Teresa Arpin Ed. D
President of Transformation Systems
Teresa is passionate about the transformation of organizations and learning systems that help prepare the next generation for the challenges we face. She has been working to support schools both nationally and internationally since 1996. Her primary areas of work are governance and strategic planning—which work “hand in glove” to support organizational change.
She has worked extensively with Boards of Trustees to embrace the concept of “governance as leadership.” Teresa has also collaborated with the NESA Board for many years in the evolution of a strategic planning protocol that is now being modeled in several international schools and other regional associations.
Teresa works with schools large and small internationally and in the United States. She holds degrees from Thomas Jefferson College, Michigan State University and Eastern Michigan University.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Strategic Planning Mentor
Global Leader and Expert in Strategic Planning for Educators and School Communities
Dr. Ngonidzashe Chirinda
Multi-Field Climate Scientist and University Professor
Dr Ngonidzashe Chirinda holds a PhD in Agroecology, a Master’s degree in Agronomy and a Bachelor’s degree in Soil Science. Over the past 15 years, Dr Chirinda has worked on several projects in Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, where he has acquired knowledge and accumulated experiences in different fields including climate change mitigation science, livestock science, soil science, crop science, rural development and environmental management. His research interests are on how to generate and evaluate management and technological options that increase agricultural productivity and enhance farmer livelihoods without harming the environment. Dr Chirinda is a lead author on four chapters for the 2019 Refinement to the 2006 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories. He is a lifelong learner who possesses key competences in networking, capacity building, fund raising, proposal evaluation, scientific research and effective communication. He recently joined Mohammed VI Polytechnic University as an Assistant Professor in Sustainable Tropical Agriculture.
GINetwork Focus: Climate Change and Carbon Emissions Education
GIN Climate Action Team & Program Mentor
Business School Graduate, Currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Business
Founding GIN Youth Director
Rafaela is an alum of the International School of Curitiba, in Brazil. As an individual captivated by the international environment, Rafaela enjoys meeting people with different backgrounds, nationalities, and experiences, to widen her cultural and social view of the world. She has been involved with GIN since 2013, when she first attended a GIN conference in Quito, Ecuador. Rafaela is most fond of the networking and sharing opportunities provided by the conference environment. Most recently, her interests have expanded to marketing, communication, and business. She is studying both in college. In her role as the Social Media Youth Director she worked to grow global learning, dialogue and action with the Global Issues Network and beyond.
GINetwork Focus: GINetwork Alum Council, Volunteer GIN Strategic Business Plan Consultant, GIN Admin Team Student Mentor
GIN Expert: Project Leader, GINtern, GAP Course Co-Developer, and Founding Youth Director
GIN Social Media Program (SMP) Overview
The Social Media Program will engage the Global Issues Network community and provide ongoing support for students and their GIN projects through the course of the year. Students around the world will actively leverage the power of social media when working to solve local-global issues. GIN recognizes that students face challenges in both creative and active stages of their GIN projects. We will answer this challenge by creating global access to successful tools, strategies and network members to address local-global issues. The program consists of a focus on three major areas of empowerment by social media: active participation, effective marketing, and the use of media. Corresponding to the three branches of the program, these areas will be taken up by the GIN Social Media Team, with the purpose of helping the GIN community by sharing examples, successes and challenges of project-based solutions. With the concept of leading by example, this program will also serve the purpose of developing GIN’s own social media activity.
Currently pursuing an Undergraduate Degree in Business
Founding GIN Youth Director
Gui is currently a student at the University of Pennsylvania and was born in Brazilian in the city of Curitiba. He has been an active member of GIN since 6th grade, participating in several conferences around Latin America and the world. He believes that genuine global citizenship comes as a result of meaningful interactions between individuals of different backgrounds and perspectives, and strives to fulfill this in several segments of his extracurricular life. One of Gui’s main GIN Projects, presented at GIN Argentina 2015, led him to establish an NGO accredited by the Brazilian Government that helps break social barriers that limit the well-being of kids with disabilities in his local community. Gui continues to collaborate as a GIN Advisor working to provide fulfilling experiences to global citizens all over the world.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Alum Council
GIN Expert: Project Leader, GINtern, GAP Course Co-Developer, GIN Global Mentors Program Builder
GIN Global Mentors Program
The Global Mentors Program seeks to provide determined, engaged and passionate GIN students a unique opportunity to receive one-on-one mentorship from professionals who are working to address the same global issue(s) they’ve selected for their respective projects. The Global Mentor Program strives to create collaborative intergenerational partnerships that grow sustainable impact and a global culture of engaged global citizenry. We will guide the GIN student experience and understanding as community-centered leaders through the GIN Levels of Engagement and GIN best practices approaches within the mentorship experience.
