About Bon Education
Bon Education is an educational consultancy and program design studio. We engage with, research and understand our clients' problems, goals and values. Then we explore creative ways to translate those values into action.
Bon Education takes its name from the Japanese word bonsai - 盆栽. Both of Bon Education's founders started their education careers in Japan. “Bon” means a container for growth. When we design educational programs, we always endeavor to create containers for growth and conditions that are conducive to learning.
Explore this page to find out about Bon Education:
We believe in the power of programs to make the world a better place. Programs provide support. Programs teach new skills. Programs bring people together to meet and network. Programs expand horizons and open up new perspectives. Programs are all around us! Programming is how we organize our world. Programs can help your organization take responsibility for the impact that you are designing through a creative, systematic process.
We help our clients harness the power of programs to translate their values into action...not just talk.
Over the past 12 years, we have been fortunate to work with amazing clients, supporting their vision to reach out and empower thousands of people. Scale certainly does not tell the whole story, but it is an indicator of our capabilities.
|More than decade's
experience building programs
in developing markets
|More than 1 million
impacted by our programs
|Our clients stay
with us, some for up
to 8 years and more!
Read some case studies about the projects that we have completed over the past decade.
We design solutions using a programmatic approach that considers the various systems involved in a particular area of focus. Based on our analysis of those systems, we propose solutions that create sustainable engagement, motivation and learning over time.
These systems may include:
- National and international priorities (like the UN SDGs)
- Local and community-based factors
- Individual intrinsic and extrinsic systems of motivation
- Governing frameworks (like national curriculums)
By taking a holistic, ecological view of programs, we are able to deliver programs that are more sustainable.
Our approach to learning design draws on a multi-dimensional framework with many influences. Our core design philosophy centers around these main theories:
- Challenge & Project-Based Learning
- Design & Innovation Studios
- Social Constructivism
- Universal Design for Learning
We are a team of learning designers, program managers, coaches and consultants. Our team has experience designing and delivering learning programs, content and engagement initiatives for organizations across the Middle East, North America and Asia.
Anna Batchelder, CEO & Co-Founder
Anna is passionate about using experiential learning and technology to promote youth development, cross-cultural understanding and workforce readiness. She has lived and worked in the UAE for 15 years and has led education program development, product development and professional development initiatives for organizations across the Middle East, North America and Asia for nearly 20 years. Anna holds an MA in International and Comparative Education from Columbia University and a BA in Economics from the College of William and Mary, with additional studies at the Columbia Business School, Oxford University and The Coaches Training Institute. Anna currently serves as a founding member of the Advisory Board for the Bachelor of Arts in Psychology at the American University of Sharjah. She is former Learning Chair of the Entrepreneur Organization Accelerator Program in Dubai. She is a mother of three, yogi, entrepreneur, wife, CPCC (certified professional co-active coach) and lover of travel and learning.
Christopher Batchelder, Creative Director & Co-Founder
Christopher is a creative ideator, designer and learning experience curator. He draws from a vast collection of diverse interests to find inspiration for his learning and education designs. He has lived and worked in the Middle East for 20 years and has led creative multidisciplinary teams in the UAE to develop experiential maker/DIY programs, STEM programs, cyber defense and computer learning workshops, entrepreneurship programming, online virtual learning modules, hands-on leadership and coaching programs, to name a few. Christopher holds a professional certification in coaching from The Coaches Training Institute. He studied Ancient Greek Classics at Northwestern, receiving his BA from the Weinberg College of Arts and Science, with additional studies through IDEO U. Before working in education, Chris was a potter at the Greenwich House Pottery in New York City. He has worked and lived across the Middle East, Asia and North America and is a dedicated, life-long multiculturalist and art lover.
Vanessa Rodbard, Senior Education Program Manager
Vanessa has spent most of her life living and working overseas, including Asia (8 years), Europe (2 years) and the Middle East (14 years). This has influenced her work, which ranges from arts and culture organizations, creative agencies, media and events companies. For the past three years, Vanessa has been a commercial and project management consultant, working in the arts and culture, entrepreneurship and education sectors. Originally from Sydney, Australia, Vanessa holds a BA in Communication from the University of Technology, Sydney. She is a mother of two, and in her free time, Vanessa enjoys travel, the outdoors, sports, cooking and entertaining.
Danna Herradura, Program Operations Manager
Danna’s interest in organizing programs and creating experiences started when she worked as a backstage assistant and stage manager for various theatre shows in her university years. Her passion for empowering and enriching lives through the creation of heart-centered projects led her to pursue a career in a start-up company that aims to enable anyone, including those without bank accounts, to easily access financial services in the Philippines. Her experience varies from spearheading fundraisersfor nonprofits, hackathons for start-ups, tours and shows for multinational companies to camps and workshops for schools and government organizations. She has coordinated multiple trainings, workshops and long-term educational programs for clients across the country. Danna holds a BA in Communication Arts from the University of the Philippines and a minor in Theatre Arts.
Riham Alhamdan, Program Coordinator
Riham has experience in education, administration, operations management and creative problem solving. Riham’s passion for education and learning began when she established a tutoring program in her high school for her fellow peers. Her desire to impact and support others led her to continue her journey in the education field. Riham was born in the UAE and has lived there for 18 years; she also lived in Cyprus for six years. Riham worked as an assistant to a professor in the business faculty for five years and worked for one year in a university admissions office. Riham, who is Syrian, is bilingual (English, Arabic) and holds a BSc in Banking and Finance and a Master of Science degree in Business Management from Girne American University, Cyprus.
