As a social entrepreneurial activist, John Gilmour has researched, piloted and scaled the LEAP holistic educational development programme for economically  marginalized African children living in townships and rural spaces in South Africa. John has worked on integrating the neglected skills of social and emotional learning to pivot the general South African pedagogy for the STEM secondary cognitive learning curriculum. John developed, piloted and replicate this new LEAP learning method over 17 years, in which youth performed substantially better than public or private schools in national testing. The LEAP method focuses on self-liberation reflected in the legacies of Steve Biko and Nelson Mandela. His present focus includes piloting the Leap methodology into numerous Sub-Saharan national educational systems through a LEAP Teachers Institute and pilot projects. The LEAP active learning projects include carbon sequestration through endemic forest restoration and water monitoring for townships’ citizens’ health programs .

John has a history of leading schools in private and public education in South Africa and founding the LEAP process of consciousness-liberated STEM learning.  John has also co-founded a number of other organizations improving for African children living in resource-poor communities the educational outcomes through collaboration, networking, and peer-learning: Bridge co-founded with Dr. Mamphela Ramphele linking and replicating educational innovation; The South African Extraordinary Schools Coalition co-founded, a collection of intervention-based independent, public schools, and other organizations transforming the lives of socio-economically vulnerable children; Founder and executive director of the Global Teachers Institute.

John is a COVID 19 adviser to the South African Education Department with particular focus on Schools of the Future, an Ashoka fellow, a member of the international BMW responsible leaders’ fellowship, member of the USA Club of Rome, and a foreign member of  Botanical Society of the Americas.

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