AISA DEIJ Design Challenge

This one-day online event uses a design thinking protocol to help school teams to develop a strategy for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) in their schools.
  • Conference Events
  • School Teams (of any size) looking to develop a strategy for DEIJ in their school
  • Virtual
  • 8:00 am (GMT +0:00) - 3:00 pm (GMT +0:00)
  • 3 March 2022


AISA Member Schools are invited to create a team to participate in the day to ensure multiple voices are heard and expertise from across the school is incorporated.

This institute is open to all AISA Member Schools and will cost US$ 500 per school. Schools under the AISA Small Schools Initiative will pay US$ 250 per school.

The AISA DEIJ Design Challenge will be hosted by Dr Nneka Johnson (Director of Innovation, ISD & AISA Professional Learning Design Team member) and facilitated by John Burns (Chief Innovation Officer, ISS).

Participants can be school leaders, educators, board members, students or parents; anyone who is passionate about advancing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) at the school. The focal question for the day will be: “What are you interested in exploring or improving in regards to DEIJ leadership/practices within your context?”

From this starting point, school teams will devise a How Might We (HMW) question that is specific to the priorities of your school. Your HMW question could explore wide whole-school issues or hone in on specific initiatives.

As each team works to refine and operationalize their plan, there are opportunities for participants in other teams to review and offer suggestions based on their experiences of DEIJ initiatives. This process of peer review ensures each school plan stands to gain from the insight of those working in similar contexts across the AISA region.

By the end of the Design Challenge, each team will have a plan that is ready to be implemented with the next steps clearly signposted. Typically, plans involve actions such as co-creation of policy or resources, design strategies, community building and extension of professional networks.

As a result of participating at this institute, attendees can expect to:

  • Collaborate with their colleagues to think and plan strategically
  • Empathise with the diverse needs, priorities and wants of all groups in the school community
  • Engage in a peer-to-peer review of the plans from other teams
  • Experience the power and productivity of a design thinking protocol


  • John Burns
    International Schools Services
    Chief Innovation Officer

    John Burns is the Chief Innovation Officer for International Schools Services (ISS), a nonprofit that has launched over 100 international schools and placed over 50,000 educators worldwide. He primarily works on creating cultures in which innovation can spark and has led the development of numerous infrastructure, design and professional learning initiatives across #ISSedu. Prior to this John worked for Apple where he assisted schools and jurisdictions with the implementation of contemporary learning initiatives.

  • Dr. Nneka Johnson
    International School of Dakar
    Director of Innovation/DEI Coordinator

    Dr Nneka Johnson is the current Director of Innovation/DEI Coordinator at The International School of Dakar in Senegal, West Africa. She is also a member of the Association of International Schools in Africa (AISA) Professional Learning Design Team and AISA’s DEIJ Design team.  In her senior leadership role at ISD, she wears many hats which include: Director of Innovation and Technology, coordinating school accreditation, organizing on-campus professional learning events, overseeing the library, and DEI Coordinator. This is her second year leading DEI initiatives.

    Prior to ISD, Nneka worked at an Independent School in Atlanta, GA for 13 years and within that time frame, she lived in Sydney Australia for six months and worked for a private school as the Deputy Director of Innovation. Nneka holds a BA in Sociology from Queens College in New York City, an MS in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, and a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Mercer University in Atlanta.

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International School of Kenya Campus, Peponi Road, Nairobi, Kenya
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P.O. Box 14103 - 00800, Nairobi, Kenya
+254 (20) 2697442 / 8076067
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