The Latest Learnings from Imaginable Futures

We aspire to stay open-minded and curious, constantly questioning, both learning and unlearning. And, in partnership with our portfolio, we strive to create an environment where we are constantly in dialogue, learning from each other—successes and failures – and sharing this learning with others.
Show All
Blog
News
Reports
07.30.20

Rising to the Challenge

Winning solutions of the Rise Prize, announced in early July, embodied the 6 C’s for improving the success of student parents. We highlight how the winning solutions fit into the framework.
07.24.20

Students Still Need Emergency Aid

With the crisis likely to extend into the fall, we need more philanthropic investment in emergency aid for students left behind by federal programs.
07.23.20

More Than a Quarter of Learners in Brazil Have Not Received Any Learn…

A survey study that Imaginable Futures co-funded with Lemann Foundation and Itaú Social uncovers learning activities in Brazil since COVID-19. Erin Simmons and Nathalie Zogbi reflect on findings.
07.16.20

Reimagining and Co-creating a Brighter and More Positive Future

Michelle Weise shares why she is energized to be joining the team at Imaginable Futures in a dual capacity as both a Senior Advisor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence.
07.08.20

15 Winners Awarded $1.55 Million Rise Prize to Advance Innovative Sol…

Announcing the 15 winners of the Rise Prize, awarding $1.55 million in combined prizes to the best innovative ideas supporting the postsecondary success of student parents.
06.25.20

Making Education Dreams a Reality for Teen Parents and Their Children

By investing in student parents & organizations that center their lived experiences, Imaginable Futures is committed to helping Generation Hope turn the statistics on student parents around—for good.
06.19.20

Juneteenth: A Day to Celebrate, Reflect and Learn — Together

On Juneteenth, we celebrate the progress towards racial justice in the US, but also recognize the reality of how systemic racism has historically impacted and still permeates society.
06.11.20

A Bright Light of Inclusive Collaboration During Dark Times

We’re proud to partner with Common Sense on new free content, activities and resources in English and Spanish to keep kids active, entertained & learning this summer, available on Wide Open School.
06.10.20

Announcing Finalists of the Rise Prize

Twenty-six finalists from more than 300 applications are selected for innovative solutions that support student parent success, in a joint initiative of Imaginable Futures and Lumina Foundation.
06.05.20

In Support of Black Families and Children

There is much work to do. We are failing the challenge before us and we don’t have all the answers on the path ahead. Yet, we have an unshakable commitment to listening, learning and acting together.
05.30.20

The Next Pandemic: Mental Health

The first wave of the crisis affected physical health, the second wave is economic. Now comes the third wave—mental health—and our system is ill-prepared.
05.19.20

Helping Countries Get Smarter About Funding Education

With the World Bank we are creating the Global Edtech Readiness Index, a benchmarking instrument for pilot countries to assess how ready their ecosystems are to roll out edtech solutions.
05.14.20

Coronavirus Scare Has Exposed Cracks in Our Systems

We have a keen eye on how the strengths of student parents can improve the academic outcomes of not only their children, but also will have a broader societal impact.
05.12.20

Providing Flexibility and Support for Post-Traditional Students, incl…

PelotonU is rising up to support students and families, quickly adapt their program to the new normal and undertake deep reflection to ensure long-term impact and sustainability themselves.
05.05.20

Part 2: Our First Steps to Deploy More Than $3 Million in Immediate R…

In Part 2, Amy Klement, shares the investments Imaginable Futures has made both within its current portfolio as well as new investments that will help those in need.
05.04.20

Part I: Our Portfolio Responds with Action and Innovation to Keep Lea…

In this two-part series, Amy Klement shares how she is looking at the education landscape and how Imaginable Futures might best help learners around the world against the current crisis.
05.01.20

We Need Innovative Thinking for Student Parents Now More than Ever

We need bold ideas now more than ever to help student parents not only survive this crisis, but thrive today and in the future.
04.30.20

$1 Million Commitment In Emergency Relief Funding For Learners In Bra…

To help communities in Brazil, Imaginable Futures has teamed up with the Lemann Foundation to establish an emergency relief fund.
04.28.20

