Support 100M Learners


On January 20, 2022, Thunderbird School of Global Management (Thunderbird), home of the world's No. 1 ranked Master's in Management, and Arizona State University (ASU), ranked No. 1 for innovation in the U.S., launched the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative. It is the boldest and most ambitious global education initiative in higher education history.

Through the Francis and Dionne Najafi 100 Million Learners Global Initiative, Thunderbird plans to offer an accredited online global management and entrepreneurship certificate, consisting of five world-class courses in 40 different languages to learners across the globe. Women and young women will account for 70% of the 100 million learners the program will reach worldwide. The certificate will be covered by full scholarships and thus no cost to students because of the philanthropic support undergirding the initiative.


The 100M Learners Global Initiative is the boldest and most ambitious effort in higher education history. To achieve scale, Thunderbird must engage our global alumni network to help recruit learners around the world. You can help by sharing registration information on social media, emailing potential learners and their networks, and by encouraging other alumni to do the same.

Image of the 100 Million Learners announcement in the Global Forum as seen from above
Image of partners in the 100 Million Learner initiative on a zoom stream for the announcement in Thunderbird's Global Forum


Another key ingredient for the success of the 100M Learners Initiative is collaboration with partnerships at the global, regional, and national levels who can help us reach 100 million learners around the world. These partners will help us reach their networks of learners in key markets that we have identified as a priority, deploy the courses and continuously provide feedback on ways to improve them and leverage their networks in support of our learners. 

Help Validate Translations

One of the things that makes the 100M Learners Global Initiative so unique is that it will be offered in 40 different languages, making it accessible to the majority of the world's population. Thunderbird is working with Google to develop a one-of-a-kind AI translation factory to help with this. However, we will need the help of our alumni, students, staff and partners to validate the translations. 

Image of a row of flags outside Thunderbird's Global Forum
Image of Najafi presenting the 100 Million Learners initiative in Thunderbird's Global Forum


Reaching a historic 100 million learners will require a historic investment in resources. A historic gift from alumni Francis and Dionne Najafi has provided a critical $25 million. In addition, Thunderbird and Arizona State University will invest at least as much in in-kind resources in order to build and execute the initiative. But reaching 100 million learners will require additional resources and every dollar, euro, pound, rupee, peso, won, dinar, etc., can make a difference for a learner whose life will be transformed by these courses.

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