City of Pittsburgh Honored For 'Breaking the Mold' in Educational Innovation

Pittsburgh and Kids + Creativity Network will receive a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award in New York City this week for "breaking the mold and creating significant impact" in education.

[dropcap]S[/dropcap]ometimes you need to shake up the establishment to spark innovation. At least that’s what Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says, and it’s the basis of his Disruptive Innovation Theory. In 2010, the Tribeca Film Festival’s Craig Hatkoff joined forces with Christensen to create the Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Awards (TDIA) to celebrate those whose ideas “have broken the mold to create significant impact” in the fields of health care, education, international development, politics and advocacy, media, the arts and entertainment.

We’re honored to say the City of Pittsburgh has been awarded a 2014 TDIA award in recognition of its innovations in education.  The city will receive the award April 25 at New York University’s Skirball Center for the Performing Arts as part of the The Tribeca Film Festival. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald will accept the award, accompanied by The Grable Foundation’s Gregg Behr, and Cathy Lewis Long, executive director of the Sprout Fund.

TDIA points to the Kids + Creativity Network for developing a groundbreaking education model: a collaboration of more than 100 schools, museums, libraries, afterschool programs, community centers, higher education institutions, businesses in the private sector, and philanthropic organizations.

The collaboration “connect(s) Pittsburgh’s regional strengths in formal and informal education, learning research, and technology innovation to create a thriving ecosystem where learning happens anywhere and anytime for all children,” TDIA announced .


As a result, kids and youth in Pittsburgh have access to a connected system of learning opportunities both in and out of school. They can pursue their interests in new and exciting ways alongside their peers, and head back to class with a new perspective on computer science, writing, or physics. They may be recording their own CDs at Hip Hop on L.O.C.K, learning how to become journalists at Pittsburgh Youth Media, or building catapults at MAKESHOP.

As we’ve previously written, programs like these, and many others, are “turning learning into a continuous, evolving process—both for the intrinsic joy of lifelong learning and as preparation for future jobs.”

Pittsburgh joins an impressive mix of other “disruptors” at this year’s awards. The class of 2014 includes 24-year-old Shiza Shahid, CEO and cofounder of the Malala Fund, the organization representing the young female Pakistani activist who was shot by the Taliban for demanding that girls receive an education, and the Sesame Workshop. This year’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Jay Walker, the creator of Priceline and founder of LabTV, an innovative new video platform designed to encourage students to become medical scientists

“We’re honored and humbled that Pittsburgh will be recognized with a Tribeca Disruptor Innovation Award on behalf of the 1,000+ members of the Kids+Creativity Network who are connecting with children and youth in hundreds of locales like Elizabeth Forward School District , the Carnegie Library, and the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh,” said Gregg Behr. “Such educators as Melissa Butler are genuinely remaking what it means to learn.”

Published April 23, 2014