Sir Ken Robinson
Best Selling Author
An internationally recognized authority in creativity and innovation in education and business, Sir Ken Robinson is also one of the world’s leading speakers and a bestselling author. Videos of his famous talks to the prestigious TED Conference are the most viewed in the history of the organization and have been seen by an estimated 300 million people in over 150 countries.
Sir Ken works with governments in Europe, Asia and the US, international agencies, Fortune 500 companies and leading cultural organizations, and led a national commission on creativity, education and the economy for the UK Government.
Called “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine, Sir Ken has received numerous awards and recognitions for his groundbreaking contributions. He was included in Thinkers50list of the world’s leading business thinkers and has been named one of TIME/Fortune/CNN’s Principal Voices. In 2003, he received a knighthood from Queen Elizabeth II for services to the arts.
Professor – Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry; Director – Neuroscience Imaging Center, Neuroscape Lab & Gazzaley Lab
Dr. Gazzaley is a Professor in Neurology, Physiology and Psychiatry at the UC San Francisco, the Founding Director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center, and Director of the Gazzaley Lab, a cognitive neuroscience laboratory. His lab explores mechanisms of neuroplasticity and designs, develops and validates new technologies to optimize cognitive abilities via engagement with closed- loop systems using custom-designed video games, neurofeedback and transcranial electrical stimulation. At his lunchtime keynote, Technology meets Neuroscience – A Vision of the Future of Brain Fitness, Dr. Gazzaley will explore a fundamental challenge of modern society – the development of effective approaches to enhance brain function and cognition in both the healthy and impaired and how this should be a core mission of our education system for the healthy, and medical system for the cognitively impaired. He will challenge how effective these systems have been and explore the latest research, thinking and technology that has the potential to further enhance our brain’s information processing systems with the ultimate aim of improving quality of life.
Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance
For the past decade, Bridget Burns has advised American university presidents, chancellors, and state policy leaders on strategies to expand access to higher education, address costs, and promote completion for students of all backgrounds. In her current role as Executive Director of the University Innovation Alliance, Burns leads a national consortium of large American public research universities collaborating to improve outcomes for students across the socioeconomic spectrum through innovation, scale, and diffusion of best practices. Seen as a leader and pioneer, Bridget’s work with the University Innovation Alliance is being studied and replicated broadly
Vice President, Global Workforce Enablement, Global Technology & Operations, MetLife Inc
Kate Day is a recognized leader in her field with expertise focused on building new organizations and enabling the workforce. She is a frequent guest speaker at international conferences in Europe, Canada and the US. As Vice President of Global Workforce Enablement for MetLife, Kate is responsible for building and implementing programs that enhance the productivity of MetLife’s technical workforce. This includes the creation of MetLife Technical University, a development program for early-in-career employees, as well as a summer technical internship program. In 2015, MetLife Technical University received three industry excellence awards. Prior to joining MetLife, Kate spent 17 years with Cisco. Speaking from her unique experience at two major multinational companies, Kate will open the day with her perspective on “Surviving in a digital world: New skills and different mindsets for the 21st century workforce”.
Publisher and President, National Journal
MacDonald joined National Journal from Politico, where she served as Politico Pro’s Executive Director of business development.
Prior to Politico, MacDonald worked at Gallup Inc and began her career serving members of Congress representing her Pacific Northwest hometown on both the Senate and House sides of Capitol Hill.
Poppy’s leadership and experience earns her a unique perspective and unparalleled understanding of Washington politics and policy
Board of Directors, ISTE
Sheryl is the Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice, where she works with educators from across the U.S. and around the world to re-envision their learning cultures and communities. She is an advisor to the U.S. Dept. of Education Connected Educators Initiative and a leader in the annual worldwide Connected Educator Month. She currently serves on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors and The National Science Foundation’s CS10K Board.
Executive Director for State Education Technology Director’s Association
Dr. Tracy Weeks is the Executive Director for the State Education Technology Director’s Association (SETDA). Prior to joining the team at SETDA, she served as the Chief Academic and Digital Learning Officer for the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, the first senior state leadership position of its kind in the nation. In that role, Dr. Weeks oversaw the areas of: K-12 Curriculum and Instruction, Career and Technical Education, Exceptional Children, and the North Carolina Virtual Public School. She also served as the state agency lead on the development of the North Carolina Digital Learning Plan.