Circular Economies Expert, Anti-Plastics Activist, UCB Professor and Organizational Start-Up Expert/ Founder and Director of KUMU
Manuel loves helping people make the world a better place -embracing a holistic definition of success that encompasses the entire web of life.
Manuel has a strong background as an impact entrepreneur and innovator, a serial NGO founder, and a transformative organizational consultant. Manuel is involved in a variety of organizations and projects to innovate our transition to a just, wise, thriving, life-sustaining and ardent culture, with a strong, pioneering focus on circular economy and plastic pollution innovations.
Manuel is a Strategy Advisor to Jeff-Bezos-funded Long Now Foundation, dedicated to fostering long-term thinking in the context of the next 10,000 years.
Manuel holds a Master’s degree in Economics, and a Law Degree. Manuel has taught Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Circular Economy at the University of California Berkeley, and at other international business schools, including some rated in the top 3 in the world. Manuel is a certified Executive Coach, a member of Social Venture Circle, a founding member of the Bay Area Wellbeing in Business Lab, and a mentor for The Venture, a global social business competition awarding 1 million dollars every year.
Manuel is also the author of the forthcoming book The Meaning Economy, about how meaning is transforming the economy, and our future.
Manuel teaches Applied Circular Economics at the Sustainability Graduate Programs, and at the Global Development Practice Graduate Programs – Harvard Extension School, Harvard Division of Continuing Education.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Keynote Speaker, Strategic Planner, Mentor & Administrative Advisor
Assistant Director of Learning for Curriculum Development at Columbus School
An Arizona-native, currently teaching in Medellin, Colombia from La Paz, Bolivia, Britta is an international teacher that has found a home in South America.
After researching GIN programs worldwide, Britta began to build standards-based curricular units that utilized Understanding By Design. Within that framework, her students were and are able to research, interview, develop and implement community service projects on global issues while receiving school credit. Britta taught GIN for two years as a class in La Paz, and continues to work on creating resources to help teachers and students build GIN programs in their local contexts, and develop traits of global citizenship.
Britta is extremely proud of the three teams that were forged under her leadership in La Paz that continue to make community change; the Carbon Cutters working to lower the institutional footprint of the school and educate the community on causes and ways to fight global warming; the BIO Guardians, working to end the demand for trafficked animals and preserve biodiversity; and the Guild Against Poverty, working to support organizations that fight poverty and create opportunities to expand education and self-sustainability.
An internationally-experienced educator and leader, she is dedicated to providing an authentic, learner-centered experience. Britta uses practices that engage and deepen understanding including Systems Thinking, Project Based Learning, Design Thinking, and Phenomena-Based Teaching and Learning.
GINetwork Focus: GIN In-Class Pilot Administrative Support & Mentorship, GIN Professional Development
GIN Expert: GIN Project Mentor, GIN Conference Coordinator Mentor, GIN Class Pilot Course Advisor
Senior Software Engineer: CA, USA
Corey McCourt is a Senior Software Engineer for Tubi based in San Francisco. Corey kick started his career at IGN Entertainment’s Code-Foo program where he worked on IGN’s web and mobile applications.
After Code-Foo, Corey joined the health care organization, Kaiser Permanente, as a Software Engineer. He worked on the “Facetime your physician” web application where he was responsible for improving accessibility and making sure the application was ADA compliant.
Corey joined Tubi, a movie and TV streaming service, in 2019. On the Internal System team he leads development of the Content Management System which is responsible for managing Tubi’s 40,000+ titles.
