Active Global Citizen

Veronica Boix Mansilla, Harvard University

SDG #4 Quality Education
Principal Investigator of Project Zero and Chair of the Future of Learning Institute at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Her 2011 groundbreaking research “Educating for Global Competence: Preparing our youth to engage the world” written along with Tony Jackson of the Asia Society has helped ignite a worldwide conversation about global skills.
“In a world defined by globalization, shaped by migration, by the traffic of goods, capital, people and ideas around the world, becoming better at understanding this world is an urgent necessity. Global competence is the capacity and disposition to understand and act on the issues of global significance.”


A global competence researcher and teacher at Harvard and formerly the University of Buenos Aires, Dr. Veronica Boix Mansilla has long been focused on Global Goal #4: ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.

With a background in cognitive science, human development and education, she examines how to prepare our youth for a world of increasing complexity and interdependence.

Veronica asserts that education must center on “nurturing human potential and societal wellbeing [by focusing on] meaningful learning, agency and engagement now, rethinking curriculum as lenses into the world, bringing  the world into the classroom for informed examination, and new approaches to measuring success.”

Her work explores how education can embrace the expansion of worldviews as a standard part of education by helping educators fins and use creative, practical tools and methods in their everyday teaching such as ‘Portraiture’. Portraits are visual essays, interviews, stories or videos that invite teachers and learners to jointly uncover and reflect on the many different facets of their identities and environments.

Recently, Veronica co-developed the OECD-PISA framework on Global Competence in 2018, which is part of the PISA standardized testing administered to 15-year-olds worldwide.

In addition to serving as Principal Investigator of Project Zero and Chair of the Future of Learning Institute at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, Veronica is an advisor for many institutions including the Asia Society, Association of American Colleges and Universities, World Savvy, Global Kids and AFS Intercultural Programs.

Connect and network with Veronica as well as other Active Global Citizens and leading 21st century education stakeholders at the AFS Global Conference: Active Global Citizenship—and How to Educate for It, 9-11 October in Montreal.   

Register for the AFS Global Conference

Globally competent individuals are aware, curious, and interested in learning about the world and how it works. They can use the big ideas, tools, methods, and languages that are central to any discipline (mathematics, literature, history, science, and the arts) to engage the pressing issues of our time. They deploy and develop this expertise as they investigate such issues, recognizing multiple perspectives, communicating their views effectively, and taking action to improve conditions.

—Educating for Global Competence: Preparing our youth to engage the world