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We believe teens and their teachers can build a better world.

Pactful is a social good innovation curriculum and app used globally by teens and teachers who want to build a better world. The digital platform and challenge events inspire users to actively engage in the design thinking process and develop an innovator’s mindset to create solutions aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.



HundrED shortlisted this innovation

HundrED has shortlisted this innovation to one of its innovation collections. The information on this page has been checked by HundrED.

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Target group
October 2021
“Pactful brought us thoughtful, well designed activities that were supported by rich content and it made the entire design thinking process more relevant and engaging.”

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Created by the Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Education at the University of San Diego, with the sponsorship of Dr. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Pactful is a free, virtual, social good innovation curriculum and tool for teachers and teenagers who want to build a better world. It was designed to recapture the “Lost Einsteins” and empower learners, educators, and communities to innovate from within.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Pactful teaches teenagers how to become social good innovators in order to help build a better world. Starting at the Innovator’s Guide, students are introduced to the innovator’s mindset, the 17 UN Global Goals (or SDGs), and design thinking. Students then form teams and identify a local or global problem that feels relevant to them. Teams work through a three-phase design thinking curriculum—Understand, Ideate, and Prototype—to create a solution to their identified problem.

Pactful supports educators and students in the following ways: learners have access to a design thinking curriculum that supports making a positive impact in their local communities and the world; a showcase of filterable solutions aligned to the SDGs is accessible to users for progress monitoring; a community of educators using Pactful exists for networking and support; and challenge events and teacher camps provide important opportunities to feel part of something larger.

How has it been spreading?

Pactful is currently being implemented by educators in over 24 states and 14 countries across the world. It has been selected as a 2020 EdTech Awards Cool Tool Finalist and selected for the hundrED Learning Across America Forerunner report. Future goals include spreading to more countries across the globe and increasing the rate of innovation in underserved communities.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

To learn more about Pactful and upcoming events, visit Questions? Ideas? Help us shape what comes next. Contact us at

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