• Logo - About Innovation Studio

  • Accelerating Innovation

    Our work comprises four distinct components – all in alignment with the district vision, PPS reImagined and the PPS 2021–2025 Strategic Plan for Equity, Inclusion, and Excellence— collectively aimed at generating system-wide practices, promoting learning and scalability, using communications to promote engagement and excitement, and giving PPS staff access to learning materials and funding for innovation projects

Our Team

Camille Idedevbo
Interim Director of Innovation &
Black Student Excellence
Immanuel Harice
Innovation Studio Project Coordinator
  • Educators are natural innovators. But innovation isn’t easy in many school systems.

    Schools – like other major institutions – are risk-averse. Internal and external pressures to drive student achievement limit progress toward adopting fresh approaches. There’s fear of criticism, fear of uncertainty, or fear of negativity.

    That’s why Portland Public Schools is taking a structured and serious approach to innovation. We want to normalize innovation in our system by building the tools necessary so that everyone in PPS can accelerate problem-solving — at every school, every level of leadership, and every community of interest across the district. 

    The Innovation Studio is Portland Public Schools’ in-house problem solving accelerator.

  • Guiding Principles that Influence our Work

    The Innovation Studio aims to disrupt the status quo with fresh thinking. We want Portland Public Schools to be able to pursue ambitious, system-wide, and transformative ideas. 

    We are addressing long-standing barriers that keep people from reaching their goals – with particular attention to obstacles faced by Black and Native students and staff who have been excluded and discriminated against over time. 

    Our mission is to build organizational capacity that includes training, resources, and incentives so that staff, students, teachers, parents, and the wider community can turn their ideas into reality. 

    Five guiding principles influence our work:

  • Innovation is Iterative. 

    It requires continuous improvement.

    All people are designers.

    All people are designers, and power must be shared to foster mutual respect, a sense of belonging, and shared responsibility (MIT - DLab).

    Disrupt white supremacy.

    To disrupt white supremacy, we must reimagine traditional design thinking models. (Creative Reaction Lab).

    Collaboration and Community Cultural Wealth.

    Collaboration and Community Cultural Wealth (Yosso, 2005) drive the best outcomes.

    Language is Fluid. 

    Language setting is an important step in shared community-driven work (Creative Reaction Lab).

  • “I think the Innovation Studio is a way for everybody at PPS, from staff to students, to teachers, to parents, and the broader community that works with us, to take ideas and improvements that they see as possible, but might not know exactly how to move them forward, and apply an innovation framework to make them a reality.”

    - Ari Ettinger, PPS Climate Resilience Program Manager