GINetwork Focus: GINetwork Project Library, Co-Developer and Mentor of GINetwork Student Engineer for GINetwork Platforms
Independent Financial Advisor and Business Owner
Mark McGinnis cares deeply about the instruction of today’s youth and the power of global focus and project based learning to create an enthusiastic and capable generation of young adults ready to tackle the world’s many complex problems. He has many years of finance and business experience and is proud to be involved with GIN to support its finance and strategic work. He has worked at the World Bank, in private equity, at a start-up, and in several senior finance roles at a large multi-national corporation. For the last several years he has worked as an independent financial consultant, helping individuals with their personal financial planning. In tandem he is also advising non-profits and small businesses with their strategic plans, financial systems, processes, fundraising, accounting, and reporting requirements. He has also started a small business selling sustainable and fair trade products to non-profit organizations. Mark holds business degrees from University of Pennsylvania and MIT.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Accounting & Accountability Systems, Funding and Strategic Planning
GIN Expert: Expert Mentor for GIN Conference Budget Committee Main Budget and Tools Reiteration
Lifelong Career as a Dedicated Educator for Upper Elementary: International, Independent, Public and Gifted Schools
Brigid OHagan is a retired upper-elementary school teacher with 38 years of classroom experience. Brigid holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education/Elementary Education from SUNY @ Buffalo, and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from Florida International University. Over the span of her career, Brigid has taught in a variety of settings, ten of those years were in International Schools overseas. In the United States Brigid taught in the public schools systems in Florida, North Carolina and most recently Oregon. Brigid has an interest in curriculum development and strong belief in constructivist education practices.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Curriculum Enrichment, Systems & Standards Alignment, GIN Pilot Class Development & Mentorship
Currently pursuing an Masters Degree in Aerospace Engineering
Founding GIN Youth Director
Rodrigo Rose is from Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil, where he was born and raised. He is currently studying at Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). He is grateful to the of the International School of Curitiba (ISC), for providing avenues and access to opportunities such as G.I.N. He has attended two Global Issues Network conferences and served as a facilitator in the UNESCO Center for Peace Summer Program, since becoming an intern with GIN in 2014. This has provided him important skills and abilities in solving issues on both a local and global scale, and has shown him how each and every one of us, regardless of our differences, can work together to create a better planet. This involvement, together with his passion for learning and growth, is what motivates him to help GIN develop and is why he devotes his time and effort to make GIN better for all students who love it through the GIN Creating Connections Program. He believes that all things in life, good or bad, help us grow, and wishes to see the entire world grow to become a place everyone shares and enjoys together.
Published Georgia Tech Graduate in aerospace engineering. Currently pursuing a Masters Degree at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in aerospace engineering.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Alum Council
GIN Expert: Project Leader, GINtern, GAP Course Co-Developer, GIN Creating Connections Program Builder
GIN Creating Connections Program
The Creating Connections (CC) Program is a GIN initiative whose objective is to provide our global community with high-quality, multifaceted resources and materials that empower students, teachers and administrators worldwide to create positive sustainable change on a local-global scale. This youth led and designed program is structured into three spheres of influence, each responsible for different aspects of the development of GIN resources: education and learning, communication and design, and research and enGINeering. The CC Program manages and perfects resources through these lenses, and works collaboratively with the GIN community and other programs to ensure the most effective and widespread impact.
Dedicated Middle and High School Educator
Jose began teaching in his native California, but has taught abroad for the last seven years in Thailand, Mexico, and now Colombia. As a science teacher at The Columbus School in Medellin, Colombia for the past five years, Jose has focused on using STEM as a driver of solutions for global issues. Jose values collaboration and building the capacity of learners to become change makers by using innovative tools and protocols. He is trained in Buck Institute’s Project Based Learning methodologies, as well as Design Thinking from the Nueva Design Institute. Jose most recently was able to embed such change maker tools as the on-site GIN coordinator for the conference in March of 2016 in Medellín. During this conference, Jose and his students were able to showcase their greenhouse and solar charging stations, which are examples of products developed through these change maker processes. He is currently leading his school through its Ashoka nomination to be recognized as a Change maker School. He hopes to form community partnerships to strengthen the school’s initiatives towards their sustainability goals.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Systems and Design Thinking Best Practices
Senior Software Engineer: CA, USA
Jeremy Weeks is a Senior Software Engineer for Netflix based in Silicon Valley. Jeremy moved to San Francisco in 2012 as a participant in IGN Entertainment’s Code-Foo program. After working his way up the ladder at IGN he took over the Code-Foo program and ran it for 4 years. He is responsible for the training and hiring of more than half of IGN’s current Engineering team.
