Priten Shah

Preparing Educators For A
Dynamic Tomorrow

For the last 15 years, Priten has worked on projects that spur change and innovation in the education sector

Mission Statement

Priten is motivated by a simple, powerful idea: to better prepare our future generations for the complex world they’ll soon inherit. Recognizing the challenges that rapid advances in artificial intelligence, escalating climate change, massive inequality, and a fractured public discourse present to educators, he is committed to creating meaningful change in education.

His varied endeavors, from building a non-profit dedicated to interdisciplinary civics education to launching a company that harnesses the power of education technology, reflect a desire to move education beyond traditional confines. His efforts also include addressing these looming global challenges directly within the education sector. He understands the critical need to equip our educators and students with the knowledge, skills, and mindsets to navigate these global issues effectively and ethically.

Priten’s principles are founded on the idea that preparing for tomorrow involves a deep commitment to learning today. He invests in today’s educators, recognizing that they play a crucial role in shaping tomorrow’s leaders. His slogan, ‘Preparing Educators For A Dynamic Tomorrow,’ encapsulates his vision perfectly: a vision of readiness, adaptability, and evolution in the face of our rapidly changing world. His work represents an understanding of education as not just an isolated field but a tool with which we can equip future generations to brave the greatest challenges of their time.

Formal Education

Priten’s educational journey has been as broad as it has been deep. He holds an M.ED. in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he honed his expertise in the laws, regulations, and policies that underpin our educational systems. This period of study, which coincided with the peak of the global pandemic, allowed him to observe and understand firsthand the challenges and opportunities presented by such seismic shifts in the educational landscape.

Before his Master’s studies, Priten completed his undergraduate degree at Harvard College, earning a B.A. in Philosophy with minors in Sanskrit and South Asian Studies. His work with professors in the philosophy department shaped his understanding of democratic theory, focusing specifically on intersections with education and feminism. This comprehensive exploration instilled in him a deep understanding of education’s role as a catalyst for inclusive growth.

In addition, his in-depth study of logic, language, and knowledge within the South Asian Studies department enriched his worldview and informed his perspective on education. During this time, he developed a rigorous grasp of Sanskrit, a language known for its logical structure and rich philosophical texts, further reinforcing his analytical skills and nuanced understanding of educational concepts.

Priten’s education at Harvard, with its blend of philosophy, language, policy, and management, laid a solid foundation for his commitment to transforming education. It’s this comprehensive understanding of education that drives his work and ambition, setting the stage for his various endeavors in the field of education.

Self-Directed Learning

Priten’s comprehensive education extends beyond his formal training at Harvard. He has made a concerted effort to cultivate a strong understanding of computer science and finance through practical experience and self-guided learning. This approach showcases his belief in lifelong learning and adaptability, crucial qualities in today’s rapidly changing world.

His knowledge of computer science, largely self-taught, has enabled him to navigate the technological advancements that are revolutionizing the field of education. He understands the intricacies of ed-tech, both from the perspective of a developer and an educator, making him a powerful advocate for incorporating technology into the classroom.

Moreover, Priten’s self-guided exploration of finance has given him an understanding of economic systems and financial management that is crucial for running successful organizations. His ability to navigate the complexities of finance enables him to ensure the financial sustainability of his ventures, making his projects not only educationally innovative but also economically viable.

Priten’s combination of formal education and self-guided learning across a range of disciplines highlights his multidimensional approach to education reform. This mix of academic theory, practical understanding, and entrepreneurial spirit is what fuels his mission to create meaningful and lasting change in the world of education.

“I See Myself As A Philosopher who Codes, not a Developer who Philosophizes. ”

~ Priten Shah

His Journey

Every path Priten explores inevitably leads him back to education. Whether by personal choice or cosmic chance, he consistently engages in educational projects pushing the boundaries of traditional education and questioning conventional notions about what educational systems can achieve. This continuous exploration gives rise to innovative solutions that address the complex needs of students from all backgrounds.

An Early Start

Priten’s journey into education began during high school when he chose to confront the disparities in academic support within his community. This was his first real plunge into a world he was familiar with: school. He successfully established the 501(c)3 nonprofit, raising initial funds through a bake sale and gathering a team of volunteers and board members. Over the five years he ran the organization, Priten initiated programs that helped level the playing field for students of varying socioeconomic backgrounds by offering free private tutoring, standardized testing classes, and early childhood reading initiatives. The organization expanded its reach to different states and countries through youth-led chapters, promoting youth leadership while providing students firsthand exposure to nonprofit operations.

