design ed 4 Resilience:
cultivating collaborative confidence in youth and their  communities 

Maggie in the garden.jpg

We believe that lifelong education grounded in the skills and mindsets of 'real-world' problem solving is the most powerful lever

we have to heal, create, and connect more equitable, sustainable, and resilient communities, and to help young people navigate the world with purpose, curiosity and joy.

"I used to hate school because it made no sense. Now I feel like I can use it to make a difference."                                                                  --Escuela FMC Bayamón student, 2018

We ask: How might schools and universities help students and their communities to uncover their strengths and deploy their skills to thrive in our age of transformative challenges and climate disasters?  How can we help our institutions and systems to adapt to changing needs and demands?

We provide: place-based face-to-face and virtual training and mentorship in decolonial, anti-racist design thinking for youth and educators of all kinds (teachers, professors and community educators), and consultation for organizations and community teams seeking to drive change.  We bridge research and practice in education and community resilience. 

The way we work: DE4R will not tell you what to do. We are not a 'one-size-fits-all-off-the-shelf-plug-and-play' school add-on. Using regenerative processes and frameworks based on research and developed over 36 years of practice, we work with you to surface your specific needs, shape your vision, and support you as you co-create the deeply rooted and sustainable changes you want to see.  

Maggie Favretti
  • DesignEd4Resilience founder
  • Award-winning educator
  • Visionary change catalyst and curriculum/program designer
  • Inspiring innovator and facilitator

Design Ed 4 Resilience includes close alliances with:

ResilientSEE, a global alliance committed to rebuilding a resilient, sustainable Puerto Rico

Pamela Silva Díaz, engineer and community-led designer

Eco-Exploratorio, world-class science museum


Resilience By Design Lab, Austin Lang

and Dr. Robin Cox

Christine Boyer, expert in k-6 design thinking and making.

Stephan Schweighofer, expert in cross-cultural interaction and language, trauma and cultural safety, qualitative research

Javier Moscoso and Alexis Burgos, Students in Electrical engineering and energy justice, UPR-M, community mentors

Maggie Favretti, a Yale-and Middlebury-educated cultural historian, has spent 35 years happily helping her students to ask, “why not now?”  Maggie has won scholarship and teaching awards from three professional historical organizations (WHA, AHA, OAH), a national organization of bankers (Sallie Mae Foundation Teacher of the Year), and a national organization of student leaders (21st-century Teacher of the Year).  She has been recognized by President Obama for her work in environmental education, and by the Sousa Mendes Foundation’s Freedom Award for her work facilitating the next generation of rescuers, Students for Refugees.  By far her greatest joy has been devising opportunities for students (and teacher-facilitators) to tap into their innate creativity, resourcefulness, and collaboration across disciplines, using design thinking to solve complex problems in their own communities and beyond ( 


Maggie was honored to be a special guest of the National Academy of Science, Engineering and Medicine during their listening tour about Measuring Resilience, to help them attune to youth and education issues. The best honor of all was to be invited to Puerto Rico by the American School Superintendents Assoc. to assist teachers by means of education in disaster recovery and resilience.  As an expert in educational frameworks and collaborations (k-16+), Maggie uses design thinking to empower students and their communities to thrive by enhancing their skills, deepening their knowledge, and shifting the paradigm to youth partnership in making their world more sustainable, equitable, resilient and happy.  Her current research interests include the ethics of time in leadership decision-making, anti-colonial practices in youth, teacher and community empowerment, the roles of shared efficacy, creative confidence and civic courage in climate change adaptation/mitigation capacity, and the impact on and role of teachers in disaster response and recovery.

Thanks go to Jacob Chu, Web Designer, for his assistance with template finding and initial layout of my site.  I also wish to thank the thousands of students and their families who, together with my own family have taught me everything I know and made me everything I am.