IAEE's Educational Entrepreneur of the Year - Emily Pilloton

Emily Pilloton The International Academy for Educational Entrepreneurship is proud to name Emily Pilloton as our Educational Entrepreneur of the year. Anyone meeting Emily Pilloton would be impressed with the tenacity, sincerity, and seriousness in which she approaches her role as an educational entrepreneur. She is engaged, responsive and tirelessly dedicated to education and her students. She has made a difference in the lives of many students in Bertie County, North Carolina and now in Berkeley, California with her Project H - DESIGN FOR HOPE.

DESIGN FOR HOPE----Emily Pilloton

A designer, builder, middle/high school educator, and unwavering optimist, Emily Pilloton founded the nonprofit design firm Project H to use creative capital to improve communities and public education from the inside out. Since January 2008, Emily has worked to apply appropriate and inspiring built solutions as catalysts for social change. Project H's approach turns much of the design world on its head: "There is no design without (critical) action; Design WITH, not FOR; Document, share and measure; Start locally and scale globally; Design systems, not stuff; Build." Believing that change begins not worlds away but in our own back yards, Emily spent 2 years in a woodshop in Bertie County, North Carolina, with her high school students as part of Studio H, a design/build/community program that teaches design thinking and vocational construction skills within the public school system. Over the course of two years, Emily's students earned 17 college credits in a studio/shop environment, as well as summer wages to build the architectural community project they spent the school year designing. The end result was a 2000 square foot farmers' market that ultimately provided jobs and a much needed gathering space for the community.

Trained as an architect and product designer with a penchant for tinkering and "the kind of math most people hate," Emily is also the author of Design Revolution: 100 Products that Empower People. Her non-conventional book tour in a 1972 Airstream filled with 40 of the 100 products covered 35 towns in 75 days to promote design for good. In 2014, "If You Build It", a documentary featuring Emily's work in Bertie County, North Carolina and now in Berkeley, California, premiered across the country. The film was produced and directed by the dynamic team of Christine and Patrick Creadon. Emily delivered a TED Talk at the 2010 Oxford Conference, and recently, was the kick-off speaker at the Marin County Office of Education Speaker Series. Project H's initiatives range from small local interventions (water collection and reuse, architectural schemes for foster care facilities, craft-based homeless enterprises) to deep engagements in the public education system. Emily holds a Bachelor's degree in architecture from the University of California Berkeley and a Master's degree in product design from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and owes much of her creativity to a childhood spent in the mountains of Northern California building treehouses. She has spoken in arenas worldwide about the power of design and building to improve life.