Riverside School's Design-Led Approach
to Empower Children

Every CHILD CAN makes a compelling and inspiring case for taking a design-led approach to empowering and educating our children.

Founded by Kiran Bir Sethi, an alumnus of the National Institute of Design and an award-winning educator, the book shares the story of Riverside School, a uniquely innovative school that places the focus of developing a child’s agency and character at the heart of education.

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Through a rich collection of lived experiences and case studies, the book introduces readers on how Riverside has leveraged the design process to rework and reimagine every aspect of how the school functions, from pedagogy, teacher training, time-tabling, parent-school relationships, school and community engagements.

The book reveals the ground-breaking ideas, tools, processes and practices based on the design process that went into building a school that graduates confident, empowered and humane citizens with an I CAN mindset.

The goal of the book is to offer this comprehensive framework and approach to teaching and learning to school leaders, teachers, policy makers and parents to consider, experiment and iterate upon.

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The Authors

Kiran Bir Sethi is an Indian designer, educationist, education reformer, and social entrepreneur. With a degree in visual communication from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, she ran a flourishing design practice, but it was when her children started going to school that Sethi recognized her true calling: putting design thinking into education.

She founded the award winning Riverside School in Ahmedabad that focuses on empowering children with the 'I CAN' Mindset. She then founded aProCh (an initiative to make cities more child friendly) and Design for Change, which is today the largest movement of change, for and by the children, where they use the simple framework of Feel- Imagine- Do-Share to design solutions for some of their greatest challenges.

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Her most recent venture is the Riverside Learning Center which offers training programmes to empower schools across the world with the 'I CAN' approach to education, by using the codified processes from Riverside.

Among her many accolades, Sethi is an Ashoka and Yidan Fellow, a TED speaker, recipient of the Earth Prize, Light of Freedom Award, The Lexus Prize and the Rockefeller Innovation Prize.
Born in Bengaluru, India, Sethi comes from a family of designers. She lives in Ahmedabad with her two children, Raag and Jazz and her husband Geet. She loves life, dark chocolate and Govinda movies!

Mohanram Gudipati is the founder and CEO of Prolearner, a design-led EdTech startup. Prolearner develops scalable blue-collar vocational training solutions in the infrastructure, energy, health, and engineering sectors.
Mohanram was a graduate student at Cornell University, USA, where he studied genetics and molecular biology. He is a graduate of the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, India, and has published multiple peer-reviewed articles in both life sciences and learning design. At Riverside, among other roles, he designed the school’s science curriculum.

Apoorva Bhandari is assistant professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University, where his work focuses on the flexibility of human cognition. He is also a consultant to EdTech companies working at the intersection of education, cognitive science and AI. Dr. Bhandari grew up in Ahmedabad, India, and has worked with the Riverside community at various points over the past twenty years, particularly on developing pedagogy for science education.

Get Inspired!

Dive into the heart of the narrative of
the design guide - Every Child CAN

Watch Kiran talk about the design of the I CAN Approach

At the heart of the I CAN Approach to education is the child. This philosophy puts the child at the center of the education system, harnessing and nurturing their inherent "I CAN" superpower through intentional design thinking. By instilling in every child the ability to say "I CAN," the approach activates their agency for the greater good and prepares them to become citizens of the world.