The Time is Now to Invest In Our Children’s Futures

We invested in Capita because we knew then that we wanted to imagine a different future, particularly for young children and their families. Today, it’s even more important.
04.20.20

Early Learning Post COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic requires us to rebuild a childcare and early childhood education system that works for everyone. Through our GSV session, we present solutions to do just that.
04.09.20

Guest Blog: One Student Parent Shares the Impact of the Crisis

Student parents are one of the most impacted communities due to the pandemic, as they are feeling the effects of the unfolding challenges at every level.
03.25.20

Building Lifelong Learners with Cartoons, Music and Fun

Ubongo aims to educate African children by leveraging technology common among most African families — radio, TV, mobile and paperback books — to deliver local language educational content.
03.19.20

An Open Letter to Our Partners

With the global COVID-19 pandemic impacting all our lives – and the lives of our families and communities around the world – we are thinking of you, what you may need and how we can best assist.
03.09.20

Celebrating—and Elevating—Women Entrepreneurs

For International Women's Day, we honor our Imaginable Futures portfolio and the incredible women who have persevered to be part of the solutions for learners and their families.
03.04.20

Addressing the Whole Entrepreneur

At Imaginable Futures, we carry the whole-child philosophy into how we interact with entrepreneurs. Call it our “whole entrepreneur” philosophy.
02.20.20

A Mentor in Every Classroom: Building Africa's Future Generation of L…

We are inspired by Educate! whose focus on youths in Africa is rooted in scaled impact and systemic reform.
02.12.20

$1 Million Rise Prize announced to fund innovative solutions to suppo…

Awarding $1 million in combined prizes to 10 innovative ideas supporting parents’ postsecondary education success.
02.06.20

Funding Basic Needs for All Students, Including Those Raising Families

When 10 tornadoes ripped through the Dallas, it left $2 billion in damages and thousands of displaced people in its wake. Many of them were college students.
01.24.20

Imaginable Futures, New Global Philanthropic Investment Firm Focused …

Launches with $200 million of capital invested and $150 million from philanthropists Pierre and Pam Omidyar. Will focus on the future of learning across US, Africa and Latin America.
01.24.20

Introducing Imaginable Futures

We’re thrilled to share that after seven years as Omidyar Network’s Education initiative, today we launch as Imaginable Futures, an independent global philanthropic investment firm focused on the fut…
01.23.20

For Estefania, Rosa and Susan, Learning Never Stops

Laboratoria exists to drive a more diverse, inclusive and competitive digital economy in Latin America, that opens up opportunities for all people, equally.
01.23.20

Creating the Foundation for Future Generations

Despite the growing need, the dream of building new opportunities for young learners can be a challenge. Qualified leaders face hurdles in many different areas, just to be able to open up their doors.
01.23.20

Video Stories From Our Portfolio: SPARK Schools

SPARK Schools is an independent network of affordable private schools in South Africa offering globally competitive education.
12.03.19

Equitable Tech: Delivering High-Impact Learning with a Human Touch

Education is supposed to prepare children for the future, yet the current system is 100 years behind the times.
10.31.19

Reducing Disparities in Birth Outcomes and Early Development

We know that cognitive, physical, and social-emotional development are all critical elements of a child’s school and life readiness. However, we don’t always make the connection back to the key healt…
10.01.19

Home Grown: A Solution to America’s Child Care Crises

A group of 10 funders today announced a new collaborative, Home Grown, to improve home-based child care in the United States. Home Grown will increase access to and the quality of home-based child ca…
10.01.19

Collaborating for Infants and Toddlers: Investing in Home-Based Care

If you’re a parent of a young child, searching for the perfect fit for child care can often be a struggle.
10.01.19

Why We Invested: All Our Kin Is Increasing Quality in (Home-Based) Ch…

Through guided play and exploration at Ms. Kelly’s family child care program, Nevaeh builds math, literacy, and social emotional skills in a nurturing, educational environment.
08.13.19

Power in the Palm of Your Hand

In most parts of Asia, smartphones are king. They’re the sole mode of communication for millions of Indonesians, connecting remote island dwellers to the outside world, and the de facto wallet for Ch…
08.13.19

