Welcoming Students To The Global Economy Through Interactive Internet Learning

   Akwaaba Board of Directors

Denney Daetz

Co-Founder & President

Denney retired from public school teaching after an illustrious 40-year career in order to devote more time to the Akwaaba Foundation. Denney taught social studies, economics, and computer programming in the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District from 1971 until 2007, including 17 years at Saratoga High School and 19 years at Los Gatos High School. One year, from 1980 -1981, he taught History and Economics at the Bromley College of Technology in England through the Fulbright Teaching Exchange Program. Before joining the Los Gatos-Saratoga High School District staff, Denney spent three years at teacher training colleges teaching English as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, West Africa.

Denney was raised in Redwood City, California. He attended Yale University where he earned a B.A. in American Studies in 1967. In 1968, he completed an M.A. in Teaching at Stanford University where he was honored with an Outstanding Teacher Award from the Stanford intern teaching program.

After having lived in Ghana and having traveled to other Sub-Saharan African nations, Denney became acutely aware of the problems of sustainable economic development and the lost potential of his African students. They had much to contribute but had no outlet for their contributions. When he returned to teaching in the United States he saw the need to help his American students understand these realities. He then conceived the idea for a unique educational simulation about the problems and processes of sustainable economic development in an international context. He believed that using a simulation to help students understand the reality of world economics and to learn the value of interacting with other nations, these students could have an immense and positive impact on the future of the world. So in 1979, after hundreds of hours of work, Denney’s simulation idea became SIMPOLICON©: Simulation of Political and Economic Development©.

Since then, Denney has spent thousands of hours redesigning SIMPOLICON© from a paper-and-pencil simulation into a computer-based learning experience, originally programming it for the Apple IIe, the Apple IIGS, and the MAC. He has now guided its transformation into a cloud-based Internet program, also available in Spanish.

Denney has used SIMPOLICON© in his classroom every semester since its inception with great enthusiasm from students. Over the years, Denney has been encouraged by numerous students, parents, colleagues, and business people to make SIMPOLICON© accessible on the Web for students around the world. That is how The Akwaaba Foundation was “born” in 2007, and Denney has worked on the process of giving this simulation to the world of education ever since.