabs give visitors a new perspective on how to “do school” and offer specific tools, such as Learning Walks and Instructional Rounds, to aid in their transformation. Specific schools and organizations also visit our campus for multi-day workshops to take a deep-dive into their own journey of making school more reflective of real life.v
THE IMPORTANCE OF EMPATHY
– Kate Saunders, Head of School,
Tilton School, Tilton, NH
“For me, one of our biggest takeaways was beyond our actual scope of work. What impressed me so much was watching how the MVIFI team worked together and really partnered with us as we were developing and designing new ideas for our program. That synergy, that energy, and playful perspective was just so refreshing and it made our team so excited and joyful to work with MVIFI. It also helped us cultivate a more creative spirit. MVIFI really showed us the importance of fun and empathy in design, and then how to dig deep, make those connections, and ask the right questions. Together, we designed something really special and were able to depart campus with a sense of momentum, not only for our team and how we are going to work together but also for our program design which is so important for the future of our school.”– Kate Saunders, Head of School,
Tilton School, Tilton, NH
MVIFI shares thought and action leadership while inspiring others to engage in the community around them and impact lives through the work they undertake together. Students in the iDiploma program created a Virtual Reality (VR) experience for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.v
“…DEMONSTRATED A LEVEL OF PROFESSIONALISM THAT ONE WOULD EXPECT FROM A PRIVATE DESIGN FIRM.”
“Working with the team at MVPS was absolutely fantastic! Students, faculty, and leadership were all on board in such a way that when challenges presented themselves it never felt insurmountable. The enthusiasm, positivity and dedication show by the entirety of the MVPS community really demonstrated a level of professionalism that one would expect from a private design firm. They swung for the fences to develop a riveting experience.”– Ted W. Ward
Education and Public Programs Coordinator,
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
THEY WERE BRIGHT, PASSIONATE AND GIFTED IN THE WORLD OF INNOVATION
“We had the sincere pleasure of working with the students in iDiploma in 2018. They were bright, passionate, and gifted in the world of innovation. I was constantly amazed by their level of thinking and professionalism throughout the entire process! I am a HUGE fan of the work of MVIFI and the students. The MVIFI ID program is an incredible opportunity for students to learn the core principles of making the world a better place – and what better time to do this during high school! I am convinced the students of MVIFI will be the leaders of tomorrow and can’t wait to see what’s in store.”– Leo Chan
B.Des, M.T.S., Enterprise Innovation, Chick-fil-A, Inc.
MVIFI designs products and programs for transformative schools and organizations. For Example, iDiploma students reimagined the new employee handbook for Chick-Fil-A team members. Proving that high school students can impact the experience of employees who work for a behemoth of a company within their own community.
When a local non-profit, Love Beyond Walls, debuted their new documentary, Voiceless, the MVIFI team designed a Design Sprint for the entire MVPS high school student body. In three hours, students used original MVIFI visual thinking routines throughout the design thinking process to create over 300 prototypes for the organization on how to expand the community awareness for the new documentary, directly impacting the local homeless population.
MVIFI partners with specific schools and organizations through a consulting relationship with a goal of supporting that organization’s current work, inspiring them to move forward in their transformation. Starting with ethnographic observations, the consulting team meets the client where they are, giving them the tools and the space to design their future.v
I CANNOT TELL YOU HOW MUCH I LEARNED
“Thank you for taking time away from your own lives to come to Colorado to help our staff become designers. I heard lots of great feedback from the last two days and our teachers are energized to begin the year. I cannot tell you how much I learned in the short time you were here. MVIFI is worth the cost 100 times over. We want to keep MVIFI as an active member of the CTE family.”– Josh Miller
Principal, Cherokee Trail Elementary, Parker, CO