Instructure and ASU’s Partnership: A Global Campaign for Accessibility and Equity in Education

Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative
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Arizona State University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management has big plans to close educational equity gaps and educate women and girls around the world. In 2022, Thunderbird announced its initiative to provide education for 100 million global learners by 2030. This ambitious goal will be achieved through the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. Instructure is proud to partner with ASU through our Canvas Learning Management System to fuel this initiative worldwide.

“Partnering with Arizona State University and Thunderbird’s 100 Million Learners Initiative brings together best-in-class educational technology with Canvas LMS, and an institution focused on radical inclusion, whereby there are educational opportunities for ALL learners. Canvas enables learners by providing access to the education and information that best fits their needs, ultimately supporting them in achieving their personal goals. It truly represents Instructure’s goal, as well as my own passion, of meeting students where they are and empowering them on their personal learning journey.” - Jess Awtrey, Strategic Account Manager at Instructure

Instructure Partners with Arizona State University

Canvas LMS provides quality online education to ASU’s 100 million learner recipients. Canvas serves as a platform for equity and accessibility as the program aims to educate learners throughout the globe, ultimately offering courses in over 40 languages. Another reason for Canvas Confetti is the initiative’s pledge to women. Women will account for 70% of the learners, bringing diversity to global management and helping to bridge gender gaps. Instructure is proud to partner with the 100 Million Learners Global Initiative, reflecting the company's commitment to improve lives, build communities, and break educational barriers. 

"We believe access to education is a basic human right, which is why we worked with Thunderbird to create a global initiative that will educate 100 million learners worldwide," - F. Francis Najafi and Dionne Najafi

Providing a Unique Global Learning Opportunity

Celebrating its first successful year in April 2023, the Global Initiative has made outstanding academic contributions and looks forward to the future. More programs and opportunities will expand to multiple countries over the next few years. With geographic and socioeconomic differences, the program is committed to providing inclusive learning experiences. Each student is entrusted with control of their academic journey, deciding what resources best benefit their individual learning goals. Canvas LMS will ease student hurdles, providing an intuitive and easy-to-use platform to receive a rewarding education. This international push for online learning opportunities in higher education will decrease the digital divide.

“Canvas provides learners a continuity of experience that supports the amazing things happening for them across their lifelong learning journey. Programs focused on bridging the gap between learning and doing, such as this initiative, showcase the direct impact that education, upskilling, and professional development can have on the trajectory of someone's life.” - Jess Awtrey, Strategic Account Manager at Instructure

The 100 Million Learners Program

Wherever students are in their learning journey, there is a course for them in the program. Courses are categorized into three learning stages: Foundational, Intermediate, and Advanced. Students can decide which course best fits their goals, creating a sense of autonomy and ownership over their education. Learners earn badges for individual courses and certifications for successfully completed programs. Students can then obtain academic credit and continue their education with ASU. The online Global Management and Entrepreneurship program consist of five courses, all taught in Canvas LMS:

  1. Global Leadership and the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  2. Customer Experience and Digital Marketing in a Global World
  3. Global Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Business
  4. Data Analytics and Digital Transformation in a Global World
  5. Global Financial Accounting

“The Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative is an ambitious large-scale program, and the number of people it aims to reach with online education at no cost is unprecedented” - Shiren Vijiasingam, chief product officer at Instructure

A Need for Sustainable Educational Development

The Global Initiative works to advance goal 4 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. As the global workforce continues to become technology-enhanced, learners need the opportunity to build digital literacy and skills that would benefit them for life. The demand for skill-based education is rising as we enter a new economy. Higher education institutions prepare for growth, expecting learners to double in the next ten years. To help, the Global Initiative has taken a proactive approach, offering current and future learners quality and transferable education at no cost.

Supporting Thunderbird School of Global Management

Through online education, we can fight poverty, inequality, and the digital divide limiting the growth of our global communities. Look at how you can support Thunderbird School of Global Management 100 million learners initiative and see other ways Canvas is being used for good around the world.


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