From 2008-2014, Tracy led the North Carolina Virtual Public School, the second largest state-led virtual school in the nation as the Chief Academic Officer and subsequently the Executive Director. She holds a bachelors degree in Secondary Math Education from UNC-Chapel Hill, a Masters of Education in Instructional Technology with a Statistics minor and a Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction from NC State University. She is a NC Teaching Fellow, NC Education Policy Fellow, and a member of Phi Kappa Phi.
Superintendent, Kettle Moraine SD
Patricia, superintendent of KMSD, is transforming schools through personalized learning. Early models included four charter schools, a Youth Apprenticeship Manufacturing Certificate diploma, and a multi-age, projectbased middle school environment. KM is pioneering teacher microcredentials and educator career pathways. Serving as the Wisconsin Superintendent of the Year, Deklotz is a champion of change to support educators as they provide students opportunities for learning and growth.
Aaron Brower, Ph.D.
Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor, Special Assistant to the President for Educational Strategies, University of Wisconsin System
Aaron Brower is the Provost and Vice Chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Extension. UW-Extension embodies the Wisconsin Idea – partnering with all 72 Wisconsin counties, three tribal nations, and statewide and local public and private organizations to address issues and problems important to Wisconsin, the nation, and the world. As UW-Extension’s chief academic officer, Aaron oversees its four major divisions (Continuing Education and Online Learning, Public Radio and Television, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Cooperative Extension); provides administrative support for business and finance; and develops and supports collaborative programs between UW-Extension and all other UW institutions. Aaron also helped create and continues to provide key leadership for the UW Flexible Option, the UW System and State’s competency-based educational program. In 2014, Aaron served as Interim Chancellor for UW-Extension and UW Colleges (the 13 campuses that make up the two-year system of liberal arts transfer institutions for the State of Wisconsin).
Aaron’s expertise is in educational innovations, student learning and outcome assessment – engaging the whole university on issues important to students and the people of Wisconsin. He has created and led many teaching and learning programs focused on integrative learning and evidence-based curricular reform, with an emphasis on learning communities and high-impact learning practices. He has presented widely and all over the world on these topics. Aaron has published four books, over 60 articles and book chapters, and received grants totaling over $18M. Aaron earned his bachelor’s degree in psychology, a master’s degree in social work, a master’s degree in psychology, and his doctorate in social work and psychology from the University of Michigan.
Brian Lewis M.A. C.A.E.
Chief Executive Officer, ISTE
Brian Lewis, M.A., C.A.E., chief executive officer, is an energetic education advocate and nonprofit leader specializing in management, governance, education policy, corporate communications, branding and marketing. His history of building vibrant, mission-focused teams, fostering organizational brand strength and advancing long-range growth plans has proven him to be a dynamic leader. Brian provides passionate leadership and direction for the organizational planning and performance of ISTE while working with the ISTE Board of Directors to ensure strategic direction, effective governance, and legal and ethical integrity.
Brian joined ISTE in September 2012 following a 25-year career in both the public and private sectors. He has served as a nonprofit association leader in several capacities, including chief strategy officer and interim CEO for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS), executive director of the California Association of School Business Officials (CASBO), assistant executive director for the California School Boards Association (CSBA), director of governmental relations for the San Diego County Office of Education and the California County Superintendents Educational Services Association (CCSESA), and senior legislative advocate for CSBA. He has also served as an elected school board member for the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District in Roseville, California.Brian holds a master’s in communication studies from California State University, Sacramento, and a bachelor’s in mass communications from the University of California, Davis.
Chief Innovation Officer, State of Rhode Island
Richard Culatta is a leader in innovation and education, and has worked in government, non-profit, and the private sector. Prior to becoming the Chief Innovation Officer for the State of Rhode Island, Culatta was the Director of the Office of Educational Technology for the US Department of Education where he focused on using technology to close equity gaps and redesign schools across the country. Prior to joining the Department of Education, he served as an education policy advisor to US Senator Patty Murray. Before his work with the federal government, Culatta was the learning technologies advisor for the David O. McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University and the Director of Operations for the Rose Education Foundation. He began working with instructional technology at the University of Rhode Island where he co-taught the universitiy’s first technology integration workshops for faculty. Culatta is a certified Spanish teacher and active in promoting bilingual and arts education in public schools.
