Imran Khan is the Founder & CEO of Embarc, a leading organization in the movement for experiential learning. He has spent the last 12 years of his career connecting students, teachers, and schools to learning beyond the classroom, first as a teacher on the south side of Chicago, then with Embarc. Embarc has been recognized by the UChicago Consortium as one of the best at designing developmental experiences in the country.

Imran is an Ashoka Fellow and advisor to the MacArthur Foundation, the Workforce Funders Alliance, the Equitable Learning & Development Project, and most recently the education transition committee of Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Today, Embarc has expanded to serve more than 2,000 students across 20 Chicago Public Schools and has increased successful postsecondary outcomes for students by 30%. It leads 12,000 experiences a year to bring people together across economic, geographic, racial, and political differences.


Time Codes:

(4:02) – Could you pitch Embarc and explain the program?
(6:04) – What is Embarc’s origin story?
(11:33) – How did you approach building experiences that students really needed?
(17:05) – What goes into making a lasting educational experience?
(21:56) – What tips do you have for people to facilitate conversation without dominating the conversation?
(24:08) – Do you have an example of how you’ve used this approach with your own team?
(27:30) – Individual vs. Collaborative work
(30:56) – What do you look for in the people you surround yourself with?
(32:43) – Where did you get the confidence to implement your extensive interviewing process?
(34:36) – How O’Brien became involved w/ Embarc.
(40:06) – Embarc’s Audacity and their ultimate goal.
(45:03) – How can regular people gain experiences and open up portions of the world they haven’t experienced?
(48:39) – How can people support Embarc’s work?