Sustainability Provocateur, Designer, Sociologist, Experimental Educator and Social Change Maker

Global Change Initiatives 

Leyla is a passionate activator for positive social and environmental change. She has initiated several organisations to help agitate and activate change by engaging more people with the pressing issues of our day in creative and achievable ways. She has three main organisations that she has founded and currently heads up. 


CO Project Farm Portugal

In 2017 Leyla took on an ambitious project to restore and regenerate an abandoned farm and olive mill in the wine country of Central Portugal. Inspired by cultural destinations that can curate spaces for change, she started this initiative as a living learning lab for UnSchool Programs and a Brain Spa for burnt out creatives needing a space and place to regenerate and re calibrate their change making endeavors. CO stands for creative optimism and from May 2018 has been receiving workshop participants and creative residents from around the world. 

The CO Project runs single and multi-day learning experiences that offer foreigners and locals alike a compelling immersion into rural regeneration and sustainable lifestyles, all with a Portuguese flavor. Recent features in TAP Airlines’ UP Magazine and Taste of Portugal have highlighted their newly announced summer programs. In keeping with the social enterprise model the last Sunday of every month offers a by donation community open day which last year saw over 500 people visit this rural part of Portugal to learn more.

Website: www.coproject.co 

Disrupt Design 

A NYC based creative agency designed to activate, support and experiment with ways in which design can be used as a catalyst for positive social change. Disrupt Design (DD) takes selective commissions, enacts collaborations and initiates creative propositions around critical areas from education to love, gender and power. 

At the forefront of cognitive experience design, Disrupt Design is all about pushing the boundaries of change-making, finding unique and positive protagonist ways of activating change and making sustainability a normalized concept on the path to regenerative systems design. 

DD creates toolkits that transfer knowledge and action to creative professionals wanting to participate with more purpose. Toolkits come in varied forms and embed within them a deep substance based knowledge set that presents itself as a fun and engaging set of tools for activating change. DD uses the Disruptive Design Method and explores new ways of making change by design. 

Website: disruptdesign.co

The UnSchool of Disrutpive Design

Founded in 2014, the experimental knowledge lab was intended as a provocation exploration of how knowledge can be transferred rapidly in experiential ways and has quickly grown to a global initiative with over 150 alumni from 32 countries. The UnSchool is for professionals and emerging leaders wanting to up-skill in sustainability, social innovation, creative problem solving and to develop their own career in purpose-driven practices. 

The UnSchool teaches the Disruptive Design Methodology and Method Set and creates unique knowledge transfer experiences that pop-up around the world. Winning of a CORE77 Design Education Award, The UnSchool has run 7 flagship fellowships in 7 countries. In 2017 it will offer a year-long alternative masters program and see its first cohort of certified educators teaching core content in communities around the world. 

In 2017 Leyla set up a not-for-profit association was established to fulfill the mission of rapidly advancing leadership for a sustainable and regenerative future by developed the tools and resources, training facility and programs needed to faciliate the shift to a cirucalr future. 

Website: unschools.co | Online classes: online.unschools.co 



Eco Innovators 

Eco Innovators has been pioneering unique ways of creating educative experiences for activating social and environment change. Now, we are unlocking this knowledge to create an educative platform for educators offering a range of resources for teaching sustainability, design and creative problems solving. The platform is design for educators across primary, secondary and territory education interested in integrating experience based learning and creative workshops in sustainable design, creative thinking and environmental sciences. 

Eco Innovators was founded in 2009, and started off as a creative agency developing projects to rapidly increase the conversation around sustainable design. Leyla initiated a host of creative projects from the Showcase Shop, The Secret Life of Things and was commissioned to by the NGV to develop the E-waste Autopsy and the Design Play Days among many other projects. As a result of this pioneering work in sustainable design educational tools and educational experiences, the transition to an educational platform to assist other educators started in 2016.