Olympic Champion, Co-founder of Great Traits
Mark Tewksbury first came to prominence as the star athlete who burst out of the water at the Barcelona Olympics; an Olympic Champion with gold, silver and bronze medals, numerous awards, and a cover appearance on TIME magazine. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports, Canadian Olympic, and International Swimming Halls of Fame. In 2012, Mark was the Chef de mission for the Canadian Olympic team competing in London.
While sporting achievements contributed to his early success, Mark’s remarkable life post-Olympics have truly defined him. A celebrated communicator and educator, Mark has touched millions of people as a speaker, author and television host. He has been the Master of Ceremonies for the Dalai Lama’s Canadian appearances, was invited by the Government of France to address human rights at the United Nations in New York City, and has designed educational content that aligns with corporate objectives for close to three decades.
Mark sits on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics Canada and is a global leader on LGBT sport issues. For his ethical leadership and active humanitarianism, Mark has received Honorary Doctorate of Laws from the University of Western Ontario and the University of Calgary. He is co-founder of Great Traits, a training and development company that helps people succeed in competitive, performance-driven environments.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab
Robots are taking increasingly bigger roles in life and business – moving well beyond manufacturing and into transportation, education, medicine and care for the elderly. But ethics and law haven’t caught up. Dr. Kate Darling, a pioneer in the fields, is helping quicken the pace.
A leading expert in robot ethics, she is a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Media Lab where she investigates social robotics and conducts experimental studies on human-robot interaction. Darling explores the emotional connection between people and life-like inventions, seeking to influence technology design and policy direction. Her writing and research anticipate difficult questions that lawmakers, engineers and the wider public must address as human-robot relationships evolve in the coming decades.
While her background is in intellectual property, law and economics, Darling’s passion for technology and robots led her to interdisciplinary fields. After co-teaching a robot ethics course at Harvard Law School with the renowned Professor Lawrence Lessig, she now increasingly works at the intersection of law and robotics, with a focus on legal and social issues. Darling is a fellow at the Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society and the Yale Information Society Project, and is also an affiliate at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies.
Darling’s work has been featured in the BBC, The Guardian, The Boston Globe, CBC, WIRED, and more. She has authored multiple academic publications, and is a contributing writer to Robohub and IEEE Spectrum. A compelling and provocative presenter, she speaks and holds workshops covering some of the more interesting developments in the world of robotics, and where we might find ourselves in the future.
Darling graduated from law school with honors and holds a doctorate of sciences from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich). She is the caretaker for several domestic robots, including her twin Pleos, Yochai and Peter.
Chief Strategy Officer and Co-Founder, D2L
Jeremy drives company-level strategy within D2L, and provides executive leadership of government relations & public affairs, corporate communications, mergers & acquisitions, D2L Labs, IP Strategy, and philanthropy.
Jeremy has been actively involved in starting and running transformative tech companies for almost 25 years, and was part of the founding team at D2L. Over the last 20 years he has served as the CTO, COO, and continues to take a leadership role in driving the organization’s success as Chief Strategy Officer (CSO).
Jeremy participates in a number of boards, including serving as Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board for the City of Kitchener (Canada), a board member for the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a national board member for the IT Association of Canada (ITAC), and a number of other for-profit and not-for-profit boards. Most recently, Jeremy was appointed by the Canadian Federal Government to the Future Skills Council, to advise on the future of skills, work, and learning.
Jeremy has an Honours B.Math in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo, and a Master of Science in Management from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Former Premier of Ontario, Canada
Dalton McGuinty served as Ontario’s 24th Premier from 2003 – 2013, during which time he was known as the “Education Premier”.
The McGuinty government introduced North America’s first full-day kindergarten program, reduced class sizes, hired more teachers, provided them with better training, and implemented a program dramatically improving test scores and graduation rates. Test scores increased from 54 to 71 per cent of students achieving the Ontario standard. The graduation rate rose from 68 to 84 per cent.
Ontario is home to 20 publicly funded universities and 24 publicly funded colleges serving more than 570,000 students. Premier McGuinty increased university enrollment by 26 per cent, invested $4 billion in new classrooms and facilities, and introduced the “30% Off Ontario Tuition” grant. Ontario now has the highest post-secondary attainment rate in the OECD.
Since leaving government, Mr. McGuinty has continued to focus on education and Ontario’s future leaders. He completed a fellowship at the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard University. He serves as Special Advisor to the President of Desire2Learn, and he is a Senior Fellow at the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto.