Equitable EdTech from the Top-Down

The Brookings Institute estimates that it will take 100 years for the world’s poor children to reach the same education levels as the wealthy at today’s pace. It’s a daunting statistic.
08.05.19

Holberton School Is Poised to Unlock Human Potential Globally

Nearly two years ago, our team at Omidyar Network Education invested in Holberton School. At the time, Holberton had a single campus in San Francisco. We were excited by their innovative approach to …
07.23.19

Move Beyond the Mirage: Embracing Deep Collaboration to Transform Out…

More than 800 million children and young people will lack the basic skills or qualifications needed for the modern workforce. Disruption is needed to address this challenge, and the answer can’t be m…
05.21.19

Change Starts with Teachers!

Teachers are the single most important factor in improving student achievement. That’s why, while most education innovation is geared toward students — helping them learn, study, or gain access to on…
05.06.19

What Did We Learn From Listening to 4,800+ Customers in Omidyar Netwo…

In 2018, Omidyar Network’s Education initiative, in partnership with Lean Data, conducted a 12-week “Sprint” to collect customer feedback and impact data across our global portfolio.
05.06.19

Learning by Listening to Those We Serve

Jessica and I are both parents of young children, and as we go into each day, we do our best to listen to our kids to help guide them to learn and grow. What they are thinking, how they are feeling, …
04.07.19

Redefining Family Engagement for Today’s Parents and Caregivers

I recently visited Bright Beginnings, an early childhood and family learning center in Washington, D.C. Even the fact that they call themselves a “family learning center” speaks to their emphasis on …
03.25.19

Delivering Equitable Ed-Tech at Scale

In countries around the world, technology is playing an increasingly important role in education systems, schools, and at home. For instance, in Chile, teachers are trying out tablet-based software t…
03.24.19

Scaling Access & Impact: Realizing the Power of EdTech

There are 250 million learners around the world who have finished their schooling – yet aren’t able to read or write well and lack the skills they will need to succeed in the 21st century. The Brooki…
03.24.19

Robust Ecosystems Are Key To Equitable EdTech

With excitement, we share our new report, Scaling Access & Impact: Realizing the Power of EdTech, one of the most ambitious deep dives to date into the world of education technology (EdTech).
02.27.19

Omidyar Network Publishes Report on Early Childhood Education, Sees B…

Isabelle Hau, a former investment banker at Morgan Stanley (where I originally met her more than a decade ago), now serves as the investment partner for US Education at Omidyar Network. She joined me…
02.05.19

Watch the Highlights from “Early Futures”

Omidyar Network, in partnership with Sesame Workshop and Promise Venture Studio, hosted Early Futures, a first-of-its-kind event focused on early childhood development. For two action-packed days in …
01.31.19

How Female Tech Talent Is Creating an Inclusive Digital Economy in La…

More than 22 million young people in Latin America and the Caribbean neither work nor study. That number is slightly higher than the population of Chile, and two and a half times as many people as li…
01.30.19

Big Ideas for Little Learners from the SXSW EDU Community

Earlier this month, Omidyar Network released a report called Big Ideas, Little Learners highlighting the mega trends and impactful innovations that we see changing the way our youngest members of soc…
01.29.19

Filling the Middleware Gap across Latin America

Since we started investing in education across Latin America in 2015, we have been primarily focused on companies that are developing innovative classroom technology that supports individual, persona…
01.09.19

Big Ideas, Little Learners: Early Childhood Trends Report

There is no question that the past 50 years have seen major progress in practices for young children and families. In addition, tremendous breakthroughs in brain science have clearly established why …
01.09.19

Big Ideas, Little Learners

Looking Back: Early Childhood Progress in Past 50 Years
12.12.18

Agenda Edu Receives Investment from Omidyar Network to Scale its Plat…

Agenda Edu (www.agendaedu.com), a platform that increases engagement in school settings, announced today that Omidyar Network, the philanthropic fund created by Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam Omidya…
11.28.18

