BOARD OF DIRECTORS

  • Natalia Allende

    Natalia Allende


    Natalia Allende is the Executive Director of Design for Change Chile, a non-profit organization devoted to helping children and youth develop their voice and put their ideas into action by following the FIDS framework. With a love for education and innovation and an optimistic view of the world, she has used her studies in education, aesthetics, and literature to build the organization. Natalia has formed a dedicated team of professionals just as passionate as her, created partnerships, raised funds and overseen the communicational aspects of DFC Chile.

    Her dream is that every child have the opportunity to discover their unique potential and exercise their full capacity to become their best self.

  • Alexia Belmont

    Alexia Belmont


    Alexia Belmont is the Founder and current president of the board of Design for Change Peru. Design For Change Peru is a non-profit organization witch aims to create opportunities for children to experience their power and ability to achieve their goals and dreams in collaboration with each other.

    Alexia studied Psychology at Immaculata University, Pennsylvania (USA), and years later found a passion for coaching studying several coaching programs such as: Professional Ontological Coach, (Pontifical Catholic University of Peru), Life Coach (IPO - Institute for the Practice of Ontology); specialization in Coaching. Certified Coach, Conscious Business Center with Fred Kofman. She was designated as an Ambassador for Peace, appointed by the Universal Peace Federation (UPF). Her dream is to contribute in constructing world freedom, where we can see ourselves as citizens of the world. In her free time Alexia spends her time sailing and hopes to sail around the world one day.

  • Sanjli Gidwaney

    Sanjli Gidwaney


    Sanjli is the National Director of Design for Change USA. As the Director of DFC USA, she manages a national team of designers, educators and technologists and forging partnerships with Teach for America, IDEO, Harvard and Stanford among many other school schools and school networks. She travels state-to-state fundraising, delivering hands on professional development workshops, and doing speaking engagements. Sanjli has spoken at the National Association of Independent Schools, Yale, Harvard, Ashoka, SXSWEdu and the United Nations International School. She is deeply passionate about helping young people strengthen their agency to create a fair and just world for all.

    She received her Masters in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. When she is not working, you can find her globe-trotting, or pursuing her love for hip hop dancing and baking. Sanjli lives in Boston with her husband Vinay and their two children, Leela (7) and Niam (4).

  • Kate Hsu

    Kate Hsu


    Hsin Wei (Kate) Hsu is the founder and 1st Director General of Taiwan Youth Creative Action Association.

    TYCAA is the non-profit organization that runs Design for Change, Taiwan. As a former English Substitute Teacher in High School of Taiwan Normal University, Kate discovered the FEEL, IMAGINE, DO and SHARE process and was then "infected" by the I CAN bug. Kate then dedicated to promote simplified design thinking methods in Taiwanese education system. She is elected the “Ace” of 30 under 30 by The News Lens in 2015, and she is also the awardee of Ten Outstanding Young Persons of the Year in 2014. She is also the author of two books - “My Riverside Experience” and “Design For Change.”

    Kate wishes to stay an optimistic, energetic and enthusiastic learner, and she lives with her loving family in Taipei.

  • Shirine Al Khudari

    Shirine Al Khudari


    Shirine Al Khudari is an educator with more than 31 years of practical teaching, teacher training and leadership skills. She has led local and international schools and in the capacity of a school leader. She has also been a passionate advocate of children’s leadership skills and children’s rights for as long as she can remember, which led her to immediately fall in love with Design for Change and become a passionate advocate of this amazing initiative in Jordan; her beloved hometown. She is currently the official global partner at Design for Change Jordan and the director of the NGO’s executive committee.

    Her dream is to help support generations of responsible youth who will change their world for the better aiming at just and long lasting peace.