Author, Inventor, and Futurist
Ray Kurzweil is one of the world’s leading inventors, thinkers, and futurists, with a thirty-year track record of accurate predictions. Called “the restless genius” by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine” by Forbes magazine, Kurzweil was selected as one of the top entrepreneurs by Inc. magazine, which described him as the “rightful heir to Thomas Edison.” PBS selected him as one of the “sixteen revolutionaries who made America.”
Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flat-bed scanner, the first omni-font optical character recognition, the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind, the first text-to-speech synthesizer, the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments, and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.
Among Kurzweil’s many honors, he received the 2015 Technical Grammy Award for outstanding achievements in the field of music technology; he is the recipient of the National Medal of Technology, was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, holds twenty-one honorary Doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents.
Ray has written five national best-selling books, including New York Times best sellers The Singularity Is Near (2005) and How To Create A Mind (2012). He is Co-Founder and Chancellor of Singularity University and a Director of Engineering at Google heading up a team developing machine intelligence and natural language understanding.
Futurist, Editor-in-Chief Work Futures, Managing Director Another Voice
Stowe Boyd is an internationally-recognized futurist, analyst and researcher. He serves as managing director, Another Voice, rethinking research for the new economy. His approach is to combine research, analytic and conjectural frameworks, and futures scenarios and other tools to help clients answer their most strategic questions.
Stowe’s general focus is the future of work, and the tectonic forces pushing business, media, and society into an unclear and accelerating postnormal era.
Editor-in-Chief, Work Futures, a cabal of futurists exploring the shifting realities of work and our place in it. He serves on Microsoft’s future of work advisory board, and the Pew Research advisory board on robotics and automation. Stowe’s been noted as one of the Top Writers on Medium for Futures, Leadership, and Economics, and also serves as a Contributing Editor for Traction Technology Partners.
CEO of Burning Glass Technologies
For more than a decade, he has led Burning Glass in harnessing the power of data and analytics to deliver artificial intelligence technologies that have helped fill millions of jobs and provided the data needed to resolve the skills gap.
Matt has helped establish Burning Glass as a leading labor market analytics firm that is playing a growing role in informing the global debate on education and the workforce. Burning Glass collects and mines millions of job postings and resumes each day and translates them into a common language in order to map career patterns, flag employer pain points, match people and jobs, and render detailed intelligence on the jobs in greatest demand and the skills required to get them. Burning Glass solutions drive critical workforce, education, and economic development initiatives for more than a dozen state and national governments, as well as numerous educational institutions, regional agencies, global recruitment agencies, major employers, and job boards. Burning Glass’s tools power several government workforce systems, are used by millions of job seekers and students each year, and have been shown to have substantive impact on reemployment outcomes and on job market literacy.
Matt is consulted frequently by national media, including the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Marketplace, Forbes, NPR, Vox, Inside Higher Education, CBS, Fox News, and the New England Journal of Higher Education; by higher education leaders; by researchers and policy makers; and by the White House. He has recently been a featured speaker and panelist with conferences of the Business Higher Education Forum, The Economist, the National Association of Workforce Boards, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the Council of Independent Colleges and Universities, the Institute for Human Resource Information Managers, and with the HRO Today Forum.
Matt, formerly with Capital One, Mesa Air Group, and McKinsey and Company, also serves on the Board of Directors of The Graduate! Network, a national alliance of regional partnerships achieving outstanding outcomes in adult college completion. He holds an AB from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Mamdouh Shoukri
C.M., O.Ont., PhD, FCAE, P.Eng
Mamdouh Shoukri was appointed the seventh President and Vice-Chancellor of York University on July 1, 2007. He completes his decade-long tenure as President on June 30, 2017. Dr. Shoukri began his career in academia at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, serving in administrative leadership positions at all levels of the academy, including as graduate program director, department chair, dean and vicepresident. During his term as Dean of Engineering, the Faculty enjoyed significant growth, leading to McMaster becoming one of the foremost engineering schools in Canada. Under his leadership as VicePresident Research & International, McMaster was designated Research University of the Year by Research Infosource Inc. in 2004. Dr. Shoukri was also responsible for creating and implementing the vision for the McMaster Innovation Park, which has become a major innovation hub and catalyst for the region’s economic recovery. Prior to joining McMaster, he held progressive roles in the Research Division of Ontario Hydro, where he was responsible for industrial research.
