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Kirstene Ciappara

Future Anything

In Empowering Educators, inspiring Aussie educators share how they build and nurture entrepreneurial mindsets in schools and classrooms. Here we ask Future Anything’s very own Kirstene Ciappara about her inspiration and how she creates creating authentic and connected learning experiences.

Q1: Could you give us three words that describe your life as an educator?

Enthusiastic, purposeful and practical.

 Q2. What is the most important skill for young people to learn at school? What’s one way that educators (and/or caregivers) can explicitly build this skill?


When a young person knows themselves, what lights them up and how they work best, they’re going to set themselves up for incredible success within the school gates and most importantly, well beyond the school gates. 

I believe that one way that we can explicitly build this skill in young people is by first acknowledging the uniqueness of each and every individual, as well as fostering curiosity in young people, especially when it comes to themselves as the subject of curiosity!

 Q3: What’s one of the best learning experiences you’ve ever delivered (or seen being delivered)?

One of the best learning experiences that I’ve ever delivered was a Shark Tank Pitch Final (similar to the showcase events that we support our Activate schools with delivering here at Future Anything).

One of the students said during her pitch that she “found a problem that she’s really passionate about and a problem that she really cares for” and this absolutely melted my heart because it was evident that a fire had been ignited in her that was going to propel her into so many exciting endeavours!

 Q4. One thing all teachers and school leaders wish for is more time. Can you suggest one ‘productivity hack’ to save teachers time?

My best productivity hack is to listen to Binaural Beats because it gets me into an epic concentration zone so that I can be super productive.

Q5: What’s one book, website or podcast you’d recommend to educators keen to build the entrepreneurial mindsets of their students? 

Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans – they explain how to use the design thinking framework for our biggest design problem… our lives.

Meet this week’s Empowering Educator, Kirstene Ciappara

Kirstene has a background in teaching in both mainstream and trade school contexts and is experienced in the career development and Life Design spaces. In her work in schools, she particularly enjoyed planning and coordinating successful school showcases, celebrating young people’s ideas and collaborating with external networks to bring the ‘real world’ into the classroom.

She’s extremely passionate about helping people live a life that excites them and believes that this all begins in schools. Kirstene advocates for purpose-driven classrooms that develop young people’s enterprise skills, and that give them the opportunity to solve real-world problems that ignite a fire in them that will translate well-beyond the classroom.

As Program Manager and Learning Design Specialist, Kirstene’s role is to support Future Anything teachers, students and schools, empowering them to get the most from our programs.

When not working on all things Future Anything, you’ll find her café-hopping after a solid HIIT workout or sailing out of Sydney on a cruise ship (back when cruises were thing).

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