High Resolves

About the Entry

High Resolves is a transformational global citizenship and leadership program. It is inspiring and empowering a growing community of young people to act in the collective and long-term interest of humanity. Over 100,000 students have been engaged from 120 high schools in every state and territory in Australia because of its innovative design and:

• focus on the often overlooked 13-16 year-old teenager
• progressive, multi-year curriculum, with cycles of increasingly challenging practice
• use of experiential learning to achieve behavioural and affective outcomes

The impact on students is life-changing and enduring, and the multiplier effect on schools, the wider community and the world is compelling.

Features & Benefits


Creative and Effective Participatory Learning Approach

Global citizenship cannot be taught to the digital generation through lectures or online media. In fact, one must eschew the very notion of trying to ‘teach’ these skills. One must design experiences that allow the desired “learning” to take place naturally.

The High Resolves curriculum is delivered through a mix of interactive simulations, role-playing exercises and small group discussions by highly trained facilitators. Experiential learning is central to our design approach, alone or in collaboration with universities like UTS.

Participatory learning is the most powerful way to build leadership capacities, and insights are far more visceral and lasting than those generated through scholarly discussion.

Progressive, Systematic Curriculum Design

Typically, leadership is taught through a series of disconnected workshops with no overarching design. Yet core subjects like math are taught systematically in a logical progression. Why should citizenship be any different?

The High Resolves model is a staircase: expert facilitators guide students through a progressive sequence of modules that build skills for leading projects that improve their schools and their communities.

Mary Ann Das Neves, Prinicipal of Girraween High School, noted “There is no doubt that this program has a life-changing effect on students … it takes them from being helpless observers of the world’s problems to being leaders who have a conviction that they can bring about change.”

Collaboration among NGOs, Corporate Mentors and Students

What can happen when young people work with corporate mentors to help an NGO?

The North Sydney Boys “Lift Me Up” campaign began with informing 9,000 people in North Sydney about teenage depression. The project reached an estimated 120,000 people across Australia through an impressive social media campaign. The video was posted on YouTube, shown on big screens in public spaces all around Australia, and adopted by Beyond Blue.

So now imagine thousands of teenagers with the confidence to tackle social issues. Last year, nearly 3,000 students in Years 9 and 10 ran 70 projects on issues such as body image, human trafficking, youth homelessness and marine conservation, collectively reaching over a million people.

Distinctive Organisation Model Integrating Business and Education

From 2005 to 2015, High Resolves grew from a small pilot with Year 10 students in one Sydney high school into a national organisation engaging over 22,000 Year 7-10 students across Australia each year. But rapid growth presents a big challenge: how do you maintain (even enhance) the quality of the user experience while onboarding new talent to support the growth?

The double-helix organisation model weaves together top talent from the business and the education sectors. The engagement of passionate teachers in a business-led innovation process has fueled the evolution and redesign of the curriculum and turned High Resolves into a talent magnet. Each new advertised role attracts dozens of top-shelf candidates.

Key Sustainability Design Features and Benefits

The signature exercise of the High Resolves program is the “Global Warming Game” which was originally developed by our founder while at the Kennedy School at Harvard. Through this simulation, thousands of Australian students are developing an intuitive understanding of the complex political dynamics behind global warming, as well as the broader need to protect our environment.

As an example, the students at Pine Rivers State High School in Brisbane were so inspired that they began a project to raise awareness about the issue of marine conservation. Their ‘Sea Saver’ campaign reached over 2,000 people and was profiled and recognised by the Propeller Project of the Foundation for Young Australians and Samsung.

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High Resolves