A champion of innovation, Dr. Shoukri has guided York’s transformation into a comprehensive and research-intensive university. Among his achievements as President are the establishment of the Lassonde School of Engineering and major capital development projects including a new Life Sciences Building, Glendon’s Centre of Excellence, Osgoode Hall expansion, the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletics Stadium, a new home for the Lassonde School, and the extension of the TTC subway to York’s Keele campus. He has also overseen the advancement of York’s internationalization and social innovation agendas as well as plans for future growth in the York Region.
Dr. Shoukri serves on the Board of Directors of Universities Canada and the Loran Scholars Foundation, and is Chair of the Government and Community Relations Committee for the Council of Ontario Universities. He is a member of the Nominating Committee and the Standing Advisory Committee on University Research (SACUR) for Universities Canada. He served on the Ministry of Industry’s Space Advisory Board, was a founding Board Member of the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and a member of the Ontario Research and Innovation Council (ORIC).
For his contributions to the flourishing of Ontario’s academic institutions as both an engineer and an administrator, Dr. Shoukri was named a Member of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario in 2013, and awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. He is a Senior Fellow of Massey College and a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering and the Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering. Dr. Shoukri’s scholarly interests are in thermo-fluid science, and he is the author or coauthor of more than 120 papers that have appeared in refereed journals and symposia
Dr. Sean Gallagher
Founder and Executive Director of Northeastern University’s Center for the Future of Higher Education and Talent Strategy
Sean joined Northeastern in 2009 and is a nationally recognized expert with over 15 years of experience in higher education. As Chief Strategy Officer for Northeastern’s Professional Advancement Network, Sean built a central strategy function unique among universities – working across colleges and academic domains to launch growth initiatives including the development of new campuses and degree programs. Prior to Northeastern, Sean worked for nearly 10 years at Eduventures, advising executives at hundreds of universities, education companies, and investors. Sean directed the firm’s largest and most profitable business unit, and played an instrumental role in the company’s growth by developing and leading many of its research practices.
Sean is a frequent invited speaker at conferences and events, and his writing and commentary have been featured in leading media outlets such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and CBS Television. Sean’s research has been cited in numerous academic papers and books. His book, “The Future of University Credentials: New Developments at the Intersection of Higher Education and Hiring,” was published in 2016 by Harvard Education Press. Sean also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Bay State College.
Sean holds a Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) degree from Northeastern University; an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology; and a B.S. in Marketing from Northeastern.
Principal Evangelist for Deep Learning at Amazon
Guy Ernest is a principal evangelist in Amazon AI team. His mission is to get machine learning and deep learning to the hands of every developer and every business. He is sharing many of the tools and lessons learned, from Amazon.com to build AI services such as Alexa, Amazon Go, Prime air autonomous drones and others, to enable more AI powered systems. Before joining Amazon 5 years ago, Guy developed a long list of machine learning systems from computer vision, text analysis, personal recommendations and personal mobile search.
Managing Director, Work & Learning
Krista is the managing director of Work & Learning at MaRS. Krista has been a passionate innovator and builder of technology-based businesses for over 25 years, and has personally advised and been actively involved in over 200 startups.
For the past four years, Krista has been the driving force behind the creation of MaRS’ globally-leading Work & Learning sector. She works with entrepreneurs, corporate leaders, investors and technologists who are applying innovation and cutting-edge technologies to create solutions that are advancing the competitiveness of global workers and workplaces.
Krista has experience working in both large public companies and in startups. She is an engineer, entrepreneur, mentor and an expert at solving ambiguous problems. She has a unique combination of strategic, technical, operational and marketing expertise. She is known for her comprehensive knowledge of existing and emerging Information & Communications Technology (ICT) architectures, technologies and innovation practices.
Krista and her husband owned a children’s technology educational franchise that fostered early innovation and creativity in robotics, animation, digital art and video game design.
Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute
Alastair Fitzpayne serves as Executive Director of the Future of Work Initiative. Prior to his work at the Aspen Institute, he served as Chief of Staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under Secretary Sylvia Burwell. In addition to serving as Chief of Staff at HHS, Fitzpayne also held a number of senior roles at the Department of the Treasury during the Obama Administration, including Deputy Chief of Staff and Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs. He has also served on Capitol Hill, in both the Senate and the House, as an economic advisor to Sen. Evan Bayh and Rep. Rahm Emanuel, respectively. He has also worked at the Office of Management and Budget and Abt Associates, a public policy consulting firm.
