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History

A Young Organization Driven by an Ambitious Vision


In 2016, blended learning advocate Joe Wolf wondered: “Has technology evolved to the point where we can teach children to read and do math on their own without a formal teacher or school? Could that innovation allow us to leapfrog school infrastructure and serve the millions of kids that do not have access to high quality education?” Joe and Susan Colby imagined what would be possible for children if that were true. The possibilities were limitless – and from that expansive vision, Imagine Worldwide was born.

January 2017

Imagine is founded with The Learning Accelerator (TLA) acting as a fiduciary organization.

February 2017

With seed money from angel investors, we got the work underway.

March 2017

The decision to work in Malawi, where the needs of children are profound, began with a meeting with onebillion in March 2017. Over the next several months, we built relationships with and formally established partnerships with onebillion, Voluntary Services Overseas (VSO), and the University of Malawi, Chancellor College. It helped that onebillion’s software was in Chichewa!

May 2017

After many months of working together, Imagine was honored to become an Impact Partner of the Global Learning XPRIZE.

September 2017

Imagine receives its 501(c)3 status.

May 2018

The Omidyar Network, Valhalla Charitable Foundation, and other generous funders joined in as investors to build the organization and deliver the portfolio of work on the ground.

October 2018

Launched our first long-term randomized control trial in two schools in Lilongwe, Malawi in partnership with onebillion, the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, and Voluntary Services Overseas.

April 2019

Began working with Enuma, developer of Kitkit School in preparation for pilots on the ground.

April 2019

Launched two studies in Dzaleka Refugee Settlement in partnership with Integrity Church, onebillion, takenoLAB, the University of Malawi, Chancellor College, Voluntary Services Overseas, Jesuit Worldwide Learning, Southern New Hampshire University, and the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

May 2019

Established a partnership with the International Rescue Committee and Enuma (KitKit School) in preparation for a pilot launch in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for Rohingya children in fall 2019.

May 2019

XPRIZE announces the co-winners of the $15M Global Learning XPRIZE: onebillion and Kitkit School (developed by Enuma).

June 2019

The Imagine Worldwide Board arrives in Lilongwe to visit sites and meet with our partners.

November 2019

Launched short-term study in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh for Rohingya children in partnership with the International Rescue Committee, Enuma (KitKit School) and War Child (Can’t Wait to Learn).

January 2020

Published encouraging findings from our first 8-month RCT in the Malawi public schools, link here.

Spring 2020

COVID-19 spreads globally and disrupts education for 1 billion children worldwide. The importance of tablet-based learning is more important than ever.

August 2020

September 2020

To help children whose education was disrupted by COVID-19, the Malawian Ministry of Education, onebillion, and VSO collaborated to offer 700 tablets to households in Lilongwe, Malawi, to make high-quality digital home-learning possible.

December 2020

As the disruptions from COVID-19 spread, the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and onebillion, with assistance from Imagine, began delivering an at-home learning solution to children in Tanzania.

Q1 2021

In partnership with the International Rescue Committee (IRC) and onebillion, Imagine will serve children through a center-based supplemental learning program in the Kigoma region.
2021 and Beyond

Tech-enabled learning scales globally, bringing access to literacy and numeracy skills within the reach of every child.