Community Based Education

The IEEE Smart Village integrated development curriculum, Learning Beyond the Light Bulb, is designed to enable at-risk and in-excess populations to both learn from and instruct each other, to each other’s mutual benefit.

IEEE members introducing villagers to the potential of the IEEE Smart Village program. Date: 2013. Location: Haiti. Photo by: Ray Larsen.

Community members assist in moving the SunBlazer into position. Date: 2013. Location: Haiti. Photo by: Ray Larsen.

Children standing in front of the newly installed micro-utility expressing thanks to IEEE. Date: 2014. Location: Nigeria. Photo by: Ifeanyi Orajaka.

It’s an integrative, empathetic, applied and cross-cultural approach to just and sustainable development and equitable, ecological, economic and smart-energy wellbeing.

What’s more, Learning Beyond the Light Bulb participants need not leave their communities, families and development work in order to join a comprehensive course of study.

Learning Beyond the Light Bulb is a nine-month program of study that includes five courses using push-pull community-based global content from the IEEE Smart Village global classroom at the Posner Center for International Development in Denver, Colorado:

MODELS OF DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE examines this field’s continuum from the triage of disaster and poverty to more just, sustainable, and empowered practices of states and communities.
ENTRY POINTS OF DEVELOPMENT engages many vocations and investigates how communities, scholars and practitioners address problem solving.
SKILLS FOR THE FIELD sharpens capacity for development work in less-developed situations, as well as overdeveloped industrialized countries.
GOING TO SCALE educates future generations so they may scale up sustainable development goals.
PRACTICUM provides field context for applied knowledge among diverse, participating communities and organizations


The first four courses convene virtual global pods once per week for four hours of weekly discourse over eight weeks. The fifth course, Practicum, applies lessons learned from the first four courses to particular development goals (and could be waived in instances, for example, in which a participant’s community-focused work already aligns with the curriculum’s learning objectives).

Participants may seek to leverage completion of the IEEE Smart Village curriculum toward a fully accredited Development Practice Graduate Certificate from Denver’s Regis University. For more information about the Master of Development Practice program, also offered by Regis University, click here.