This past month Compass Education received some very exciting news from our long-time champion, mentor and benefactor – Alan AtKisson – as he announced to Compass Education the generous “gifting” of the ownership of the AtKisson Accelerator Toolkit. This is a milestone event for Compass Education as it brings our organisation full circle back to Compass Education’s conceptual birth in 2009, when a core group of school leaders and teachers from the Prem International School in Chiang Mai, Thailand attended an AtKisson Accelerator training course lead by Alan AtKisson. During the workshop, these inspired educators saw the transformational potential of adapting the tools, particularly the Sustainability Compass (Compass) and Pyramid, along with the systems thinking approach, to classroom application in order to help move schools from the education ‘about’ sustainability paradigm to an education “as” sustainability paradigm. This event was the birth of Compass Education, which has grown into an international network of educators and schools across 42 countries, with a strong thread that ties us all together and inspires us; i.e. the power of using the Sustainability Compass, the Pyramid and system thinking for transformational learning.
Developed in the early 1990s by Alan and Associates, the Accelerator toolkit is a unique and comprehensive suite of tools that have helped companies, organisations, governments and communities to manage and simplify the complex and challenging demands of sustainable development. The Accelerator suite includes the Compass, a holistic thinking and orientation frame for sustainability which translates the complexity of the world into four simple to remember directional points (N, E, S, W), which translate into the four key dimensions of sustainability: Nature, Economy, Society, and Well-Being; the Pyramid, a versatile consensus-building group-process tool that can be used for sustainability training or multi-stakeholder planning to create new initiatives, projects, visions, or strategies; the Amoeba, a set of analysis tools and roll-playing simulation game for accelerating innovation, planning for change and building competence in the art of change agentry; and the Stratosphere, a set of situational analysis tools for developing a “Theory of Change”, strategic planning and evaluation.
Compass Education, though named after the cornerstone tool of the Accelerator suite of sustainability tools, has until now not had proprietary ownership of the suite of tools that our approach is based from. However, Alan had generously allowed Compass Education to freely use and adapt the tools to the educational context and allowed our client teacher and schools to also freely use the tools within the legal copyright framework that was agreed with him. Compass Education has maintained these legal requirements for the past 12 years, earning Alan’s trust and appreciation. In September, Alan dropped the surprise news on us that he was bequeathing the copyright and proprietary ownership of the AtKisson Accelerator toolkit to Compass Education going forward. So as of October 2021, Compass Education is now the owner of the proprietary right to the Sustainability Accelerator Toolkit. This is an amazing gift from Alan, whom we are forever grateful, and gives us a stronger foundation with which to expand on our offerings and services to the international education community. We look forward to more innovation and engagement with the international education community as a result of this exciting turn of events. Thank you, Alan!