The Future of School: Innovation, Community, Kansas City

Katie Boody, Founder and CEO of The Lean Lab, addresses the crowd at the Launching Ed Innovation event hosted in partnership with 4.0 Schools and the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri.

4.0 Schools exists because there are too few places to innovate in education.


Many valiant efforts to make school better have been thwarted by the incredible complexity of the system. One thing we've discovered over the last five years at 4.0 is that a relentless focus on families and students - those for whom the system exists in the first place - can help make innovation real, effective and lasting.


This relentless focus on families and students is one of the things that attracted us to the unique work of The Lean Lab and Kansas City. For the last two and a half years, The Lean Lab has been thoughtfully curating a community of change agents and bold thinkers grounded in service to families and students in Kansas City.


For more than a year, we've been building a relationship with Lean Lab founder Katie Boody and the Kauffman Foundation to share what we've learned in New Orleans and explore ways to partner.


Two weeks ago, we shared our vision for that partnership with the rest of Kansas City and the nation. 4.0 will provide guidance and support to The Lean Lab as they expand their Lean Lab Incubator Fellowship. We will also provide support for their outreach work, already well underway in Kansas City. On top of that, 4.0 programs, including Startup Weekend Education and The Tiny Fellowship, will now be available to Kansas City-based school designers and education entrepreneurs. During The Tiny Fellowship, gutsy people committed to making the future of school in Kansas City better will be trained and equipped to create small-scale examples of that future – 10-student versions of new school designs and other learning spaces - all over the city.


Through this partnership, Kansas City joins a small network of cities dedicated to community-based innovation in education, based on a deep commitment to doing innovation with, not for, communities. It's this approach, this mindset of building the future together, that should make you hopeful for the future of school in our country and in Kansas City.


We're honored to be a part of this relationship and can't wait to see what the future of school is - in Kansas City, New Orleans and across the country. Let's get to it.

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Matt Candler

Matt Candler is the Founder and CEO at 4.0 Schools. Previously, he was a teacher, coach, and principal in elementary/middle/high public and private schools.