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Gisela Flanigan
Academy, Advisory

Gisela Flanigan

United States

Dr. Flanigan is the Executive Director of Sistema Global, an award-winning social change organization that believes access to music making is a basic human right.

My field of expertise is the intersection of leadership, management, and advocacy in the arts. I have been invited to review programs and grants for organizations such as the National Endowment for the Arts, and Colorado Creative Industries. I am also a HundrED Academy member, and a HundrED Advisory board member invited to be part of the review team for the HundrED Spotlight on Teachers for a Changing World in partnership with the World Bank Group. I am a passionate speaker with presentations at national and international conferences for organizations such as The Sphinx Connect, College Music Society and The Music, Business, and Peace Summit at Indiana University. I am a member of the International Music Education Policy Group, England, advancing global policy dialogue in music education. I am presently is part of faculty at the University of Denver Arts and Culture Management Program.

A social entrepreneur and consultant advocating for the arts, I am deeply committed to social change and collective impact as a social entrepreneur in the nonprofit world. I am currently the Executive Director of Sistema Global, an award-winning social change organization inspired by Maestro Abreu’s vision of expanding access to music making as a basic human right. Under  my leadership, Sistema Global has been honored to be part of the HundrED Global Education Innovation Collection for three years in a row (2020-2022).

Why do you want to be a part of the HundrED Community?

I have found my tribe! The HundrED Community is one of the most creative group of people I have worked with. The powerful enthusiasm and work of this community to make the world better for the next generations is in a simple word: contagious!

How can education support students to flourish?

Education helps students find their way to discover their passion and their place in the world, ultimately finding happiness and peace: surely a powerful way to improve humanity.

What role does innovation play in education change?

Innovation thinking adapts to the present needs in the education field making it possible to let go of old paradigms, and it creates space to address unexpected future needs in the student body as humanity develops.

Three HundrED innovations you love. (and Why?)

Teacher Training Sandbox (Uganda) and the Educação em Rede- Education Network (Brazil) are two of my favorite innovations: their innovative use of technology affects positively the education systems. Refugee Educator Academy for Quality Holistic Learning is a remarkable innovation with their focus on serving the leadership they are making a long-term system change with innovative tech tools.

Three innovations you would love for HundrED to know about. (and Why?)

The Immigrant Project works on providing help to immigrant students to find their dream jobs. The Practical Education Network (PEN) in West Africa is a STEM teacher-training program influenced by the MIT model. The Global Nomads connect youth from oposite sides of the world to foster conversation and empathy.