High quality, interactive online teaching to disrupt after-school lea…

Pallavi is an eleventh grade student from Kharagpur, a small town in India that is well known for having one of India’s finest engineering colleges. She and her father aspire for Pallavi to become a …
11.28.18

Leaders and Most Promising Ventures in Early Childhood Development Co…

Today, Omidyar Network, Sesame Workshop, and Promise Venture Studio will kick off Early Futures – a two-day event featuring more than 200 experts, entrepreneurs, investors, researchers, and policymak…
11.28.18

Keeping a Promise for Early Childhood Development

Although there has been a significant increase over the last 10 years in entrepreneurial activity in US K-12 and higher education, the same cannot be said for early childhood innovation that targets …
11.26.18

The Time is Now: Investing Early in Our Children’s Future

Innovation in meeting the needs of young children is not a new thing. Head Start and Sesame Street were both born out of the War on Poverty in the 1960s, and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood celebrated it…
11.01.18

A Two Generation Approach to Early Childhood

When Brittany Block was in her early 20s, she was building a successful career: earning a cosmetology credential and supervising airline operations. Her life was upended when she met a partner that s…
10.31.18

Democratizing Education-to-Career Pathways

To gain career experience and help pay for her school tuition, she works part-time on campus and last summer interned with KWCH News 12 Wichita, a local news station. Carolina found and secured both …
10.30.18

Early Career Network Handshake Raises $40 Million in Series C Funding…

Handshake, the leading career network for U.S. college students, announced today that it has closed a $40 million Series C funding round led by the EQT Ventures fund ("EQT Ventures"), a European mult…
10.25.18

Pushing the Frontiers of Science and Impact in Early Childhood to Sca…

For people currently working in early childhood, the time when we did not understand the importance of the first five years of life may seem like a distant past. We now recite with ease the criticali…
10.16.18

Parents are the Future: Reimagining Postsecondary Opportunities for P…

Sarah was a teacher’s aide and wanted to take her passion for children to the next level and become a certified teacher. Alejandro needed financial stability, and saw a career in accounting as a path…
09.24.18

Education: Why Radical Collaboration is Needed to Support Education S…

This week, the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly opened, and global leaders are actively discussing our progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
09.04.18

The Promise of Equitable Edtech: Debunking Three Common Edtech Myths

Across the US and around the world, education technology, or “edtech,” has been under attack.
08.23.18

How Technology Can Help Underserved Children Learn

Education technology (also known as “edtech”) too often seems like a luxury found only in well-off communities.  But while it does have the potential to exacerbate inequities in education, it can act…
08.13.18

Bridging the Gap Between High Quality Content and Technology

How will technology impact learning outcomes? It has become increasingly clear that just getting computers to students does not improve learning outcomes. In a recently published review of evidence b…
07.24.18

Can student-centered, tech-enabled learning transform literacy and nu…

Sub-Saharan Africa remains the worst performing region in education outcomes with 40 percent of children not meeting basic outcomes in literacy and numeracy.
07.12.18

How Khan Academy Kids is Helping All Children Prepare for Kindergarten

Today, Khan Academy announces the launch of Khan Academy Kids — the first early learning platform that is both personalized and focused on the whole child — and we could not be more excited for them …
07.10.18

Argentina’s Grupo VI-DA Raises Series A Funding from Elevar Equity, O…

Grupo VI-DA seeks to close Latin America’s literacy and digital literacy gap by providing a suite of digital products to students, schools, and consumers that democratize access to high quality, Span…
04.13.18

EDUpreneurs Wanted

Despite progress over the past 20 years to increase access to education around the globe, we remain in a global learning crisis. According to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, more than 617 millio…
04.11.18

Waterford UPSTART: Expanding School Readiness for Early Learners

When Kara’s* oldest son came home from his school in Indiana with a flier for a new program promoting school readiness, her first thought was “I don’t know what to expect, but it’s worth a try.”
04.09.18

Why We Invested: Holberton School

One of the biggest issues facing higher education in the US today is return on investment. Is the price of a higher education leading to a fulfilling professional career that will enable a student to…
04.05.18

