Spencer Jourdain

Founder and Executive Director
1420 Foundation

Spencer Jourdain founded The 1420 Foundation for Sustainable Development in 1999 and has been the primary designer and administrator of its Learning for a Sustainable World programs. Spencer is an honors graduate of Harvard College with the degree of AB cum laude. He was a founding member of the Harvard work study program “Project Tanzania” in which Harvard/Radcliffe students performed service work in the developing nation of Tanzania. His early experience in Africa highlighted the crucial need for economic development in emerging countries. The “Project Tanzania” program continued for twenty seven years at Harvard and was then merged into other work/study concepts.

Spencer’s professional career as an economic development consultant included the early design of programs to provide “micro-financing” to developing businesses of underdeveloped communities and also the involvement of major financial institutions in second stage small business development.
In 1989, Spencer accepted a consulting assignment to help publicize the United Nation’s “Brundtland Report” and its corollary book Our Common Future. The report, a definitive study of the prospects for humankind in the coming (21st) century, was a definitive statement of urgent need to make the concept of “world sustainable development” a priority for leaders and peoples of all nations. In accomplishing his consulting assignment, by organizing the world’s first television broadcast (including several heads of state) dedicated to publicizing the urgent need for world focus on sustainable development, Spencer decided to focus his future work on furthering global sustainable development.

In founding The 1420 Foundation for Sustainable Development, Spencer has focused on the critical role of educating students in the United States and in overseas countries on how science, technology and other academic learning domains can empower students to help create productive projects that accomplish practical, beneficial results and further sustainable development in local communities. In designing its “Key Educational Concepts” and “Operating Goals,” Spencer worked extensively with educational experts at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Since commencing operations in the year 2000, “1420” has worked with educational experts at Harvard, Stanford, Virginia Tech, University of Virginia and the University of Washington State, and 1420 educational programs have incorporated many elements of pedagogy and classroom instructional design from these highly regarded institutions. The 1420 Foundation (1420) has introduced action based sustainable development learning projects into schools in eight U.S. states and in South America, Europe, and, starting in 2005, in Central America and Asia.

Related Publication: Learning Towards A Sustainable World