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Executive Summit

Are you a leader in education or professional learning? The Executive Summit is an annual gathering exclusively for people like you. You’ll explore emerging trends in learning and hear from leading thinkers on the future of education and work. You’ll also have the chance to connect with fellow leaders to learn from each other and grow your network.

  • Date

    Jul 11 - 12, 2023

    View Schedule
  • Location
    Anaheim, California
    Anaheim, Marriott

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*Requesting an invite does not guarantee a spot at the Executive Summit. Registration is reserved for executive-level attendees.

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Learning for Life: Embracing Change in the Future of Work and Learning

D2L’s Fusion Executive Summit is where executive leaders from business, government and education come together to discuss and exchange ideas on the future of work and learning.

This year’s theme, “Learning for Life: Embracing Change in the Future of Work and learning,” couldn’t be timelier. It acknowledges the economic, geopolitical, technological and demographic shifts transforming the ways we live, work and learn.

Just think about where we’re at: A tight labor market is making it hard to fill roles across industries. The rise of AI models like ChatGPT is raising questions about how automation impacts work. Individuals are wondering how they can remain competitive while dealing with increasing inflation and an impending recession.

This summit, now in its seventh iteration, will pose some big questions:

  • How are education institutions adapting to better serve learners at every stage of life?
  • How are businesses investing in learning to build skills, nurture leaders and continue scaling?
  • How will governments provide a social safety net for workers at risk of falling behind, and help individuals upskill and reskill as they navigate their careers?

What You Can Expect

Education and Corporate Leaders

The Executive Summit is open to university, community and technical college, school board, association and corporate executives.

Valuable Discussions and Connections

This is your chance to gather with other executives to share insights and discuss institutional and systemic challenges.

Strategic and Focused Takeaways

Attendance is limited for maximum engagement with speakers and fellow attendees. Only 50 seats are available.

When a tech company invites you to an executive summit, you typically expect a heavy sell. I’ve been so pleasantly surprised that that hasn’t been the case here. The discussions today have been truly beneficial.

– Anonymous Exec Summit feedback, ,
Fusion 2023 in Anaheim


We’re thrilled to host the Executive Summit at the Anaheim Marriot.

Anaheim Marriott
700 W. Convention Way
Anaheim, CA 92802

From US$219/night*
Book by June 19, 2023, to secure our special conference rate.

*Rate is valid July 11–14 based on availability and is subject to applicable state and local taxes in effect at the time of booking. All reservations require a credit card guarantee.

Getting There

John Wayne Airport (SNA)

Distance from Fusion: 14 miles

SNA Website

Long Beach Airport (LGB)

Distance from Fusion: 16 miles

LGB Website

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)

Distance from Fusion: 35 miles

LAX Website

Anaheim Amtrak Station

Distance from Fusion: 2.9 miles


Orange County Transportation Authority

Distance from Fusion: 0.5 miles


Anaheim Greyhound Station

Distance from Fusion: 2.9 miles



  • Bill Hughes

    Bill Hughes is the President and CEO of the Education Design Lab based in Washington, DC. The objective of the Education Design Lab is to co-design and build equitable, learner-centered approaches with colleges, universities, employers, foundations, and regions. Prior to joining the Lab, Bill was the founder and CEO of JobReady (acquired by LearningMate). Previously, Hughes was Chief Strategy Officer at Learning Objects (acquired by Cengage) and led business development at Pearson. He co-founded Intellus Learning (acquired by Macmillan) and oversaw the transformation of Pearson’s learning products into its flagship MyLab platform. Over the past 25 years, Hughes has held leadership positions at Sapient, Mercer, and the Cambridge Innovation Center. In addition, he was a member of the board of trustees of Kaplan University (now Purdue University Global). He currently serves as a board member of Berkshire Bank (NYSE: BHLB).

  • Doris Savron has over 23 years of experience in higher education in a variety of settings. Doris serves as Vice Provost overseeing the strategy for University of Phoenix academic programs and curriculum design, institutional assessment, and faculty. This includes oversight of strategy for degree, certificate and course offerings, design of curriculum and student learning outcomes for the University. She works collaboratively with her team members to innovate academic solutions that enable the University to provide exceptional student experiences and learning environments to support student success. In her tenure with University of Phoenix she has served as associate faculty, campus vice president, regional Vice president of student services, and college operations. Prior to the University of Phoenix, Doris served in a variety of senior leadership roles in health care operations and in IT consulting.

    Doris is passionate about giving back to the community and serves on several boards including Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce and Career Connectors. She also serves on several committees and advisory councils including the DEI professionals committee for the Greater Phoenix Chamber, and most recently the advisory council for UPCEA and AACRAO’s new Converge Conference in 2023 focused on the emerging field of alternative credentials in Higher Education.

    Doris’s significant contributions in her profession, mentoring, and community leadership has led to being selected as Greater Phoenix Chamber’s Private Sector Athena Finalist in 2020. Her advocacy for women in leadership has led her to project work in India, Zambia and the U.S. supporting women to achieve their potential in their profession. She has designed, led, and presented in several international empowerment conferences.

