The Cloud Institute EfS Summer Design Studio


If the next generation of students is to help us solve issues related to sustainability, we need to inspire them to think about the world and our relationship to it with fresh eyes and an open mind.

This year The Cloud Institute's Annual Summer Design Studio will be held at The Omega Institute. Join us for an immersive Introduction to Education for Sustainability (EfS) over the weekend and 5 full days of design studio time. Meet us at Omega and gain access to expertise, resources and tools required to design elegant curricula for use in the classroom, protocols for professional development, or action plans designed to implement EfS change initiatives in schools and communities.

The Education for Sustainability (EfS) framework is an evidence-based, transformative learning process developed by The Cloud Institute. It is based on systems thinking, sustainable economics, and the science of sustainability. Instead of teaching kids about sustainability, EfS teaches them the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and habits of mind required to become responsible citizens who can achieve economic prosperity and restore the health of the living systems upon which our lives depend.


[Open to: Formal & Non-Formal Educators, Administrators, Curriculum & Program Designers, Parents and Community Partners]

The weekend introduction will immerse you in systems thinking games and simulations, group discussions about economics and quality of life, and the science of sustainability. Stories and case studies will be shared, we will explore ideas and we will envision what is possible when we educate for sustainability.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Develop a shared understanding and vocabulary of Sustainability and Education for Sustainability (EfS)

  • Generate a personal rationale for educating for sustainability

  • Become inspired and hopeful about contributing to the shift toward a sustainable future through education


[Open to: Formal & Non-Formal Educators, Administrators, Curriculum & Program Designers, Community Partners]

In this 5-day design studio, educators, administrators, and program designers learn how to design and embed EfS into curriculum, assessments, and programs.. Through working sessions, learning circles, peer review, and optional workshops, you are supported as you create and develop units and protocols that educate for sustainability.

Optional Workshops: Backwards Design Process, Assessments that Produce Learning, Assessing for the Attributes of EfS, Analyzing Student work for Evidence of EfS.


Q: Can we use “Understanding by Design (UbD)/Backwards Design” to design and map elegant courses and units of study that educate for sustainability, improve student performance, meet required standards and engage students in meaningful and relevant experiences in less time than it takes to educate for un-sustainability?

A: DESIGN - Yes. Yes we can and it is a good idea.  Understanding by Design is all about beginning with the end in mind. In this Design Studio , participants will learn how to use UbD to design for all of that, and to save time over time doing so.  Cloud-based curriculum mapping software supports collaboration and efficiency as teams work together to develop or innovate curricula that prepares students for the future we want.

Q: How can we integrate EfS into our assessments for learning? What explicit criteria can we use to assess student work for evidence of EfS?

A: ASSESS - Learn how to develop EfS assessments that produce and measure learning

ANALYZE - Practice analyzing student work and units of study for evidence of EfS Attributes

Q: What are the core EfS Benchmarks we can use? How can we integrate and align EfS Benchmarks with State, Common Core and NGSS standards?

A: FAMILIARIZE - Become familiar with EfS Enduring Understandings, EfS Standards and Performance Indicators

REVIEW - Take the time to review exemplary EfS curricula that the Cloud Institute recommends