Our Approach

We cultivated a network of likely and unlikely allies, committed to a shared, multi-year goal

A Moonshot Goal

100Kin10 launched in response to President Obama’s State-of-the-Union call for 100,000 more STEM teachers. But, as months and years passed, it didn’t matter so much that it had originated in that speech. What did matter was setting our sights on an ambitious, clear, and measurable goal. Even when it felt out of reach, this moonshot inspired and defined our shared vision and the change we collectively pursued.

Likely and Unlikely Partners

Bringing together players who rarely occupy the same space, much less share a common interest, was integral to 100Kin10’s success. Partners formed new relationships, launched unexpected collaborations, and made more, and more meaningful, progress on the STEM teacher shortage. Additionally, the universe of who could contribute to the problem expanded, helping to develop and coalesce the field.


100Kin10 shone a really good light on how complex the state of education is in America and how we need to be networked in order to address these challenges.


- Katherine Wilcox, Executive Director, EnCorps

Self-Determined Commitment

Each 100Kin10 partner joined the network with a commitment, or how that organization would contribute to the shared goal. At 100Kin10, we believe that the action happens at the intersection of passion and need and that the people leading the work are best positioned to know what they can contribute. We did not tell partners what their commitment should be, but rather challenged them to determine what they could uniquely offer. In this way, we aligned 100Kin10’s interests with partners’ and others’ goals and needs, finding the center of the venn diagram between what they most needed and ending the STEM teacher shortage. As a result, partners fully bought into their commitments. For many, there was also a sense of obligation to themselves and their peers, especially as commitments were publicly shared.

partners helped lead our most recent round of growth alone.

Partner-Driven Growth

When it came to membership, 100Kin10 partners steered how the network expanded. Over the first five years, 100Kin10 typically welcomed 30-40 new partners each year. Current partners both invited organizations to apply that they thought would thrive in the network and reviewed the new partner applications, looking for strong commitments and an intention to contribute to the network’s learning life and collaboration. The recommendations from existing partners were the primary determinant for which organizations joined 100Kin10.

of partners developed relationships or formed partnerships through the network.

Grounded in Relationships, Trust, and Vulnerability

Linking arms in pursuit of a ten-year goal flies in the face of our societal default to prioritize our individual needs over the good of the collective, especially when our fellow travellers are most often described as competitors. We deliberately cultivated an environment that prioritized relationships, encouraged and supported vulnerability, and built trust, where all participants felt a sense of belonging in the network. This was achieved through a range of discrete tactics -- inviting people to show up with their many identities, mixing the personal and professional, infusing joy and fun, and ensuring a high say:do ratio. 100Kin10 was a place where people found meaning and authentic human connection, which inspired them to keep showing up.


The most valuable part of this work for me and my colleagues has been the opportunity to connect with individuals who are all addressing the same challenges, allowing us to brainstorm and share ideas with people across the broad spectrum of 100Kin10 partners. It has helped to not feel so isolated in our work and to know that there is a cohesive group of people all working to improve education in many ways and at many levels.


- Deb Sachs, Assistant Professor Emerita, former Director of Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship and Teach (STEM)³ Programs, University of Indianapolis

Ongoing Inspiration

Making a multi-year commitment is a big lift, but sticking with it over time is even harder. At 100Kin10, we kept partners motivated over the long haul by maintaining a steady stream of inspiration. We focused on progress by celebrating small wins, sharing stories of how partners were solving problems through the network, and publicly tracking annual growth toward the 100,000-STEM teacher goal. We introduced delight, designing experiences that felt special and caring -- such as hosting events at dynamic STEM institutions and sending surprise gifts or celebratory certificates to those going above and beyond. We also focused public attention on the network and our collective achievements (not on 100Kin10 itself) -- both from the press and from highly-recognized individuals, including Presidents.

of partners maintained or increased their focus on STEM teachers over the past decade because of their partnership with 100Kin10.