Lars Esdal

Executive Director

Lars Esdal (formerly Lars Johnson) facilitates and provides leadership to Education Evolving's strategy development; the execution of its program; and the writing and distribution of its publications.

Lars is a graduate of the Minnesota New Country School, a student-centered, teacher-powered charter school in rural Minnesota. While there, he became convinced that students learn first and foremost from what they see modeled around them; when they see teachers exercising agency, collaboration, and shared leadership, they internalize and manifest those qualities in their own lives, communities, and workplaces.

Inspired by a desire to make student-centered learning available for all young people, Lars started working part-time with Education Evolving the fall directly after graduating from high school, while enrolled in college in Saint Paul.

In a prior life Lars was also a software designer and developer, and social media strategist. He founded a web consultancy, which helped dozens of think tanks, foundations, and government agencies use the web to develop and distribute their ideas and advance policy change. Most notably, he is co-creator of CitiZing, a public policy crowd sourcing platform.

Lars holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College, and a Master of Public Policy from Georgetown University. He is an accomplished student of foreign languages, and is passionate about cooking, mixology, and latin dance. He is also President of the Labrador Foundation, a private foundation that shares a theory of change with Education Evolving.

You can reach Lars at

About Education Evolving

Education Evolving is a Minnesota-based group of thought leaders in education reform.

E|E leaders have been instrumental in innovations such as open enrollment and public school choice, the nation's first charter school law, and schools designed and run by teachers.

E|E works to convince those who make and influence policy that America's success depends on creating radically different and better ways for young people to learn and for teachers to work.

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