Between childhood and womanhood, girls encounter a phenomenon known as "losing voice," according to studies published by Harvard University.
74% of 12 year olds surveyed by Girl Scouts of America list "improving the world around me" as one of their favorite activities, but a lack of confidence holds them back from taking leadership in the areas of change they care most about. Only 1/3 of middle-school girls today believe they can be a leader.
Every girl has the potential to create her own change. She just needs the right tools and inspiration.
That's where we come in. Girls Driving for a Difference, founded in October of 2014, is a team of young women from Stanford University designing and teaching workshops that empower girls to become leaders of social change.
What's the key? Design thinking: a creative problem-solving tool that helps girls explore their passions and think outside the box about their abilities to change the world.
Since 2014, we've been coaching 2-hour-long design thinking and leadership workshops called "Find Your Drive," geared towards empowering middle school girls to become leaders of social change.
We created the workshop as students at Stanford University, inspired by the Stanford d.school's renowned design thinking methods. Our workshops have been featured in Fast Company and endorsed by IDEO, Lean In, the Center for Creative Leadership, and more.
Our workshop makes a difference.
During our workshop, girls come together to identify their unique strengths, discover their leadership style, and reframe problems in the world as opportunities. It gives girls the opportunity to bond, cheer on each other's goals, and learn more about what really matters to them. Girls graduate from the workshop with their own personal mission statement for creating change.
Today, this workshop reaches girls across the US and in Italy, South Africa, Australia, and the UK. Many girls are using what they've learned to start creative, social good projects at their schools.
During the summer of 2015, our team jumped on the road in an RV to teach workshops to girls across the nation.
Over 14 weeks, we crossed 32 states, coached 55 workshops, and reached more than 1200 girls. We partnered with a diverse range of communities, including schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, sports teams, Girl Scout troops, and more. We also hosted pop-up events at libraries, museums, and innovation hubs.
HOW IT began: KICKSTARTER
Before jumping on the road, we launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign that raised $35k from 516 backers.
These funds enabled us to coach all of our workshops for free as we drove across the country! Through launching a Kickstarter campaign, we were also lucky to connect with a number of organizations across the country who could help bring our vision to life.
host your own workshop
We believe that teaching design thinking & girls leadership should be fun, easy to learn, and accessible for everyone. That's why we've worked hard to package all our best practices together in one box. All you need to get started is a Teaching Toolkit.
about the teaching toolkit
The Teaching Toolkit is a "workshop in a box" that arrives right at your doorstep and includes all the materials and info you'll need to teach a workshop. In the box, you'll find:
- Facilitation Guidebook
- "How To" Note Cards
- Activity Strength Cards
- Leadership Quiz Cards and Answer Keys
When your toolkit arrives, check out our online tutorials with step-by-step instructions, photos, and videos for teaching your first workshop. The course is self-paced, so start whenever you're ready and feel free to come back to it over time to refresh your memory.
What kind of impact do you want to create?
You can use the Teaching Toolkit to...
- Kick-off the new school-year in an inspiring, meaningful way. The workshop focuses on teamwork and creativity, helping students to bond, celebrate each other's strengths, and gain confidence in sharing ideas of their own.
- Try design thinking for the first time in your Girl Scout troop, classroom, program, or event.
- Create a space for girls to connect as leaders and change-makers in your school or community.
- Add a social impact mission/purpose to the STEM work that your community is already doing. For example, if your girls are learning to code, take the next step and show them how to use their programming skills to make a difference in the world.
- Empower high school or college women to coach a workshop and become even stronger mentors, leaders, and role-models for younger girls at their school or in their community.
The Teaching Toolkit can be used to coach as many workshops as you'd like. Just keep re-stocking the kit with post-its and print-out packets, and you'll be all set to go.
We partner with a diverse range of schools, organizations, and individuals around the world to share our curriculum with the girls and communities who need it most.