Fitzpayne holds a BA from Vassar College and an MPP from the University of California-Berkeley.
Partner Future Workplace
Jeanne Meister is Founding Partner in Future Workplace, an HR Executive Network and Research firm. She is the best selling author of four books, two books on Corporate Universities and two books on the future of work. Her most recent book is, The Future Workplace: 10 Rules For Mastering Disruption in Recruiting and Engaging Employees This book was awarded the Silver Axiom Best Business Book Award for Human Resources professionals in 2017. Jeanne is also a Contributor to Forbes and her column can be found here: http://blogs.forbes.com/jeannemeister/.
Jeanne is the receipt of the Distinguished Contribution in Workplace Learning Award, an award given by Association For Talent Development honoring her body of work in corporate universities and future of work.
Jeanne’s books have been translated into Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese and Estonian. Jeanne is a sought after expert on the future of work having appeared in CIO, CNBC Power Lunch, CNN, Fast Company, Fox Business, Harvard Business Review, NPR, SHRM Magazine, MarketWatch, Time Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and WPIX, New York.
Jeanne was previously Vice President of Market Development at Accenture (www.accenture.com) Jeanne is a graduate of University of Connecticut and Boston University.
Jeanne lives in New York City and Columbia County, New York.
President & CEO, D2L
John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo. D2L is a global software company that believes learning is the foundation upon which all progress and achievement rests.
A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve socisety worldwide.
He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Member (Entrepreneurs’ Circle) of the Business Council of Canada, Business Higher Education Roundtable, Past Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School.
John was awarded the Meritorious Service Cross, the EY Entrepreneur of the Year (Ontario for Software and Technology), Young Alumni Achievement Medal from University of Waterloo, and Intrepid Entrepreneur of the Year in Waterloo Region Hall of Fame.
John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.
Director of Policy + Research, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E)
Sarah leads the development of the Institute’s research agenda and oversees the work of the Institute’s policy team.
Having worked on policy development both inside and outside government, Sarah sees a need for translators with the ability to bridge sectors and disciplines. She is keen to build more collaborative spaces that allow policy makers to draw on the collective insights of a wide range of stakeholders.
Sarah believes that BII+E is ideally placed to help translate the expertise and experience of those working at the coalface of innovation and entrepreneurship into advice that is legible for governments.
Sarah is committed to policy that supports inclusive growth. Prior to BII+E, Sarah was a Senior Manager at the Centre for Impact Investing at the MaRS Discovery District, where she was responsible for working with community, government and private sector stakeholders to develop and advance policy that unlocks the potential of the Canadian impact investing market.
Sarah also worked within Canada’s Privy Council Office as a policy analyst, where she developed advice for the Prime Minister on a range of social policy issues. She also has experience in refugee and asylum policy through a past position at Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
Sarah’s experiences, interests and insight into social policy allow her to contribute as an active member of the Board and Quality Committee of St. Stephen’s Community House.
She holds a Master of Science in International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar, and is a graduate of the McMaster University Arts and Science program.
Alastair JS Summerlee, FCAHS, LLD, BSc, BVSc, PhD, MRCVS
Project Leader, Education City & former President, University of Guelph & Carleton University
A passionate humanitarian, dedicated teacher, and internationally renowned researcher, Alastair Summerlee served as president of both the University of Guelph and Carleton University in Canada. He is currently an adjunct professor in the Sprott Business School at Carleton and a professor emeritus biomedical science at Guelph. Summerlee spent six years on the board of the World University Service of Canada where he became involved in humanitarian issues in the refugee camps in Kenya. Summerlee is part of the international movement to unite universities worldwide in fighting hunger and poverty known as the PUSH Initiative (President’s United to Solve Hunger) and was the International Quality of Life Laureate at the United Nations in 2012.
Summerlee has published numerous scientific articles and book chapters, and is regularly invited to speak on the importance of changing the face of postsecondary and life-long education. His research focuses on a simple innovation, known as the Lucky Iron Fish® which has the capacity to alleviate iron deficiency for 2 billion people worldwide. He is currently serving as the project leader for Education City– an initiative to provide educational innovation linking college, university and workplace learning in the Ottawa region.
