FUSION is more than just a chance for us to bring our clients together at an annual conference. It’s an opportunity to connect our users, partners, and staff with some of the industry’s best minds and thought leaders as we work together to address the fundamental shifts shaping the future of education and learning. The experience of FUSION is defined by the people and ideas that propel the conversation forward, and I couldn’t be more excited about the potential for this year’s conference to continue to make this kind of impact. We’re thrilled to announce that Chris Hadfield and LeVar Burton will be joining us this July in Nashville, Tennessee as our FUSION 2014 special guests.
A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Chris Hadfield has a long list of awards and accolades. Perhaps most importantly, he is a passionate educator who was able to inspire the desire to learn in all of us as we shared his journey and experience in space through the use of technology. He was selected as a NASA Shuttle Mission Specialist in 1992 and, in March 2013, took command of the International Space Station. During his mission, he harnessed the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions while infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness not felt since man first walked on the moon. His many awards include receiving the Order of Ontario, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was also named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame. He is the author of the internationally bestselling book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth.
LeVar Burton has been capturing the attention of admiring audiences and industry peers for three decades, and continues to enjoy a career longevity truly rare within the industry. As a passionate advocate for literacy and educational reform, he brings a wealth of knowledge and inspiring stories to the stage at Fusion. His role as “Kunta Kinte” in the acclaimed miniseries Roots earned a lasting status as a worldwide icon representing the indomitability of the human spirit. An avowed science fiction buff and devoted fan of the unique vision of Gene Roddenberry, Burton has directed numerous episode of all four Star Trek series: The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, and Enterprise. He also served as the host and executive producer of the highly acclaimed PBS children’s television series Reading Rainbow for 25 seasons, garnering him a total of 13 Emmy Awards, five NAACP Awards, and numerous nominations. He is most proud of Reading Rainbow’s ability to “use the medium of television to help create generations of Americans who are passionate readers.”
We look forward to hearing both Chris and LeVar discuss the possibilities that learning will help us unlock as our world continues to explore new horizons and build a brighter future.
As we get closer to July, visit the FUSION website for more details about the presentations and up-to-date scheduling information. And if you haven’t already, register for FUSION 2014 today and join us for what promises to be an unforgettable sharing of ideas and experiences.
See you in Nashville!