Jeremy took over IGN’s App team in 2015 and led the development of all current console/mobile apps for the company, each with user counts in the millions. He also specializes in game development. In 2010, he was a finalist in Microsofts Dream.Buil.Play competition with his submission Shape Shooter for the Xbox 360.
He is currently working with GIN Staff and a Student Leader, Carlos Pinto, to actualize GIN’s vision through engaged global and digital citizenry. Keep an eye out for big things!!!
GINetwork Focus: GIN Interactive Platform Development and Student Co-Developer Mentor
Ioana Suciu Wheeler
Director of Global Initiatives, NAIS, Washington, DC
As the Director of Global Initiatives at the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS), in Washington, DC, Ioana Suciu Wheeler develops partnerships, resources, programs, and best practices related to global education and international student programs. Additionally, she provides thought-leadership and keeps abreast of new global trends that affect independent schools, presenting findings nationally and internationally. Ioana also manages the work of the NAIS Global Ambassadors Advisory Working Group. To read more about NAIS’s global and international student initiatives, visit http://www.nais.org.
Ioana joined the staff of NAIS in 2001, working with the Strategic Initiatives, Information, and Research Team before joining the Global Initiatives Team in February 2005. Prior to NAIS, she worked at Agence France Presse and for the U.S. – Romania Action Commission at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, DC, where she conducted research on various issues related to Romania and Eastern Europe.
Ioana studied at Universite de Paris – Sorbonne as part of American University’s World Capitals study abroad program, where she also interned at Citibank Paris. She holds a B.A. in International Relations and an M.A. in Journalism and Public Affairs from American University in Washington, DC and has completed an online global education course called “Teaching Leadership for Global Issues” at the School of International Training in Brattleboro, VT.
Ioana has been an avid supporter of the Global Issues Network (GIN) for many years and encouraged all NAIS Challenge 20/20 program participating schools to register for GIN conferences and to consider hosting their own GIN conference. Ioana liaised with the organizers of the 2006 GIN conference at the International School in Luxembourg, specifically with Mr. Clayton Lewis who was instrumental in advising NAIS to launch the NAIS Challenge 20/20 Internet-based program through which NAIS partnered schools in the US at all grade levels with schools in other countries to work together towards solving global problems and implementing those solutions locally, nationally, and globally.
Ioana attended and presented at the 2008 GIN Global Citizenship Summit at the Green School in Bali, Indonesia and the 2013 GIN student-led conference at the Country Day School in San Jose, Costa Rica where she experienced first-hand the dedication, enthusiasm and entrepreneurship of GIN students to create long-lasting and innovative solutions to some of the world’s most pressing global problems.
Ioana continues to support GIN through regularly connecting with the GIN leadership, providing program advice and sharing information about upcoming GIN events with NAIS member schools.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Champion for Student Empowerment & Global Citizenry
Currently pursuing an Undergraduate Degree as Stanford University
Founding GIN Youth Director
Valeria is an alum of Colegio Roosevelt, in Lima, Peru and is currently studying at Stanford University. Her work with GIN dates back to 2011, as a 6th-grade photographer for the first AASSA GIN Conference hosted by F.D.R, The American School of Lima. Ever since then, she has built a strong connection to the program and participates actively as a GIN community leader. She has attended five GIN conferences in Costa Rica, Peru, Mexico, United States (UNESCO GIN) and Brazil. As part of her own GIN project, Valeria co-led an installation of 14 solar water heaters in her school that save approximately 75 metric tons of Co2 annually. The project got selected as finalist of the Americas for the Zayed Future Energy Prize in 2014, and received a 50,000 USD grant to expand renewable energy at her school.
GINetwork Focus: GIN Alum Council
GIN Expert: Project Leader, GINtern, GAP Course Co-Developer, GIN Global Ambassador Program Builder
GIN Global Ambassadors Program
GAP aims to create a network of student leaders at every international school who will promote service, leadership and broaden accessibility to Global Issues Network programming. In two years, the program has already served over 80 students from 30 nationalities and has been presented at 10+ conferences across the world. As GAP Youth Director, Valeria has been invited to keynote, present and facilitate GAP workshops in the Speaker Series hosted by Singapore American School in Pulau Ujong, Singapore and the GIN Bali Conference hosted by Canggu Community School in Bali, Indonesia.