Threshold Design Institute teams will work together to apply human-centered design methods to the unique needs and opportunities found within their schools.

The design process will involve:

  • Empathy Building: conducting ethnographic and action research on campus or in the community

  • Interpretation: problem-finding / framing > developing design drivers & addressing design constraints

  • Ideation: create a range of potential ideas at multiple scales

  • Prototyping: building tangible responses to community needs

  • Testing and Evolution: interacting with strategic feedback and assessment of the design solution

Going beyond the concept of a traditional cohort experience, we imagine Threshold Design Institute as a dynamic community of innovative educators and school leaders across Latin America seeking multi-disciplinary collaborators to push their professional and school boundaries.


Roles and experiences: All teams must include a balance of professional roles and responsibilities on campus.

We highly recommend that each team be comprised of a blend of classroom teachers, coaches, department heads, team leaders, and school administrators, although the precise mix will be different for each school.

We also recommend that each team member brings a variety of years at the school to broaden the range of cultural / generational perspectives.

Finally, we recommend that the individuals do not all focus on one ‘theme’ at the school. Instead we suggest that they represent a wide array of disciplines, concepts, and expertise to ensure a holistic view of the school’s future.

All levels of design experience is welcomed. Finally, all levels of design thinking experience are encouraged: those that are brand new to the process, those who have casual understanding and are developing their skills associated with design, or individuals who are deeply experienced practitioners are encouraged to participate.

What is most important is that all members bring a ‘how might we…’ attitude and a willingness to collaborate.


The Threshold Design Institute team first launched their collaboration through a 1-day design institute for teachers and school leaders at the 2018 Live Curious, Go Beyond conference in Monterrey, Mexico, followed up by 2 days of design institute experiences for teachers and school leaders at the 2018 Tri-Association conference in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Prior to the launch of Threshold, Brian and David have collaborated over the years as a team of co-facilitators of a wide range of design-based professional development, boot camps, and strategic planning projects around the world.



As the Director of Innovation at The American School Foundation of Monterrey(Mexico), Brian works with students, parents, and educators so bring inspiring learning experiences to life. In addition to his day job, he has been invited to Keynote, Lead Workshops, and present at various Educational Conferences throughout North and South America.

Whether he is leading students in service-based projects in Canada’s inner-cities, developing PE and Athletics programs in Turkey, teaching IB Higher Level History and rolling out 1:1 programs in South Korea, coaching soccer teams in China, hiking medical supplies into the Nepalese Himalayas, sharing the Tech Crewsaders Program and Network in South America, or designing solutions to community problems throughout Latin America, he has strived to leverage the principles of Design as a process for creativity, problem-solving, and change.



A recognized leader in the educational design and technology field, David focuses on using the design process to support the organizational growth, development and change required to create relevant and meaningful conditions for student learning in schools. David’s thought leadership includes addressing the increased need to develop agile, connected, and personalized learning environments that support a contemporary education, and how the use of technology can be reimagined to create boundless opportunities for learning. Before his current position as Chief Design Officer of David Jakes Designs LLC, David spent almost three decades in education as a teacher, technologist, and administrator. David's design experience includes working as a Digital Designer and Strategist for CannonDesign and The Third Teacher+, a leading architecture firm and learning space consultancy. David is a frequent presenter at national and international educational conferences where he speaks about the power and promise of a new expedition for learning, and the roles that all educators have in shaping that journey.