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Imagine will empower every child, everywhere to build the literacy and numeracy skills they need to achieve their full potential.

How we will do it

Imagine will demonstrate that children, with personalized technology in their hands, can become literate and numerate with little to no adult instruction. More than 250 million children and youth worldwide do not have access to school. And hundreds of millions more go to school but never learn to read or write.

We are partnering with organizations across the globe to pilot autonomous learning programs. We will build an evidence base and identify what works – and why. We will use data to continuously improve the content, approach, and implementation. Then we will provide tools, expertise, capital, and a network to enhance our ability to scale elsewhere.

Enabling out-of-school children to learn through technology will dramatically increase access to education, free up resources, and create a high quality, cost-effective model that can scale globally. Similar to skipping the step of laying landlines and going directly to cellular, let’s consider leap frogging the cost and time to build schools and go directly to autonomous learning. We will always count on adults, including teachers, to provide support, training and mentoring.

We envision a world where all children have access to opportunity. Proving the effectiveness of autonomous learning, beginning in places with no alternatives, can pave the way for limitless possibilities for all children.

Who we are

Susan J Colby

CEO and Co-founder

Susan is CEO and Co-founder of Imagine. Previously, she was a partner at McKinsey & Company, where she led the education practice serving for-profit, nonprofit, and public sector organizations to improve student outcomes. Susan was also a founding partner of the Bridgespan Group. As CEO at Stupski Foundation, Susan developed and implemented strategies focused on mindsets, character, and student-centered learning. She also developed and led businesses in the developing world, serving smallholder farmers and their communities. She was selected as an inaugural Fellow of the Aspen - NewSchools Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education. She is a Lecturer on Leadership at the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Graduate School of Education. Susan earned a BA from American University and an MBA from Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Joe Wolf

Chairman and Co-founder

Joe is Chairman of the Board and Co-founder of Imagine. He is the founder and a board member of The Learning Accelerator and OpenUp Resources. Joe has held board positions for Summer Search, the Clayton Christensen Institute, New Classrooms, and NewSchools Venture Fund. He was formerly a Partner at RS Investments where he co-managed a team that grew $100 million in assets to over $12 billion. Prior to RS, he worked at Goldman Sachs & Company. Joe holds a BA from Vanderbilt University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Michael Horn

Board Member

Michael is a board member of Imagine and serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of Entangled Ventures and principal consultant of Entangled Solutions. The Co-founder and a Distinguished Fellow of the Clayton Christensen Institute, Michael has worked in every corner of the globe to transform education so that all students fulfill their potential. He is the author and co-author of multiple books, including, “Disrupting Class: How Disruptive Innovation Will Change the Way the World Learns.” Michael serves on the boards of Fidelis Education, Education Elements, Silicon Schools Fund, and the Minerva Institute. Michael earned a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Karen Levesque

Senior Director for Measurement and Evaluation

Karen is Senior Director for Measurement and Evaluation at Imagine. As Director of the P-12 Education Center at RTI International and the K-12 School Improvement program at MPR Associates, she led research and technical assistance spanning early childhood through high school and transition to college. At RTI, Karen co-led a domestic-international education collaboration resulting in implementation of an early childhood study in East Africa and development of early grade reading and math training materials. As a Peace Corps volunteer in Senegal, she opened a village health clinic and co-founded a country-wide numeracy initiative focused on pre-literate women. Karen serves on the board of the African Library Project, which has created more than 2,000 libraries in sub-Saharan Africa. She earned her BA at Smith College, MPP at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and her PhD in Public Policy at the University of California-Berkeley.

Saro Mohammed


Saro is an advisor to Imagine. She has over a decade of experience in education research and external evaluations of programs implemented in public, private, and nonprofit settings. She was previously the inaugural Assistant Director of two research units in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin. Saro serves as a reviewer for and advisor to federally-funded research centers. She holds a PhD in educational psychology from The University of Texas at Austin and a BS in brain and cognitive sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Jennifer Welsh


Jen leads pilot development strategy and partnerships at Imagine. Prior to joining Imagine, Jen consulted for leading education reform organizations ranging from foundations, universities and nonprofits to school districts and charter management organizations. Through this work, she developed deep expertise in program management, organizational strategy, talent recruitment, leadership development, and strategic partnerships. Jen also served as Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at The Broad Foundation as well as Program Director for Education Pioneers. Earlier in her career, Jen obtained a Master in International and Intercultural Education during which time she conducted data collection and analysis for UNESCO related to the achievement of EFA (Education for All) goals. She also spent a year in Chile teaching elementary school and working with local community teachers to provide professional development in math instruction. Jen earned her BA at Dartmouth College and Master and Doctorate from the University of Southern California.

Sarah Bardack

Research Analyst

Sarah is a Research Analyst at Imagine. Most recently, Sarah was a post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University where her research focused on understanding how parents and teachers support children’s social-emotional development. She also developed expertise in quantitative methods including experimental and quasi-experimental evaluation design and multilevel modeling. Earlier in her career, Sarah worked as an English teacher and a volunteer in Vietnam, supporting health and education programs for disadvantaged children. Sarah earned her BA at New York University, MPP at Georgetown University, and her PhD in Developmental and Psychological Sciences at the Stanford University Graduate School of Education.

Emma Sakson


Emma is an Associate at Imagine. Most recently, Emma served as a Princeton in Africa fellow in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where she supported the communications, advocacy, and client services work of Comprehensive Community Based Rehabilitation in Tanzania (CCBRT). Based at CCBRT’s Disability Hospital, Emma assisted the Maternal and Newborn Health Capacity Building team with the implementation of a project designed to increase the capacity of healthcare workers and clinical staff in government facilities. Prior to joining Imagine, Emma conducted research on disability services and accessibility challenges in coordination with various NGOs in Kampala, Uganda, and served in a variety of roles at the ONE Campaign. She earned a BA in international affairs from The George Washington University.