The Philosophy


Learning as unique as fingerprints and as long, wide and deep as life itself.



What We're All About

The 9 Billion Schools movement was conceived to inspire discussion, innovation and action to help create a world where everyone benefits from learning that is personalized as well as life-long, life-wide and life-deep (L3).

We seek to partner, ideate and innovate with other organizations and individuals who are committed to helping realize the 9 Billion Schools vision in ways both large and small.

The driving passion behind 9 Billion Schools is the belief that every human being is deserving of personalized, L3 learning and that human flourishing—at the individual and community level—depends on it.

Our Manifesto

Learning should be as unique as fingerprints and as long, wide and deep as life itself. 

It’s time to conceive of and deliver learning that takes into account that each and every person is radically different in ability and interests, in hopes, dreams and desires. Standardized anything should give us pause.

It’s time to recognize that lifelong learning isn’t just a nice concept, something to hope for. Rather, it’s a requirement, a demand of modern life and, therefore, a right.

Our world is never going to become any less complex and fluid, any less specialized and nuanced. In this still-emerging reality, school should never end. It can’t. Learning must be life-long, yes, but also life-wide and life-deep. After all, our lives aren’t simple and one-dimensional; they are multifaceted and three-dimensional.

In short, it’s time to conceive of—and deliver—learning that recognizes the dignity and singularity of each person and, to the fullest extent possible, caters to what makes them unique, be it a precocious 6-year-old with a rare disability and an interest in ventriloquism or a 77-year-old retired industry titan enticed by the idea of 3D printing.

It’s time to think of school not as a singular place or experience, but as many places and many experiences.

In fact, it’s time to think of each person as being a school unto themselves, each with the exact right teachers and curriculum, support and opportunities.

Come 2050, there will be about nine billion people on the planet, which means we should have, in essence, nine billion schools.

The 9 Billion Schools philosophy and movement seeks to inspire everyone to help realize personalized, life-long, life-wide and life-deep (L3) learning for all. The end game is greater dignity and brighter futures for each and every person.

This will be a giant step forward for all of humanity—all nine billion of us.

“Educating the world’s burgeoning population may be socieity’s highest imperative in a time when a ‘one-size-fits-all’ strategy is doomed to fail. Della Bella and Thomas [present] an important set of ideas for both designers and users of future learning environments.”
— Phillip Bernstein, Yale University School of Architecture

Now available on Amazon, the 9 Billion Schools book outlines our philosophy and offers compelling viewpoints from a host of guest essayists on the importance—and personalization of—life-long, life-wide and life-deep learning.