  • Ruthie Sobel Luttenberg

    Ruthie Sobel Luttenberg


    In her continuing search for the very best educational intervention for empowering young people, her own journey began as an activist in a youth movement. Inspired, she made Aliyah at the age of 16, moving from New Jersey to Israel, where she graduated from Tel Aviv University. It was here that her love for informal education was secured and it became obvious that the natural path for her led into community work in poor neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. Years later, she opened a toy store in Ramat Aviv that specialized in educational toys and then segued into a theme party business. From there she fashioned a successful Birthday Angels Birthday Party Project NGO which enhanced the lives of thousands of young people who had never had the birthday party experience. Design impacted her process and this realization catapulted her into Design for Change. Thus her introduction and utter satisfaction with her "Theory of Everything," a perfect culmination of her previous experiences. The newest phase of this journey is with the DFC Israel and Global. Finding great joy in her work she looks back on the blessings of inspired parents, a trio of children who bring her great "nachas" and a superb and supporting husband. All the stakeholders of her life supported her desire to return to Tel Aviv University, where she received her Masters' Degree in Education. While her work is all consuming, she still finds time to read, cook, eat, host friends, watch heavy dramas, play scrabble and do yoga.

  • Carolina Pasquali

    Carolina Pasquali


    Carolina Pasquali is the executive director of Instituto Alana, a non-profit civil society organization that exists to honor the children and to promote its integral development and the guarantee of children's rights. She is a journalist who has worked for over a decade in major publications in Brazil, Spain and the United States. After becoming a mother, she dedicated herself to start Design for Change Brazil and then to grow the program - named Criativos da Escola - after joining Alana. She is now the happy mother of two smart and beautiful daughters, Clara and Joana.

  • Madhu Verma

    Madhu Verma


    Madhu worked with various corporate and social sector organisations, such as the Microsoft Corporation and at Oxfam, New Zealand. Her independent study on ‘Cross-sector Alliances’ won the Australia and New Zealand Marketing Association Award from Massey University, New Zealand. Madhu is a certified NLP Master Practitioner and NLP Life Coach.

    Motivated by the belief that children can make a positive impact on society, Madhu founded SoCh (Social Change) in Action and Design for Change Singapore (DFC-S) in 2010. She is also the executive board member for Design for Change, USA

    SoCh (www.SoChinAction.com) is a Singapore-based social enterprise that designs and implements programmes to empower children to think, voice and act to shape society. SoCh runs the Singapore’s Design for Change (www.dfcworld.com) programme; the world’s largest movement of children driving change by unleashing their ‘I CAN’ spirit.

    Under Madhu’s leadership, SoCh has engaged with 120 over schools in Singapore and empowered about 16,000 children and teachers through Design for Change (www.dfcworld.com), a global movement of change by children.

Sreeja Basu


Sreeja is passionate about solving problems, and finding creative and effective ways to do so. They are often initiated by her own life experiences, like the absence of sexuality education in her schooling, which led to her interest in this field. She likes to think in and explore range of mediums while approaching any project, and then select the most appropriate one. Illustration is where her expertise and comfort lies.

She is also extremely interested in food and takes every opportunity to try new food preparations. She had also started an illegal food business from her PG while in college with a few friends, which did take off… but had to be shut down.

Sometimes obsessively) striving for perfection, she is “Driven, and always driving, Sreeja doesn't only do, but also makes happen. Without a moment of disinterest, it is her conviction to goals that sets teams off!”- said Reetika Kalita, a fellow co-worker and friend at the fellowship.

Sreeja studied Art and Design at Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, specializing in Communication Design. She then pursued a post graduation diploma in Liberal Studies at Ashoka University through the Young India Fellowship. Most of her work as been related to education (and more specifically sexuality and life skills education) and creating material for students and teachers.

Dominic Florisca


Dom has a BSc in Economics from the University of Bath in the UK and has worked as a Management Consultant with Capgemini around Europe for 3 years. Through volunteering and pro-bono consulting with NGOs Dom discovered his passion for working with young people and towards improving education globally. He is excited to be part of Riverside School and to be a Fellow at Design For Change.

Dom was born in Romania before moving to the UK, which explains his love of mountains and nature - and he also enjoys discovering new cultures and countries so much that you will likely find him exploring at every opportunity.