Diverse Avenues

Since this initial venture, education has remained Priten’s primary purpose and passion. He has found numerous avenues to integrate education into his activities, from volunteering and leading projects to delivering talks and lectures. To ensure his efforts stay firmly rooted in the realities of the classroom, Priten is committed to periodically returning to the classroom and working directly with students of diverse ages and backgrounds. His teaching experiences have taken him to various types of institutions, including a foreign language school in South Korea, a special education class in a public school in New York, a debate program in an independent school in Boston, and a variety of summer and school-year programs.

While maintaining this direct involvement with classrooms, Priten has ventured beyond traditional educational boundaries to harness technology to address problems facing educators and students. He has collaborated with universities and nonprofits on online platform development, marketing, website development, and strategic and financial sustainability consulting. His tech-centric work also included the development of gamified apps, online learning systems, and mastery learning-based online courses. 

Priten also serves as a board member and mentor for youth-led nonprofits, including The Boarding School, which champions youth representation on the boards of universities and schools. 

Today, Priten’s multifaceted approach to education converges at two main ventures: United 4 Social Change (U4SC) and Pedagogy.Cloud. 

Interdisciplinary Civics Education

At U4SC, he and his team are committed to using education to nurture healthier, more stable democracies. The organization began as a platform to enable civic engagement amongst students and evolved to have a broader focus, enabling everyone to be civic leaders—synonymous, in Priten’s view, with being members of a democratic society.

United 4 Social Change provides accessible interdisciplinary civics education to students of all ages and backgrounds. The objective is to educate students about societal issues, ignite passion for causes they care about, and equip them with resources to address these problems collaboratively. Priten believes a liberal arts education is essential to healthy democratic societies, improving civic ethos and public discourse. Hence, his mission is to make this education accessible from an early age. The organization has developed online curricula, teacher resources, and diverse student programs to enhance the reach and effectiveness of liberal arts education, ultimately empowering every member of a democratic society to be a civic leader.

Technological Innovation

Simultaneously, Priten leads Pedagogy.Cloud, a venture where he combines his passion for education with cutting-edge technology. 

Amid the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, Priten worked with large national universities and organizations to preserve academic extracurricular activities for students and guided schools of all levels during their transition to digital teaching.

Now, he and his team are helping educational organizations adapt to the rapidly evolving capabilities of AI with a focus on curricular tools and integrations. His AI projects include Socrat.ai, a custom AI bot for teachers; Pedagog.ai, offering professional development and tools for teachers; and YoungInnovators.ai, a summer camp for middle school students. 

His pioneering work in this field includes launching one of the first accredited courses on Generative AI & Education, “The AI-Enhanced Classroom,” and authoring one of the first professionally published books on the subject, “AI & The Future of Education.”

In every venture, Priten remains committed to his mission of transforming the field of education, continuously driving innovative solutions that respond to the diverse and complex needs of learners in our evolving world.

Awards & recognition

Founders Award for Service

Priten received the Founders Award for Service from the American Debate Association in 2022 for his work on Pedagogy.Cloud.

Frank Sferra Director’s Commendation

Priten received the Frank Sferra Director’s Commendation from the National Speech & Debate Association in 2021 for his work on Pedagogy.Cloud.

Service Award

Priten received the Service Award from the National Debate Coaches Association in 2021 for his work on Pedagogy.Cloud.

HGSE news

Priten was featured on the Harvard Graduate School of Education Website for his work with United 4 Social Change.

Harvard i-Lab

Priten was accepted into the i-Lab for United 4 Social Change in the fall of 2020.

25 UNDER 25

Priten was selected as a member of the 2019 Class of 25 Under 25 of Bostoninno for his work with United 4 Social Change.

Harvardwood Heroes

Priten received the Harvardwood Heroes Award in 2018 for his work with United 4 Social Change.

Melissa Maxcy Wade Social Justice Award

Priten was recognized by the Barkley Forum of Emory University for his first non-profit, Teach to Learn Foundation, in 2013.

Philanthropic Interests

Priten’s interest in philanthropy began with the founding of his first non-profit at the age of 13, and since then has become a central part of his life’s mission. He has founded and helped found multiple nonprofit organizations that target a variety of educational issues. He also regularly serves on the board of nonprofits, especially those started by youth. 

Priten is a founding board member and board secretary of The Boarding School, a non-profit that breaks down the barriers keeping young people out of institutional governance by educating, placing, and supporting young people on boards with successful campaigns at Harvard University and Penn State. He is also the youngest general council and executive council member of one of the country’s largest Hindu organizations (Vraj).

Priten contributes to his favorite charities through his foundation, The PHS Giving Fund. His contributions in the last few years have included United 4 Social Change, The Boarding School, Vraj Hindu Temple, New York City Urban Debate League, and the Chicago Urban Debate League.

His companies also regularly partner with nonprofit organizations to provide free or low-cost services and products.