Aether Global Learning | Eastman Innovation Lab

"I want the next generation to be better than us."

Owen Foster, Founder, Aether Global Learning

"I humbly strive to develop citizen designers for our global community and prepare them for the adventure that awaits."

John McCabe, Founder, Aether Global Learning

"We started Aether to address the needs for new disruptive thinking in our education system. Our intent is to provide unique learning opportunities at all levels of education that contribute to the development of the next generation of leaders."

Tom Gattis, Founder, Aether Global Learning

Education for the next generation

Are educational institutions truly preparing graduates for real-world challenges?Design educators Owen Foster, Tom Gattis and Jon McCabe found themselves challenged by the current educational system's inability to connect with students in ways that helped them develop into industry leaders. What they observed was a lack of true collaboration - especially across disciplines. This lack of cultural awareness, missing business acumen and true leadership led them to found Aether Global Learning.


A new way of learning

Aether Global Learning is a new educational platform created to assist the current state of education. It's central mission is to locate, inspire and nurture the world's future leaders in engineering, design, business and social science.

The founders, Owen Foster, Tom Gattis and John McCabe, all seasoned veterans of design education, are focused on helping these students create the connections necessary for them to be successful in an ever-changing world.


Eastman supports design education

The Eastman Foundation and the Eastman Innovation Lab are joining forces to invest in Aether Global Learning, a nonprofit think-tank focused on transformational learning through design education. Eastman understands that the collective value of public-private partnerships is exponential and invests in those that can improve communities around the world.

Aether's project based approach of exposing future leaders to real world problem solving across cultures and geographies combined with their support of improving quality of life compliments Eastman's commitment to delivering value to our global community.

Aether is divided into three platforms, SHiFT, META and PRSM.


SHiFT Design Camp

SHiFT has programs for k-12 learning, as well as collegiate and post grad. Started as an outdoors design camp, SHiFT takes students out of the traditional classroom and drops them in nature. The program focuses on unplugging and connecting with the environment and non-digital processes; building teams to meet goals and dismantle traditional leader/follower systems. 



META is for post-graduate, early career professionals where students are given real projects from real clients and work together to meet their clients expectations. The group's participants come from different backgrounds like design, business, engineering, and the social sciences to replicate real-world scenarios. Cultural emersion is an important element to META knowing that professionals will have a foreign client, partner or manufacturer that does business differently.



PRSM is a more traditional executive consultant program intended to help mid-career professionals and executives enhance their careers and learn how to drive innovation within their organizations.

Explore SHiFT