Scroll below for partner bios.
Trung ("Le") Le, AIA, founding partner.
As an architect, Le has been designing remarkable schools around the US / world for more than 25 years, creating spaces that encourage student inquiry and imagination and offer students a sense of what it means to be a part of a global community.
Previous to founding WONDER, he served as the Head of Global K-12 Design for CannonDesign and collaborated with Bruce Mau and VS Furniture on the research project that eventually became the internationally regarded The Third Teacher publication, a cabinet of wonders on how design can transform the ecology of learning.
During his 20 years at CannonDesign, Le’s work has yielded awards from the Chicago, Illinois and national chapters of the American Institute of Architects, and been published in such periodicals as Architectural Record, Contract Design, Fast Company, and Edutopia. Le is also a frequent speaker at national and international conferences such as Big Ideas Fest, TEDx Reset Istanbul, CEFPI and the AIA National Convention.
On a personal level, Le once lived and studied architecture in the old stable at the Palace of Versailles. And Le loves Star Wars, Legos, uncovering madly fascinating concepts in science and biology, and riding his Vespa to a local coffee shop to sketch and design not far from where he lives (with his wife and 4 children) northwest of Chicago, Illinois.
To learn more about Le, watch his "The Third Teacher" video (created by Steelcase), his "Emerging a New Ecology for Learning talk at TEDxIndianapolis, or his "Expedition to Wonder" talk at TEDxMosesBrown.
Sam Chaltain, partner.
Sam is a DC-based writer, filmmaker, educator, and father of two whose interest in schools is connected to his curiosity about people, what makes them tick, and what lets them thrive.
Sam started his career teaching American history at a public university in Beijing, China. Since then, he's taught in the public and private school systems of New York City; directed a national network of K-12 schools; led a education policy "action tank"; written books and produced films about the future of learning; and observed patterns of school success (and struggle) across hundreds of campuses and communities across the country.
Sam has a Master’s degree in American Studies from the College of William & Mary, and an M.B.A. from George Washington University, where he specialized in non-profit management and organizational theory. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where he graduated with a double major in Afro-American Studies and History.
When his aging body allows it, Sam still plays basketball, but you're more likely now to find him in your neighborhood yoga class, or on a playground with his boys, or in the kitchen cooking yummy soup and drinking wine with his wife. His current obsession is to tell 180 stories about the future of education in the next five years.
To learn more about Sam, check out his website to learn more about his books and publications. Also, watch his "Art (and Science) of Teaching" talk at TEDxYouth@BrooklynFreeSchool or his "Future of Learning" talk at the WorldBlu gathering.
Christian Long, Ed.M., founding partner.
Christian is an educator, school planner, plausible-futures seeker, and passionate advocate for innovative learning communities, having spent the last 20 years teaching, coaching, leading experiential education programs, and designing schools.
Prior to the launch of WONDER, Christian teamed up with Le to develop and lead The Third Teacher+ studio within the global Education practice of CannonDesign. Previously, he founded Prototype Design Lab as a way to empower young creatives and educators to solve real problems in the real world in real time; and he created the TEDxClassroomProject, the only TEDx license granted in the world for a non-event.
As a speaker, he regularly delivers keynotes on the relationship between design and the future of learning at events around the US / world. Additionally, he has also spoken at TEDxIndianapolis, TEDxGreenville, TEDxOverlake, and TEDxFurmanU(niversity.).
Christian hold's a Masters degree in Education with a concentration in school design from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor's degree in English with a certificate of secondary education from Indiana University (Bloomington). Additionally, he was a Klingenstein Summer Fellow for emerging school leaders at Teachers College, Columbia University
Back at home, Christian (along with wife and 2 kiddos) resides on a 9-acre farm with a sledding hill, a swimming pond, and lots of wild flowers and hummingbirds in a small college town northeast of Columbus, Ohio. He hopes to one day 'retire' as a summer camp counselor.
To learn more about Christian, watch his "Wonder, By Design" talk at TEDxIndianapolis, his "Creating the Conditions for Wonder: A Learning and Design Expedition" talk at UNUSUAL Intersections, or the 3-part "Remake Your Class" video collaboration he co-led with Edutopia: part 1, part 2, and part 3.