"We shall not cease from exploration / And the end of all our exploring / Will be to arrive where we started / And know the place for the first time."

-- T.S. Eliot

CGO | Chief Growth Officer

Christian Long

Let’s Meet Christian!

Christian serves as the Chief Growth Officer for the THINK Learning Studio. He was inspired to join a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to helping global educators and schools explore real-world learning strategies to support both their core values and moonshot aspirations.

His 30 year education career blends high school teaching, program leadership, and athletic coaching; leading experiential / outdoor education and design thinking initiatives; and collaborating on a wide array of innovative 21C school start-up and architecture projects.

He received his BA in English and a Certificate in Secondary Education from Indiana University; completed his MA in ‘School Design’ from the Harvard Graduate School of Education; and participated in extensive professional development at Teachers College at Columbia University and Harvard Graduate School of Design.

As an educator, Christian has taught in Japan and on the Navajo Reservation (New Mexico) as well as in Colorado, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington DC, and Texas. He’s led extensive experiential education programs for high school students including: an 8,000 mile, month-long creative writing trip across the US; building and floating a raft down the Mississippi River; climbing 14’ers in Colorado; winter survival in New England; marine biology in the Florida Everglades; sailing for multiple weeks in the Bahamas; exploring cultural landmarks in France, Switzerland, Italy, and England; outdoor adventure across the Canadian Rockies; and receiving the only official TEDx license in the world for a non-event for his students’ TEDxClassroomProject.

As a designer and consultant, Christian founded multiple organizations: Prototype Design Lab to support young people making impact in their communities; Be Playful (future-of-learning design consultancy) to guide school leadership / innovation teams; and The WONDER Project (education design studio) focused on human-centered school redesign strategies. He also co-led the globally renowned education / architecture design studios, The Third Teacher+ (within CannonDesign’s global educational architecture practice) and Wonder, By Design (international education consultancy), as well as served as President / CEO of the global DesignShare school architecture platform.

He is a recognized international keynote speaker focusing on the future of learning and fostering human centered design mindsets; this includes having been a 4-time TEDx speaker (and a co-founder of TEDxBloomington and TEDxYouth@Columbus).

On a personal front, he feels incredibly lucky to share his life in a small college town in central Ohio (U.S.) with his wife (Karla), two children (Beckett and Berkeley), two dogs (Finn and Ferb), 3 Nigerian dwarf goats (Thunder, Lightning, and Stormy), and a flock of unnamed egg-laying chickens. For fun, Christian tries his hand at being an ‘amateur farmer’, tackling small building projects, designing gardens and pathways, taking endless photos, and longing for summer trips back to where he grew up in Maine. He loves living in a small town filled with close relationships while having the privilege to travel all over the world, thus remaining ever in awe of the infinite ways human beings build lives of connection and meaning.

A much older version of Christian — many years from now — will be found in semi-retirement at a lake-side, tree-covered summer camp. There, he’ll continue marveling at the shared joy of both children and adults alike.


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