  • Landon Pirius

    Dr. Landon K. Pirius is the Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Colorado Community College System (CCCS). Landon serves as the Chief Academic Officer for the Colorado Community College System providing strategic leadership related to all aspects of academic affairs, student affairs, and institutional research. Landon also provides leadership and coordination among college Presidents and college Vice Presidents, and works closely with other System and college staff to improve, expand, evaluate and promote academic and student affairs leadership resulting in excellence in teaching, learning, thinking, experiencing, and succeeding for all students. Landon leads diversity, equity, and inclusivity initiatives aimed at exceptional teaching and learning.

    Prior to his current position, Landon was the Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs at North Hennepin Community College in Minnesota where he was committed to building a collaborative culture of student success, data-driven decision-making, strategic planning, and continuous quality improvement. Landon also served in a variety of leadership roles at Inver Hills Community College, Minnesota State University, Mankato, and Walden University, and as an adjunct faculty member at different institutions. Landon completed his undergraduate degree in Russian Studies and Environmental Studies from Gustavus Adolphus College, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Administration from the University of Minnesota. His focus in graduate school was on comparative and international development education. In his free time, Landon enjoys spending time with his family, obstacle course racing, cooking, gardening, traveling, and playing video games.

  • Exec Summit 2023 Speaker Meena Naik

    Meena Naik is an advocate for actualizing a radical future centering a skills-first approach to economic mobility, and partners with organizations and education providers to support the implementation of best practices in skills-first learning and credentialing efforts and associated technologies with a person-first mindset.

    She serves as the Director, Skills First Design as a part of the lifelong learning team at JFFLabs, the innovation arm of Jobs for the Future. Prior to her current efforts to promote dual transformation changes, bringing legacy systems and processes into the current reality while activity innovating and testing new opportunities, she served as the program director for Career Connect at the University of North Texas where she led the marketable skills credential effort and was the university’s comprehensive learner record architect. She has held roles at several other institutions—including UC San Diego, Abilene Christian University, and Skyline College—supporting faculty development, instructional design, student-facing academic support services, retention programs for systemically excluded and historically under-resourced students, and traditional student affairs programming.

    Meena is currently a doctoral candidate Educational Psychology from University of North Texas with a research focus on personal agency in presenting personal identities despite the loss of power/marginalization. She holds a Master of Science degree in higher education administration and student affairs from Drexel University and a Bachelor of Science degree in physiology and neuroscience from UC San Diego.

  • Rhonda Barnet

    Rhonda Barnet has over three decades of experience as a female trailblazer, achieving great heights in male-dominated industries and institutions. A STEM graduate in mathematics, she is a successful executive, entrepreneur, and director, as well as a key voice in Canada, and around the world, on industrial policy, skills of the future, and diversity. As a champion for building the skilled labour force of the future, Barnet was recently appointed CEO of Palette Skills, a national nonprofit focused on meeting the needs of Canada’s most innovative companies by upskilling workers from diverse backgrounds to transition into new industries. Barnet has held various positions in her manufacturing company, AVIT Manufacturing (formerly Steelworks Design Inc.), including VP Finance, President & COO, and Chair of the Advisory Board. She has grown this company into a global automation company offering custom solutions to the largest manufacturers in the world. Barnet was the first woman in history to chair the National Board of Canada’s oldest, largest trade association, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME). Barnet is the founder of Canada’s Women in Manufacturing Initiative, led by CME and funded, in part, by the federal government’s Ministry of Women and Gender Equality. Most notably, she led a campaign to add 100,000 new jobs for women in Canada to the manufacturing sector. Barnet is a member of the Government of Canada’s Industry Strategy Council, and was the voice of manufacturing, diversity and skills in the final strategy set to position Canada for growth in key sectors. Barnet is a sought-after Canadian advocate for the advanced manufacturing sector and is an international spokeswoman on diversity, women in manufacturing, innovation, skills, and the future workforce. Rhonda believes in the value of mentorship and upholds the philosophy “If you can see me, you can be me”.

  • Dr Cristi Ford

    Dr. Cristi Ford serves as the Vice President of Academic Affairs at D2L. She brings more than 20 years of cumulative experience in higher education, secondary education, project management, program evaluation, training and student services to her role. In this role, she offers thought leadership and direction to the academic affairs unit of the organization. Her previous roles have allowed her to have impact in education from secondary and higher education settings within North America and as part of the international landscape. Her reach has allowed her to focus on building online education in the US and in Africa.

    In addition to her experience building new online learning programs and research related to online teaching and learning, Dr. Ford possesses significant experience in the design and delivery of integrated educational support, training and transition services for young adults and children with neurodevelopment disabilities.

    Dr. Ford was selected by the Online Learning Consortium as the 2022 OLC Fellow (the highest professional distinction offered by the association). She is a tireless advocate for quality online education and has leveraged her passion and expertise in many realms in the education space. She is known for utilizing her leadership in extraordinary ways to help institutions build capacity to launch and expand online programming through effective faculty development, instructional design and pedagogical practices.

