World Savvy

World Savvy



United States

Grade Level of Students Participating


Number of Students Participating per Year

Over 50,000
Since founding in 2002, World Savvy has impacted 405,000 students and nearly 3,000 educators.

Year Organization Began


Relationship to the public education system

The organization works with K-12 schools and districts to support the systemic integration of global competence education.

Organization’s Vision and Mission

Mission: World Savvy educates and engages youth to learn, work, and thrive as responsible global citizens in the 21st century.

Vision: As the leading provider of global competence education, World Savvy envisions a K-12 education system that prepares all students with the knowledge, skills, and dispositions for success and active engagement in the global community.

Brief Description of Program Activities

World Savvy partners with educators, schools, and districts to integrate global competence teaching and learning into classrooms by providing a range of specifically targeted programs and services, including:

The World Savvy Classrooms program integrates global competence learning into classrooms by combining professional development and consulting for educators with multi-disciplinary projects for middle and high school students. The Classrooms program is aligned with and supports Common Core state standards, ensuring students learn the required ‘core’ content mandated by state and national standards, in a way that establishes real-world connections to the material.

World Savvy partners with schools and districts to support the systemic integration of global competence education. The World Savvy Global Competence Matrix provides the foundation for work in schools and districts. Partners with World Savvy have the ability to choose from a range of programs and services and customize partnership packages to best fit their needs.

The Global Competence Certificate (GCC) is the first-of-its-kind, graduate-level certificate program in global competence education for teachers. Developed by leading experts in global education - Teachers College, Columbia University; World Savvy, and Asia Society - the GCC program is designed specifically for in-service educators who are interested in embedding global learning into their teaching practice and preparing their students for the global reality beyond the classroom.

Program Content: Intrapersonal Competencies

The program aims to foster the intrapersonal competencies of appreciation for diversity, self-evaluation and citizenship. Students develop action plans where they turn knowledge into concrete actions.

Program Content: Interpersonal Competencies

The program aims to foster the interpersonal competencies of perspective taking and communication. Through case studies and stories of individuals and communities, students relate to global issues in concrete ways and develop empathy.

Program Content: Cognitive Competencies

The program aims to foster the cognitive competencies of ICT literacy, critical thinking and interpretation. Students are provided with thinking toolkits to help them develop critical understanding of global issues. Teachers also ask guiding questions that help students delve deeper into the issues. (World Savvy organizes teacher workshops on how to ask the right questions.) In addition, students are provided with workshops where they can receive critical feedback on their action plans, which further enhance their critical thinking skills.

Program Content: Attitudes and Values 

Based on World Savvy Global Competence Matrix, the program fosters the following values and attitudes:

  • Openness to new opportunities, ideas, and ways of thinking
  • Desire to engage with others
  • Self-awareness about identity and culture, sensitivity and respect for differences
  • Valuing multiple perspectives
  • Comfort with ambiguity and unfamiliar situations
  • Reflection on context and meaning of our lives in relationship to something bigger
  • Question prevailing assumptions
  • Adaptability and the ability to be cognitively nimble
  • Empathy
  • Humility

Program Content: Pedagogy/Active Engagement of Students

Student programs focus on “knowledge to action” projects where students develop problem identification skills and understanding of global themes.

The program engages students through a problem-based design model, which focuses on inquiry and critical thinking and action taking by the students.

Student engagement is realized through presenting global issues as stories and guiding questions posed by teachers.

Additional Links of Note

World Savvy FY15 Report

Reference List

1All information on this table come from World Savvy’s website and from a phone interview with Ken Simon, director of programs, that took place in June 2016.

Prepared by

Vincent Chunhao Qian