Design For Change

Design For Change

Monday, November 10, 2014

Doug David - Canada
Global Catalyst

Story told by David Wygant

Author’s Note:  It is always my privilege to write the Global Catalyst stories.  Their stories are always amazing and inspiring.  As Doug tells his story, I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it with him. 

We are thankful that our Design for Change (DFC) team is both blessed and challenged by the same things at the same time.  We are thankful because sometimes in life only the challenges come without the answers and blessings.  In our case, all of us on the DFC team are full time teachers.  Finding the amount of time we’d like to dedicate to the effort can be difficult, which is our challenge.  On the other hand, we are also blessed by our full time teaching status.  Through our instruction and example as teachers, we can blend the I CAN spirit and mindset into everything we say and do.  We never lose the opportunity to integrate the “design thinking model” into all of our moments.

At this stage our fundraising is modest, but sufficient.  There is growth one step at a time, and there are blessings to count.  Any money we can raise, or that we receive, we’ve donated back to the local nonprofit organizations to help those in need and to help fund projects.  In our giving, we receive too.  Our school district has given us “release time” so that we can meet and plan as a team.  In all schools, time outside of the classroom is beyond precious.  By spending this time together, our planning is clear and focused, helping us keep forward momentum as a team.  Looking ahead, our goal is to find a way to raise enough funds so that we can bring a small group of people to Mexico for the 2015 Be the Change Conference.

We are a very motivated group.  The importance of educating both the heart and the mind is a key driver for all of us.  The rewards are huge when we see children finding meaning and purpose in their lives.  As they learn to become change makers, we see in all of them the emergence of the connection between life inside school, and life on the outside.  This process is service learning at its best.

Our most inspiring moment as a team was when we had a student showcase of all the I CAN projects designed and implemented by the students. It was in May of 2013 that over 200 Superheroes shared their stories of change.  My most personally inspiring moments occurred when I visited Ahmedabad in 2013.  At the Be the Change Conference that year I met children and adults from all over the world who shared a common inspiration, and were the most inspiring group of individuals I’ve ever met. 

Now, our vision is all forward.  We see future growth in the DFC-Canada program in our school community and beyond.  We’ve recently ordered copies of the 2014 I CAN book and plan to share them across the school district in kits that will include the Feel, Imagine, Do, Share “design thinking model.”  The kits will also include supporting documents that are meant to ignite inquiry, curiosity and design thinking around current issues like poverty, biodiversity, children's rights, and the power of the media.  

Stay tuned.  Canada is working hard, and the best is yet to come!


Doug heralds from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada.  He and his family are currently living in Courtenay, British Columbia.  

In 2013, Doug completed a Masters of Education from Vancouver Island University with a focus on Educational Leadership.  In 1997, he completed his undergraduate work at the University of Victoria with an emphasis in teaching elementary art.

Doug began teaching after he completed his undergraduate degree.  He currently works in an informal leadership role as a District Curriculum Support Teacher in School District #71 Comox Valley.  In 2014, Doug received Canada’s Prime Minister’s Award for Achievement in Teaching.

His travels have taken him to New York City, San Francisco, and to many places in his native Canada.  In 2013, he travelled to Ahmedabad, India to attend the 2013 Be the Change Conference.