    Dr. Ford holds a PhD in Educational Leadership from the University of Missouri-Columbia and undergraduate and graduate degrees in the field of Psychology from Hampton University and University of Baltimore, respectively.

  • Jeremy drives D2L’s strategy, public affairs, strategic communications, D2L Labs, new ventures, IP strategy, and philanthropy.

    Jeremy has been actively involved in starting and running transformative tech companies for over 20 years and was part of the founding team at D2L. Since D2L’s founding, he has served as the COO and CTO, and continues to take a leadership role in driving the organization’s success as its chief strategy officer.

    Beyond the tech sector, Jeremy has helped advise policymakers in a variety of ways—most recently as a member of the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Council, where he advised on a national strategy on the future of skills, work, and learning. He is also an advisor on ISTE’s Education Industry Advisory Council and is a national board member for TECHNATION—Canada’s Technology Industry Association. He is a past chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board for the city of Kitchener, Canada, and a former board member for the IMS Global Learning Consortium.

  • Malika Asthana

    Malika Asthana is the Senior Manager for Strategy and Public Affairs for D2L. In her role, Malika leads the development of strategic thought leadership, policy submissions, and proposals to support, expand, and improve learning opportunities for all students in Canada. She is passionate about making connections across disciplines, and enjoys research at the intersection of policy spaces – from education and employment, to skills and economic development. Prior to joining D2L, Malika was a Senior Policy Advisor at Deloitte’s Future of Canada Centre where she focused on the future of work and the new economy.


*Subject to change


7:30 pm Jul 11, 2023

nFuse Lounge

Summit Registration Check-In

7:30 pm - 9:00 pm Jul 11, 2023

nFuse Lounge

Executive Summit Welcome Reception

Join your fellow attendees and summit speakers for an informal night before networking gathering. This is a chance to say hello to old friends, meet new colleagues, and connect over your curiosities and questions before tomorrow’s summit.
Drinks and apps will be served.


8:00 am - 8:45 am Jul 12, 2023

Registration Open

8:00 am - 9:00 am Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 10

Executive Summit Networking Breakfast

9:00 am - 9:15 am Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Welcome to D2L’s Executive Summit

Join D2L leadership for a big picture introduction to the major trends we’re seeing reshaping the future of work and learning. This will be informed by D2L’s longstanding research agenda on the future of work and learning, featuring insights from executive-level leadership at education institutions, employers, and governments.
Host: Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer, D2L

9:15 am - 10:00 am Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Welcome Keynote

  • The only constant is change. What are the global risks and opportunities that executive leadership need to be thinking about as they look ahead 10 years? Our keynote speaker will bring a global perspective on the strategic changes that will reshape the world as we know it – the demographic cliff that will create even greater challenges for countries filling labour market needs, increasing physical impacts of climate change that will dramatically change skills needs, and technological advancements that will dramatically reshape jobs.

    How should higher education institutions be thinking about their role in this environment? What risks do employers need to get ahead of to prepare their workforce for tomorrow? How can governments manage the multiple issues on the horizon and invest in the skills, training, and recruitment infrastructure to build resilient economies and societies?

Speaker: Matt Beane, Assistant Professor, UC Santa Barbara, Research Fellow Stanford University Digital Economy Lab and MIT Institute for Digital Economy

10:00 am - 10:30 am Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Facilitated Discussion + Networking Break

10:30 am - 11:30 am Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Panel Discussion

  • In a tight labor market, businesses across all industries are already struggling to find the talent they need to fill open positions. As we look further ahead, challenges will only compound as demographic shifts, technological advancements, and climate adaptation needs radically transform the jobs of today. Employers will not be able to recruit their way out of this, so how do we think about upskilling to support economic growth? This panel will explore where we’re falling behind in shifting our mindset about how jobs can be done today, and where we urgently need investments to upskill and reskill people for the jobs of tomorrow.

Dr. Landon K. Pirius, Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs, Colorado Community College System
Bill Hughes, President and CEO of the Education Design Lab
Rhonda Barnet, Chief Executive Officer, Palette Skills

Malika Asthana, Senior Manager of Strategy and Public Affairs, D2L

11:30 am - 12:45 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 10 + Patio


12:45 pm - 1:00 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Mid-day Remarks

Host: Stephen Laster, President, D2L

1:00 pm - 1:45 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Fireside Chat

1:45 pm - 2:15 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Patio

Facilitated Discussion + Networking Break

2:15 pm - 3:15 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Panel Discussion: Enabling Learning for Life

Doris Savron, Vice Provost, Colleges, Assessment, and Curriculum and University of Phoenix
Meena Naik, Director, Skills First Design, JFFLab

Dr. Cristi Ford, Vice President of Academic Affairs, D2L

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm Jul 12, 2023

Platinum Ballroom 9

Summit Closing Remarks

Host: Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer, D2L

3:45 pm - 4:45 pm Jul 12, 2023

FUSION Mainstage

FUSION Mainstage Keynote from John Baker, Chief Executive Officer, D2L


Executive Summit attendees have full access to attend the FUSION Main Conference Program

Ready to Join the Summit?

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