Jaime S. Fall is Director of UpSkill America at the Aspen Institute, an employer-led movement to expand opportunity for America’s workers and to help our economy and communities thrive by promoting training and advancement practices to help workers progress in their careers and move into better-paying jobs.
Previously, Jaime served as Vice President for Workforce and Talent Sustainability for the HR Policy Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to getting America educated, qualified and hired through the development of research, services and resources to better inform students, jobseekers, workers, educators and policy makers about the skills needed by large employers in today’s rapidly changing workplaces. Jaime still serves as a senior advisor for the Foundation.
Jaime makes his home in Sacramento, California where he moved in 2004 to serve as Deputy Secretary, Employment and Workforce Development, for the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. As a Senate-confirmed leader in the Schwarzenegger Administration, Jaime provided policy and guidance to California’s $11 billion workforce system and the nearly 9,000 employees that made up the entities within the agency. Previously, Jaime spent more than a decade in Washington, DC working at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration; the National Association of State Workforce Agencies; Fall Communications, a workforce development-focused marketing and website development company founded by he and his wife; and on Capitol Hill.
Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D.
Chancellor, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth
Dr. Robert E. Johnson is chancellor of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, a Tier 1 national research university providing a private college educational experience and public university value. Prior to his 2017 appointment, he was president of Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts for seven years, leading the college’s evolution into an adaptive, nimble, and entrepreneurial institution that is a model for colleges and universities across the United States. His unyielding belief in higher education as a public good has led him to dedicate more than a quarter century to ensuring educational opportunity that transforms lives.
A thought leader and commentator on issues related to the future of work, Dr. Johnson believes higher education must foster in students an “Agile Mind” to develop divergent thinking skills, social and emotional intelligence, empathy, and an entrepreneurial outlook that are the hallmarks of future success. By nurturing these uniquely human capacities that cannot be replicated by technology, this education provides the foundation for graduates to add value in a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) future.
A Detroit native, Dr. Johnson was inspired to attend Morehouse College by his late uncle Robert E. Johnson Jr., associate publisher and executive editor of JET Magazine and Morehouse classmate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He encouraged Dr. Johnson’s commitment to service and transforming the next generation of leaders, influencing his fundamental belief that a sense of humanity and civility must be central to all we do. As educated and engaged citizens on a planet with more than seven billion people, we are privileged and thus have a social responsibility not only to leave the world better than we found it but to inspire the next generation of leaders.
Dr. Johnson is a member of the Council on Competitiveness and serves on the executive committee of the Massachusetts Business Roundtable, the board of MGH Institute of Health Professions, and the Intentional Endowments Network steering committee. He has also served on the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education, as vice chair of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and as chair of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Johnson’s career spans more than 30 years of multi-sector non-profit higher education leadership experience. He has led or held senior administrative positions at colleges and universities in the Northeast and Midwest, spanning public, private, urban, rural, small and large institutions, with enrollments from 2,000 to more than 25,000 students. This experience includes public research universities, one of the nation’s largest single-campus community colleges that is also a League for Innovation institution, a large Catholic university, a historically Black university, and a turn-around and transformation of a small private college. His career reflects several firsts—not only as an African-American leader but also the youngest person holding major senior administrative roles.
A proponent of innovation and entrepreneurship, hallmarks of his leadership include: elevated institutional stature; improved institutional profile and competitive market position; national recognition; enrollment growth and resource development success; and fast-tracked facilities and infrastructure upgrades. His “firsts” in establishing new centers and institutes include the first-in-the nation Yunus Social Business Centre, the Massachusetts Digital Games Institute (MassDiGI) at Becker College, and the Center for Marine Environmental Research Innovation and Technology (MERIT Center) at UMass Dartmouth. He has engaged in future-focused thought leadership around the Future of Work, the Agile Mind, and the Agile University; and innovating for social impact when leading one of the first higher education institutions in the nation to achieve a 100% social impact goal for its endowment.
He has been instrumental in convening transformational conversations with industry, government, and academe that stimulated growth and regional economic opportunity, such as the Mass Impact Summit in 2010 that led to the creation of MassDiGI in 2011, and the Catching the Next Wave: Building the Blue Economy Through Innovation and Collaboration symposium in 2018 that led to the creation of the MERIT Center to support regional job growth and economic development. Dr. Johnson holds a doctorate in higher education administration from Touro University International, formerly a division of Touro College, New York; a master’s degree in education administration from the University of Cincinnati; and a bachelor’s degree in economics from Morehouse College. He is married to Michelle Jones-Johnson. They have two children, Jasmine and Alex.