Anjali Chhabra


‘Outside the comfort zone, is where the magic happens’, is the motto that drives this dreamer. With a strong belief in the children’s power to become superheroes, Anjali Chhabra aspires to become a peace educationist by making education a laboratory of peace. A Journalism graduate with masters in Peace and Conflict Studies, she has done intensive field and research work in the border areas of Kashmir. Recently she graduated from Gandhi Fellowship, a two year leadership programme in Mumbai (Maharashtra) aimed at transforming the head masters of government schools to leaders of tomorrow. Her vision is to create a successfully scaled peace education curriculum based on PLAY and ultimately mainstreaming it in the state’s education policy.

Asma Hussain


Asma has spent half a decade with children inside the classroom as an educator. Spending her time inside classroom taught her to be patient, humble, curious and a believer in persistence. She has completed her Bachelors in Economics. She also has a Bachelors degree in Education. Before joining Design for Change, she was a fellow at Teach for India.

Amogh Lux


Amogh Lux is a recent graduate from Chapman University in Orange, California with a degree in public relations, advertising and fine art. He firmly believes in the power of innovation and simplicity in tailoring experiences. A self proclaimed brand enthusiast, Amogh's goal is to help spread the “I Can” attitude around the globe via social media. His plan is straightforward; to turn up conversation and keep social media social.

Pranay Desai


Pranay Desai is an integral member of Design for Change. He has 11 years of design practice behind him. He graduated from the prestigious MS University of Baroda and specialized in Visual Communication. He started ‘IINFI Design Solutions’ in 2000 with his partner, Chintan. His core competency is in the area of graphic design. He is responsible for the design and technology backend expertise and support for Design for Change.

Anshul Aggarwal


After finishing his BE in Mechatronics from Manipal University and working with IMEC in Belgium for 6 months, Anshul joined DFC in 2011. He has since slipped into the role of Chief of (pretty much) Everything with complete ease. It’s standard practice to find Anshul looking alarmingly sleep-deprived, as it is to find his emails in your inbox at ridiculous hours. Don’t be fooled by his frequently spaced-out look; Anshul is a stickler for perfection, and demands it of everyone around him.

On the rare occasions that he is not working, you’ll find Anshul in some remote corner of the country exploring his interest in folklore and storytelling or making an earnest, yet unsuccessful attempt at growing a respectable ponytail. The ponytail aside, we don’t know what we would’ve done at DFC without Anshul and his remarkable ability to get things done.

Nikita Desai


Nikita Desai joined as a member of Design For Change - Global team in 2017. She has been with Riverside School for the past 17 years as a parent, an educator, Head of Riverside Learning Center and as a School Leader for Key Stage 2. (Grades 3 to 7) The fundamental philosophy that drives Nikita’s impeccable work ethic of hard work, dedication and user-centered design is, knowing that with adequate opportunities and support, every child can do anything and everything. Attuned to the Design for Change motto of ‘I Can’, she aspires to help all her students become aware of what bothers them and then to empower them to shift focus from vision to action. Nikita’s understanding of the pedagogy has been strengthened through training in Multiple Intelligence, Differentiated Instruction as well as an online course by the Harvard Graduate School of Education - ‘Teaching for Understanding’. She was invited to present Riverside’s philosophy by the Royal Education Council of Bhutan and Day Star School, Beijing. She has also been to schools in Rajkot and Chittoor as an auditor for their pedagogy and practice. Nikita enjoys interacting with people and meeting new minds, photography, listening to music, traveling and trying different types of food.

Parul Patel


Not only has she seen the beginning of DFC, Parul has been around since the founding of the Riverside School itself, way back in 2001. A graduate of B.Com, Parul uses her administrative super powers to ensure the smooth functioning of DFC as well as Riverside. With her knack for building enduring relationships over phone, email, or in person, Parul is the point of contact for all our India partners and an indispensible asset for the team!

When she is not walking around campus interacting with students and teachers, you will find Parul perched on her favourite chair, which offers her the perfect vantage point to keep one eye on everything that’s happening while doing her work.