Why We Invested: Varthana

Like everywhere, parents in India demand the best possible education for their children. Today, Indian parents perceive that private schools offer a higher quality education than government-run schoo…
03.26.18

4.0 Schools Expands to Include Breakthrough Ideas for Early Learners

Melanie Richardson, a mental health professional, and Christine Neely, an educator, were twenty-year veterans in their respective fields and met as colleagues while delivering a community based liter…
03.15.18

Honoring Omidyar Network’s Women Entrepreneurs Changing Education

During Women’s History Month, we want to celebrate women we feel fortunate to work with every day who are pursuing big, bold visions to create positive change for millions of children and families in…
03.05.18

Four Learnings from Omidyar Network and DonorsChoose Early Learning I…

As any parent knows, focusing a three-year-old on any activity requires creativity and perseverance. Imagine if you also had to impart the intellectual, emotional, and social competencies a child wil…
01.24.18

Why We Invested: Wildflower Schools

Children are naturally curious. Interacting with their world and their teachers can ignite that curiosity. But they need the space for the spark to occur, and too often our youngest learners don’t ha…
01.17.18

Why We Invested: ParentPowered

Parents are both the first teachers for their children and stewards for their future learning. Interactions between child and parent in the first few years of life are tremendously important for a ch…
01.08.18

Why We Invested: Wonderschool

One of the best parts about working and investing in the education sector is having the privilege to meet and connect with educators who dedicate their lives to developing future generations.
12.11.17

How can Tech Platforms enable a new Early Childhood Workforce?

At Omidyar Network, we look at the transformative power of technology to help solve some of the world’s most challenging problems. And with our investments in US education, we are seeking to address …
10.04.17

Future of Work = Early Learning Today

The rapid development of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is already disrupting our notions of work and education, and as AI grows more powerful it will dramatically change the skill…
09.14.17

Why We Invested: MissionU

For millions of young Americans, a four-year college degree is the gateway to a modern career. Many others, though, want or need the chance to pursue a rewarding career path sooner and are looking fo…
08.23.17

Why We Invested: NewSchools Venture Fund Early Learning Challenge

Edtech is on track to be a $252 billion global industry by 2020, bringing more innovative education tools to the hands of students, teachers, and families around the world.
08.08.17

Why We Invested: Tinkergarten

Tinkergarten is taking education technology outdoors, supporting a play-based, early learning movement that is helping thousands of children in nearly every US state become more ready for kindergarte…
07.17.17

Why We Invested: DonorsChoose.org

We believe there are few better paths to opportunity and a bright future than a good education, and that an education that begins early in a child’s life sets the tone for everything that follows.
07.13.17

Why We Invested: Bridge International Academies

We believe education increases opportunity for all. In this new video, learn why we invested in Bridge International Academies, an organization working to improve student learning outcomes in underse…
07.13.17

Understanding Learning Experience at IkamvaYouth

IkamvaYouth staff were stumped. Why were high numbers of learners unable to meet the minimum 75% attendance requirement of their after-school tutoring programs? It was a recurring topic at team meeti…
03.31.17

Learning from Parents and Students to Improve Education In Brazil

Improving educational outcomes for Brazil’s low-to-middle-income families depends on innovations that include the participation and input of parents and students.
12.05.16

Why We Invested: Code.org

One million of the best jobs in America may go unfilled if our children don’t learn to code. And even for those who will not become professional coders, computer literacy and the basic logic and crit…
12.02.16

Why We Invested: Geekie

If no two students learn the same way, why do many schools teach everyone the same way? The data shows that if all students received the one-on-one support and tutoring that many more affluent studen…
10.18.16

Why We Invested: SPARK Schools

Most people intuitively know the transformational power of a good education on the lives of individuals and their families. There is now also a host of evidence that shows that improving the quality …
08.25.16

Why We Invested: Khan Academy

Quality early childhood learning opportunities are critical to children’s future success. From childcare to enrichment activities, these opportunities build the foundational skills and mindset to lea…
08.23.16

Why and How Omidyar Network Invests in Education Innovation

At Omidyar Network, we believe there are few more direct pathways to opportunity than education. High-quality education can have a greater impact on a young person’s development, livelihood, economic…