D3 is an approach to learning; a way of thinking that inspires young people to turn the world into their classroom. The D3 concept originated out of a need to design programs that allowed young people to situate their learning experiences within a context that made sense to them-their own interest.

Initiated as collaboration between the New Learning Institute, the Pearson Foundation, and COMMONstudio, D3 programming challenges young people to take their ideas seriously and to be problem solvers, innovators, risk-takers, and makers as they develop projects that are meaningful to them.

Using design thinking principles, youth look at their ideas critically to figure out how to transform them into something tangible. D3 programs (1) tap into student interest, (2) use this interest as a starting point for teens to make connections between their own agency and their community, which is broadly defined, and (3) engage teens in doing something (producing, building, creating, painting, mobilizing, etc.) which translates their initial interest into a real and relevant outcome (project, event, garden, mural, art exhibit, etc.) that impacts others in some way.

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