David Cornwell, Content Writer & Editor
David is a writer and teacher who has lived and worked on the continents of Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. David has a strong background in the arts (he is a published novelist, a musician and a film producer), but he is equally at home in the classroom, having taught in high schools, universities and language centres in his home country of South Africa and abroad. David draws inspiration from emerging trends in education such as the gamification of learning. He holds a Bachelor of Arts with distinctions in English and Philosophy from Rhodes University, as well as a Master of Arts with distinction from the University of Cape Town, where his thesis supervisor was Damon Galgut (winner of the 2021 Booker Prize).
Pam Lansdell, Learning and Visual Designer
Pam is a designer and lecturer who has extensive experience in the creative and academic industries. Pam has a passion for solving design problems through creative thinking principles. After working in the industry for 25 years, she moved into lecturing graphic design, where she was able to impact the young creative minds of the future. Her belief is that through co-design and inclusive thinking, a more accessible future can be achieved for all. Pam holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honors) in Graphic Design from Vega School, South Africa. Pam sees herself as a lifelong learner with a thirst for research and continuous development. She is a mother of two, a wife and has a love of natural horsemanship, equine theatre and travelling to lesser-known, off-the-beaten track destinations.
Karen Hart, Project Manager and Education Consultant
Karen relishes the learning opportunities created by the intersection of technology, innovation and education. She has been a Program Facilitator and Accessibility Specialist since 2014, and she consulted in the Gulf Region since 2018 on Inclusion and Accessibility in Education. She has extensive experience in program development, design and implementation, including customized professional development plans, app development, illustration and design of interactive language acquisition books for the Deaf and digital textbooks in South African Sign Language. Her work with the Deaf community in South Africa has been recognized by the Library of Congress Literacy Awards in Washington D.C. Karen holds a degree in Performing Arts Technology from the Tshwane University of Technology. She is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), a book lover, an artist and an avid mountain biker.
Yousra Diab, Project and Client Manager (Social Impact Programs)
Yousra is passionate about impact programs, social entrepreneurship and education. She has led various programs supporting social entrepreneurs to become active agents of positive change and maximize their positive impact on the community including the award-winning C3 Social Impact Accelerator Program in Dubai. She is equally passionate about education, with experience of working on a global platform that aims to be a catalyst in redefining education to ensure a future that is prosperous, sustainable, innovative and accessible to all. Prior to this career shift, she worked in the banking sector for over 10 years, in both conventional and Islamic finance across the Middle East region. Yousra holds a BA from the American University in Cairo with a major in Business Administration and specialization in Finance. She holds an MBA from the same university. In addition, Yousra is a yoga teacher in Dubai, with more than 750 hours of Yoga Teacher Training certification.
Moataz Noor, Program Coordinator
Moataz Noor is passionate about leaving a special mark on the world and being part of making someone’s life better. He has played an active part in several major events, including Team Leader at the 2018 Champions League Final in Ukraine, Science Communicator at LEMA 2019, Workforce Manager at the 2019 Special Olympics and Staffing and Training Coordinator at EXPO 2020 in Dubai. Moataz believes that the secret to success is doing what you love in a healthy work environment. He was born in Egypt but lived in the UAE for many years before studying in Ukraine. He holds a Bachelor of Instrument Engineering from Cherkasy State Technological University.
Marisela Becerra, Project & Client Manager
Marisela Becerra is a creative visionary and design educator, passionate about crafting exceptional brand experiences with a lasting impact. With 16 years of experience in brand building, strategy, and management, Marisela has led design initiatives at renowned Fortune 100 companies, including L'Oreal, Procter & Gamble, and Kimberly Clark. Marisela has lived and worked in Dubai since 2018. As a Design Educator, Marisela has taught the next generation of Emirati female designers at Zayed University's College of Arts and Creative Enterprises, where she shared her expertise and inspired young minds through various courses in the Graphic Design Program. She is originally from Mexico City and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Graphic Design from Universidad Iberoamericana, as well as a Master's Degree in Packaging Design from Pratt Institute in NYC. Marisela draws inspiration from vibrant multicultural experiences and constantly pursues curiosity, creativity and the joy of discovery.
Lina Juma, Project and Client Manager
Lina Juma is a dedicated lifelong learner and a personal development advocate. She finds great joy in witnessing the tangible impact of her contributions on the personal growth and development of others. With a strong background in project management, particularly within the education sector, Lina's experience in project management extends from the initial feasibility and design phases for establishing schools to improving operational efficiency and educational quality. Having been born in Japan, raised in Jordan, completing her studies in Canada, and residing in Dubai for the past 11 years, Lina embraces a global perspective and deeply values diverse cultures. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Concordia University in Canada and further augmented her passion for health and nutrition by obtaining a Health Coaching certificate from the Institute of Integrative Nutrition in New York. Together with her husband, Lina raises two energetic girls and also finds joy in practicing yoga, boxing and taking outdoor walks.
Samia Hasan, Consultant Coach and Facilitator
Samia works with Bon Education as a Consultant Coach and Facilitator. She is also Founder of Unwind the Grind, a career development platform for Millennials/Gen Z. She blends her 16 years of leadership, career coaching and marketing experience with Fortune 500 companies globally to help young adults transition to purposeful, thriving careers. She has lived and worked in the UAE for 25 years.
Kelly Eide, Consultant Coach and Facilitator
Kelly works with Bon Education as a Consultant Coach and Facilitator. She is also Founder of True Leadership Equus Coaching. Kelly is a Master Certified Equus Facilitator and Executive Coach, blending the experience of a 20-year corporate strategy career with numerous youth development projects for clients such as ADEK (Culture, Heritage, Science Camps), the UAE Ministry of Tolerance, Dubai Business Associates and more. Kelly holds an MBA in Global Management from Thunderbird School of Global Management, and she is a Martha Beck Coach.
Contact Bon Education
Reach out to us to start a discussion about how we can create positive impact together! Contact firstname.lastname@example.org [support - at - bon - education - dot - com].