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On Becoming the Luminos Fund: A Letter From the CEO

On Becoming the Luminos Fund: A Letter From the CEO

Dear Friends and Supporters,

2016 was an exciting year for us and our work to bring quality education to the world’s most disadvantaged children. In our first year as a standalone organization, we further scaled the Speed School program to bring 20,000 more children who were denied an education back to school. Additionally, we started running programs in Liberia and Lebanon with the support of three new, major funders.

Our success in scaling our work over the last year helped clarify and energize our broader vision for the Fund. What we have done with the Speed School program, we believe we can do across a range of similarly impactful methods for bringing quality education to the world’s furthest corners.

Over the course of the last year, each of you has touched us and our work in some meaningful way, supporting our successes, challenging us to think expansively about our future potential, and inspiring us with your own efforts. Your counsel, together with our experience, gave us the courage to transition now to a broader name, which better encapsulates our full spirit and vision. Reflecting on our mission to create education to unlock the light in every child, we have officially renamed ourselves the Luminos Fund. This is our new website, found here at www.luminosfund.org. Please take a look and let us know what you think. We will be following up with more stories of our work in the coming months.

We’re particularly excited about this name change because we believe it will help us bridge an unhelpful divide in the global education space. It so often seems that education reformers and philanthropists working around the world are having two separate conversations –

  • One is the talk of the ‘school of the future’, the Silicon Valley conversation, with a focus on how the latest innovations can help children achieve breakthrough levels of learning.
  • And the other, the developing world discussion, focuses on achieving basic literacy and numeracy for the hundreds of millions of children who are still left behind.

Both of these dialogues are vital to our collective future, but we believe it is a mistake to keep them separate. Our role as the Luminos Fund is to make these two conversations one. There’s no reason unprecedented innovation can’t occur at the very frontiers of the global education system. Indeed, with the right frame of mind, it is more likely that something transformative and different will come from these spaces at the margins of the system than from the heart of entrenched bureaucracies.

As the Luminos Fund, we will work to drive innovation at the margins of the global education system, enabling us to work with children in the greatest need and in the areas where the possibility for breakthrough change is greatest. Over the course of the next year, we will share new proposals for driving systems change and piloting best-in-class education innovations across the developing world. We hope we can look to you for further bright ideas and honest feedback as we architect our future work.

My first chance to share our new name came when I was in Liberia, on site for our first week of Speed School classes with 2,000 deserving children whose lives we’re changing through education. It seemed just perfect to be in one of education’s toughest corner—where less than half of all children get the chance to go to primary school—to restate a mission as bold as ours. The same old solutions won’t be enough to transform Liberia’s education system, but the good news is that they don’t have to be. Our work there is just one small example of the kind of transformative change we hope to catalyze. We couldn’t be more excited about the future!

With deepest gratitude for your ongoing support,

 

Caitlin