In 2020, Joanne became an Edmund Hillary Fellow.
She is one of 532 Fellows from 58 countries who are using their unique entrepreneurial experiences, access to resources, and far-reaching global networks to contribute to New Zealand’s economic rebuild phase.
Executive Committee Member for Karanga: The Global Alliance for Social Emotional Learning and Life Skills
Karanga is an international not-for-profit that supports policy makers and practitioners from across the world to promote quality and equitable social-emotional learning and life skills. Karanga has representatives from over 40 countries and is solely focused on creating a Global Alliance for SEL.
Board Member for People for Education
People for Education is a unique organization in Canada: independent, non-partisan, and fueled by a belief in the power and promise of public education. They create evidence, instigate dialogue, and build links so that people can see—and act on—the connection between public education and a fair and prosperous society.
Fellow at Salzburg Global Seminar
Salzburg Global Seminar is an independent non-profit organization founded in 1947 to challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world. The multi-year program series aims to bridge divides, expand collaboration, and transform systems.
Co-Founder and Former Global Director of New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL)
NPDL is an international innovation partnership active in eight countries. It engages students, teachers, school leaders, families, and education communities working together to address key education challenges. Joanne led the development of the NPDL Suite of Tools.
Board Member: Partners for Youth Empowerment
Partners for Youth Empowerment is a US non-profit and registered UK Charity with a mission to unleash the creative potential of young people.
Named One of the Ten most Influential Women in Technology 2021
Founder & CEO
Joanne of Waitaha, Ngāti Māmoe and Ngāi Tahu, creates opportunities for each person to learn who they are, how they fit into the world, and how they can contribute to humanity. She has spent over 30 years working as a teacher, principal, superintendent, and school-system leader, and now offers insights and strategies that reconnect students, teachers, families, and communities to what matters most. She provides ways to redefine what success looks like, recognizing that we learn best through meaningful, contributive learning that helps all learners shine and succeed in their way.
Joanne emphasizes teachers’ well-being alongside their students’, providing relevant tools and processes for teachers to be well so they can support their learners in the ways they want to. Joanne embeds a social, emotional, and cultural commitment to all learners, reflecting learners’ cultures, identities, and humanity in what, how, and where they learn. Her insights are illuminated by continued, hands-on experience partnering with diverse countries, community groups, schools, and learners around the world.
She started The Learner First in 2012 to take a systemic approach to developing academic + social and emotional learning. Beginning with the cultural and practical capabilities that school systems need to develop well-being, she designed the Contributive Learning Framework that helps school communities design impactful learning experiences, measure the outcomes that matter, and lead real change.
Joanne bases her work on a mix of the SDG goals and the humanitarian outcomes that are inclusive for all. These outcomes are:
- Self-Understanding. Understanding who we are, how we impact and fit into others’ lives and the world, and how we can make a difference.
- Connection. Connecting with others, our environments, our learning, and the world in meaningful and fulfilling ways.
- Knowledge. The knowledge that each individual needs to reach achieve their individual goals and aspirations.
- Competency. The global competencies of commitment, collaboration, communication, creativity, and critical thinking.