Christian Long is an educator, designer, school planner, technology expert, passionate advocate for innovative learning communities, and educational futurist.
Christian serves as Vice President for Cannon Design, supporting their global K-12 and Higher Education practices, while also co-leading The Third Teacher practice + studio.
Christian founded Be Playful, a collaborative global design agency focused on the intersection between school planning/design, emerging technology, professional development, and future trending. Additionally, he is the founder/co-developer of Prototype Design Camp an innovative national design program for young creatives.
Christian speaks nationally and internationally on topics ranging from emerging trends in education, 21st century technology, and innovation in school planning / design.
Christian currently serves as a national juror on the American Institute of Architects annual school architecture awards program as well as an international juror for the global Design for Change program (founded by TEDster Kiran Bir Sethi) that empowers children to design solutions for the worldÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s greatest problems. He also served on CEFPI's (Council for Educational Facility Planners International) World Conference 2010 / San Jose (CA) planning team, the national CEFPI Innovation planning team, and the CEFPI Southern Region planning team.
He previously served as President/CEO of DesignShare, a global research and consulting practice dedicated to the school architecture/planning industry, and was the Director of Research for Learning Environments for Huckabee, a K-12 architecture firm in Texas.
Christian holds a masterÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s degree in education, with a concentration in school design, from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was also a member of BostonÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s Codman Academy planning team serving under founder Meg Campbell. He received a bachelorÃƒÆ’Ã‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚Â¬ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚Â¢s degree in English and a certificate of secondary education from Indiana University (Bloomington), was a Klingenstein Summer Fellow for emerging school leaders at Teachers College, Columbia University, and participated in extended professional development at the Harvard Graduate School of Design.
Beyond his work in the school design industry, he spent 15 years as an educator, coach, program director, and experiential education leader in the US, as well as an educator in Tokyo, Japan and on the Navajo Reservation (New Mexico). He also authored and directed an innovative architecture, design, and planning program for urban high school students in Washington D.C. and was a volunteer educator at the National Building Museum.
Christian is married to Karla -- a middle school principal (and history teacher); they have 2 young children (Beckett, class of 2024, and Berkeley, class of 2027).
He hopes to retire (many years from now) as a summer camp counselor.
TEDActive 2013, TEDActive 2012, TEDActive 2011
Areas of Expertise
School Design, Future of Learning
An idea worth spreading
There needs to be a series of 1-week/overnight TED summer camps for kids around the world where kids not only explore the "ideas worth spreading" from the 'big stage' and connect with TED mentors (fellows, speakers, employees, TEDx curators, etc), but where they also do the research to give a TED talk of their own in front of their fellow campers (and the world virtually).
I'm passionate about
Being a father, the future of education, school design, Alice/Wonderland, Boston Red Sox, + my Maine childhood.
Talk to me about
Designing innovative learning environments. Design Thinking. Defining School 2.0. Or at least how to keep 'learning' at the center of our conversation, as opposed to testing and 'getting into college.
People don't know I'm good at
I can type nearly 100 words a minute (and learned to do so on a real typewriter). I also feel pretty comfortable climbing trees (despite a healthy fear of heights).
My TED story
TEDx Speaker: I spoke at the TEDxGreenville (SC) in 2011 and TEDxOverlake (WA) in 2011, and I will be a speaker at TEDxFurman (SC) in 2013.
TEDx Curator: I was the co-curator for the first TEDxBloomington (May 14, 2011), the co-curator for the first TEDxYouth@Columbus (November 10, 2011), and was on the planning team for the first TEDxIndianapolis (October 26, 2012). Additionally, I am the founder/curator for the TEDxClassroomProject - http://tedxproject.wordpress.com/ - a TEDx licensed program to help kids/teachers explore TED content. The initial set of 80 10th graders watched and analyzed over 640 separate TED/TEDx talks, did Skype video chats with several TED speakers, and gave TED-inspired talks of their own.
TED Active Attendee: I went to TEDActive 2011 and 2012, and I will be returning to TEDActive 2013!