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Ribbon HUNDRED 2018
Do you want to make learning global and instil empathy in your classroom?

Global Learning

Brussels, Belgium
A project-based learning method that encourages students to work collaboratively and proactively, through engaging with key global issues relating to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

What is Global Learning?

Koen Timmers, Founder, Global Learning
“What can possibly be better than learning about global issues directly from each other?”

Koen Timmers, Founder, Global Learning

Formal education tends to focus heavily on knowledge acquisition and there is limited interaction between students from different classrooms. The Global Learning model changes this. Learners from all over the world collaborate on ambitious projects addressing pressing real-life challenges based around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Through Global Learning, two impressive international projects have been completed so far. For the Project Water, 10 schools across 9 countries worked together to identify water issues and find both local and global solutions. Within the Human Differences project, 50 schools across 37 countries tackled important questions about global equality with the aim of building bridges instead of walls. Next up is the Climate Action project, starting in October 2017. The most ambitious yet, this project is bringing together 250 schools across 66 countries to collaborate on climate change topics, with the aim of developing learners' understanding of key issues before working on ideas to take action. 

Within each month-long project, students focus on a different topic relating to the overall theme every week. Learners conduct research, brainstorm ideas, hold discussions, give presentions and share their findings through weekly videos. The video presentations are published on a shared project website. The role of the participating educators is not to present knowledge to the students, but instead to guide the process through encouraging discussion and pointing learners in the right direction when searching for resources.

The outcomes so far have been overwhelming. Each group of students has learnt in very different ways, through research, discussion, reflection, collaboration and offering feedback. Within every project, several core academic subjects, such as science, history, maths and literature, have been covered. Students have spontaneously learnt to use a number of tools to further their learning, acting proactively and collaboratively. During the final weeks of each projects, students often independently arranged Skype calls to discuss their findings with one another. 

Global Learning offers a way for young people to see the world from many different perspectives, work with other students from all over the globe and tackle some of the most important challenges facing our planet today. In doing so, learners gain valuable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, creative thinking and communication. Learners are encouraged to think innovatively and work together to have a positive impact on the world around them.

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Innovation Overview
Target Group
7 970
Tips for implementation
One teacher is needed for each class taking part in the project, to provide support and guidance. Classes need to commit a minimum of one hour per week for the one-month duration of the project. Computers or smartphones with access to the internet are needed for students to create and share their presentations and connect with other classes from around the world.
Contact information
Koen Timmers
HundrED Review

Students from all over the world connect and work together to learn about global issues that affect their planet. Young people have a truly global learning experience, much broader in scope than typical lessons in the classroom.


Global Learning broadens learners' perspectives, encouraging them to celebrate diversity, inclusivity and open-mindedness. Basing projects on the SDGs encourages learners to think creatively about some of the most pressing issues facing society today, promoting awareness and a proactive approach to addressing global challenges.


Global Learning is scalable by nature. The project can take place across any number of countries. As the number of countries involved in the project increases, the positive impact becomes even greater.


See this innovation in action

The world is becoming more global. Are our schools adapting to this? Global Learning project answers this at a practical level. I was totally inspired by Koen Timmers's idea to organise a worldwide collaboration learning project among students. The future belongs to the younger generation and we should let their voice be heard. As a new mother, you don't know how eager I am to have my son involved in a real-life SDGs-based learning environment. Global learning will benefit young people as they will see the world from many different perspectives. It will fuel their systemic thinking, problem-solving and creativity within a group. As HundrED ambassador, I would like to introduce Koen's project to Chinese educators.
Wendan QIAN
Global Learning is a true embodiment of learning without boundaries for both the students and the teachers.As we progress rapidly into the future the way we learn must change too. Today we need an education set up where chidren can be motivated to create,innovate and imagine and I think Global Learning is the right step in that direction
Shreelata Krishnan
I have signed up to teach but it won't be for a few months. The internet allows teachers from all over the world to have impact in classrooms they have never visited. I am very excited to join in on this amazing project! It is no wonder Koen was a finalist for the Global Teacher Prize.
Brett Bigham
This innovation has responded to the social development trend of teaching and learning. We live in a flat world. Therefore, students need to be connected for global collaboration and co-creation if we want to prepare them for the future. We also live in a global, collaborative world. Companies create across time zones, communicate instantly with global connections and trade across nations. If we can help students learn to communicate globally, we are preparing them to be successful as adults. Global Learning has broken the four walls of the classroom to bring students to the world.
Nam Ngo Thanh


Achievements & Awards


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Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Get in touch
Contact Koen Timmers, the founder of Global Learning, via email or Twitter.
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Provide some details about your team
This is so that everyone working on each project can get to know each other better.
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Start the project
Begin by meeting the other participants online and then the really exciting part can begin!
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Share your progress
Each class will create a weekly video or presentation throughout the project. 
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