The 100 Million Learners Initiative: Education in 40 languages at no cost to the learner through tech and partnerships

Concurrent Session 6
Leadership Equity and Inclusion

Brief Abstract

Join us to learn how the #1 Ranked Thunderbird School of Global Management offers high-quality education to the world at no cost to learners in 40 languages. Learn about our Language Translation Factory to scale accurate course translation and how partners like Google and Instructure help drive our global impact.

Extended Abstract

Key takeaways from this presentation:

  • Identify language accessibility as an emerging frontier of inclusivity in learning environments

  • Explain how technology can drive accurate translation and implementation of learning experiences in multiple languages at scale

  • Outline expectations and project management strategies around translation of learning experiences 

  • Describe how partnerships with companies like Google and Instructure can drive global scale and impact

In the new global economy, where technology has displaced so many workers, obtaining a future ready skillset is a necessity for both personal and professional opportunities. Yet too many of the world’s learners lack access to quality education and 21st century skill sets, a problem that will only be exacerbated in the coming years. 

The demand for higher education is projected to grow from approximately 222,000,000 in 2020 to more than 470,000,000 in 2035. In order to meet that demand, the world would have to build eight universities that each serve 40,000 students every week for the next 15 years. In addition, 90% of the world’s university students do not have access to the resources or recognition of top-ranked universities. In addition, the demand for skill sets needed to succeed in the new economy from members at the base of the economic pyramid, such as women entrepreneurs, is projected to exceed another 2-3 billion people.

On January 20, 2022, our institution launched the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. This initiative aims to offer online, global education from our world-class accredited institutions in 40 different languages to learners across the globe, at absolutely no cost to the learner. Women and young women will account for 70% of the 100 million learners that the program will reach worldwide.

The Global Initiative will further advance our mission to empower and influence global leaders and managers who maximize the benefits of the Fourth Industrial Revolution to advance equitable and sustainable prosperity worldwide.

The Global Initiative offers three pathways to learners depending on their current education levels:

  • Foundational Courses: For learners at any level.

  • Intermediate courses: For advanced high school learners to current undergraduate learners.

  • Advanced courses: For advanced undergraduate learners and above.

Key technologies driving our initiative include our custom built Language Translation Factory website.  This website leverages a hybrid of Google Translate AI and human translator for maximum speed and accuracy with built in project management features.  The presentation will include a demo of our Language Translation Factory and a review of our broader translation process.

In addition, we’ll discuss how Google, Instructure, and Salesforce have been collaborative partners to support learning at a massive global scale through diverse learner pathways, data management, language support, and cost-effectiveness.

Audience Engagement Strategy: As part of our presentation segment, we’ll offer polls, interactive chat options, invitations for audience members to try to collectively fool Google Translate, and explore opportunities and challenges around translation, and offer hands-on, entry-level ways for institutions to effectively offer learning experiences in multiple languages.  As part of our Q&A segment, we’ll welcome questions, conversation, and partnerships to remove barriers and drive this important work around inclusion and global empowerment.