Ruchi Junnarkar


Ruchi Junakar is a graduate from Sophia College, Mumbai and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Mass Media with a major in Journalism. She joined Design for Change in February 2013 and is the main Coordinator for DFC’s annual Be The Change Conference, as well as the overall operations of DFC. Her persistent hard work and genial nature makes her a valuable teammate.

Nilufer Singanporia


Nilufer Siganporia is an Administrator & an Examinations Officer for Key Stage 3 at The Riverside School. She is a Commerce Graduate, and has a Diploma in Secretarial Practice. She is essentially a PR/HR person, and the first face of Riverside!! This makes her the perfect Coordinator for Hospitality, Guests and Communication for Design for Change. Her inherent love for children has made her a popular ‘Agony Aunt’ for everyone at Riverside. She is ‘high on life’, and strongly believes that ‘God has a plan for our life, and that’s all we need to know’.

Akanksha Agarwal


At Design for Change, Akanksha is trying to bridge the theory and practice of school improvement and learning through Design Thinking. She was a Gandhi Fellow and has worked with Bombay Municipal School Headmasters on designing more engaging learning environments in public schools. She dreams of designing a relevant and inclusive public education system. She has studied literature from Miranda House, Delhi University and has a Masters in Development Studies from TISS, Mumbai.

Over the years, Kiran, Riverside and Design for Change have won several accolades and Awards, and some of them are:

In 2011, Kiran won the prestigious "INDEX – Design to Improve Life Award".

In 2012, "Rockefeller Foundation Youth Innovation Award".

In 2014, Design for Change was declared Lego Foundation's "Reimagine Learning Challenge Champion".

In 2015, Kiran was amongst the Top 10 Educators, nominated for the Global Teacher Prize - instituted by the Varkey GEMS Foundation.

In 2015, Design for Change won the Commonwealth Education Good Practice Award.

In 2015, Kiran was conferred the Asia Game Changer 2015 Award by Asia Society.

In 2017, Kiran met the Pope in the Vatican to sign an Agreement whereby DFC is being introduced in over 460,000 Catholic Schools across the Globe.

In 2017, DFC has been recognised as one of the 100 most innovative educational programmes in the world by HundRED.org (based in Finland).

In 2018, Kiran has been awarded the “Light of Freedom” Award, at the Vital Voices, U.S.A., Global Leadership Awards.

In 2018 Edutopia covered The Riverside School for best practices. The Riverside School is consistently ranked as the No.1 International Day School in the City of Ahmedabad and State of Gujarat by EducationWorld India School Rankings.

After graduating from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad (India) in 1989, Kiran successfully ran her own Graphic Design Firm for over a decade. She moved into Education when she founded The Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India in 2001, which is now viewed as a Laboratory to prototype “design processes” that enables “transformative” student learning experiences.


Kiran is also the founder of 'aProCh'—an initiative to make our cities more child friendly, for which she was awarded the Ashoka Fellow in 2008. In 2009, she received the "Call to Conscience Award" by the King Centre at Stanford.


In 2009, Kiran launched ‘Design for Change’ which uses a simple 4 step design framework – FIDS (Feel, Imagine, Do, Share) to cultivate the I CAN Mind-set in all children. Today, DFC is the world's largest movement of change - of and by children, and is in 60+ countries—impacting over 2.2 million children and 65,000 Teachers.


Kiran currently resides in Ahmedabad with her Husband – Geet Sethi and two wonderful children – their son, Raag and daughter, Jazz. She loves listening to music, watching movies, singing, dancing and has an insane love for fruit-filled Dark Chocolates!!!

Rahul Shah


Rahul is currently working as a management consultant in a firm specialized in strategy consulting. In his 15+ years of experience, Rahul has worked on various domains including technology, retail, airlines, insurance and manufacturing. Besides strategy formation, Rahul specialises in creating customer centric solutions, sales process optimization, organizational operational efficiency and process improvement, and business development .