David Clifford is an American edu-agitator who founded Design School X (DSX) and co-created Liberatory Design. He builds irresistible learning environments of belonging and becoming. David has been an artist, designer, builder and equity/social justice-oriented educator for over 25 years. Much of this time has been spent designing curriculum and culture that utilise tensions (academia and the arts, power and oppression, white supremacy and multiculturalism) for creative opportunities to inspire humanity and creative agents of change.
David co-founded the East Bay School for Boys as a feminist act to empower middle school boys to be thoughtful, courageous and engaged men of tomorrow. Before that, during his 13 years at Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco leading the Technical Arts department, David co-designed and built many programs: Center for Civic Engagement and Leadership, Philanthropy Initiative, Senegal Service Learning Project and Private Skills for Public Purpose. David incubated DSX and co-created Liberatory Design while a fellow and K12 Lab Senior Learning Experience Designer at Stanford’s d.school.
As a heterosexual, upper-middle class, able-bodied white man, David is the beneficiary of the generations of oppression of people in U.S. He uses his legacy privilege to challenge the very systems and structures of oppression that placed him in his unearned place of power. This self-awareness, coupled with his design/builder mindset and skill-set give David a fortuitous opportunity to rattle status quo cages found within the white worlds of education and the design/design thinking/maker communities.
In 2019, the U.S. Embassy supported the 10th anniversary of TEDx Christchurch, where David spoke to a full Christchurch Town Hall audience.
While at TEDx Christchurch, David caught up with James Fleury from the U.S. Embassy Youth Council. Have a listen...