The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is part of the five-campus University of Massachusetts system. A Tier 1 National Research University located on 710 scenic acres on the SouthCoast of Massachusetts, it has nearly 9,000 students in undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral programs; a 400-member faculty that produces $27 million annually in research activity; and more than 50,000 alumni. UMass Dartmouth generates nearly $500 million of regional economic activity annually.
President and CEO, Colleges Ontario
Linda Franklin joined Colleges Ontario as President and CEO in 2007. She has spearheaded a system wide marketing campaign on the value of college education, brought public attention to the impending skills shortage and led advocacy efforts to improve pathways for students.
Previously, Linda was CEO of the Wine Council of Ontario. There, she worked with government on legislation that dramatically improved the economics of the industry, allowing the number of wineries to rise from 20 to almost 200 today.
Linda’s early career included time as a partner in a consulting company, the head of communications for a regulatory body and for government MPPs, and Chief of Staff to an Ontario cabinet minister. She has an MA in journalism from Western University.
Futurist and Technology Expert
Erica is Executive Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of The Future Hunters, one of the world’s leading futurist consulting firms. She evaluates emerging social, technological, economic, political, demographic and environmental trends – and identifies the strategic implications (the “So what?”) of those trends for several of the most influential Fortune 500 companies, trade associations and public sector clients. Erica’s ability to connect-the-dots, spot patterns, think critically and analytically, and translate that into actionable strategies is what has made her an invaluable asset to clients.
Erica frequently speaks to a wide range of audiences about global trends that are shaping the landscape today. She has also authored numerous articles, book chapters, and industry white papers on cutting-edge, future-focused topics. Erica is recognized in the industry as having a unique, innovative and fresh perspective.
President, Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU)
Lynn Pasquerella joined the Association of American Colleges and Universities as their president in 2016, after serving as Mount Holyoke College’s eighteenth president. Pasquerella was the provost at the University of Hartford and the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Graduate School at the University of Rhode Island, where she began her career as an ethics professor in 1985. A philosopher whose work has combined teaching and scholarship with local and global engagement, Pasquerella is committed to championing liberal education, access to excellence in higher education, and civic engagement. She has written extensively on medical ethics, metaphysics, public policy, and the philosophy of law and is the host of Northeast Public Radio’s The Academic Minute. Pasquerella is a member of the advisory Board of the Newman’s Own Foundation, sits on the boards of the Lignan Foundation and the National Humanities Alliance and is the president of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. She is a graduate of Quinebaug Valley Community College, Mount Holyoke College and Brown University. In addition, she has received several honorary doctorates.
Andrew R. Hanson
Senior Research Fellow, Strada Institute for the Future of Work
Andrew R. Hanson is a Senior Research Fellow at Strada Institute for the Future of Work, a research and development lab dedicated to advancing our understanding of the future of learning and work in order to build the learning ecosystem of the future.
Andrew’s research focuses on the intersection between postsecondary education and the labor market. Andrew’s current research is focused on the future of the liberal arts, innovative training programs for working adults, and career pathways with promising futures. His research has been featured in major media outlets including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and PBS Newshour.
His most recent paper is On-ramps to Good Jobs: Fueling Innovation for the Learning Ecosystem of the Future. Andrew is a first-generation college graduate and an alumnus of Teach For America, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Missouri-Saint Louis, and Georgetown University.
Aimée Eubanks Davis
Founder & CEO, Braven
Aimée is the founder and CEO of Braven which works to ensure underrepresented college students develop the skills, confidence, experiences and networks to get strong first jobs after graduation. She founded Braven based on her deep belief that our next generation of leaders will emerge from everywhere. Aimée spent the majority of her career at Teach For America. She held various senior leadership roles, including leading the organization’s groundbreaking work around its human capital and diversity efforts. Earlier in her career, Aimée taught sixth grade, led the Breakthrough/Summerbridge New Orleans site, and worked for the national organization. She is a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow, Pahara-Aspen fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, a Braddock Scholar, a Draper Richards Foundation Entrepreneur and a Camelback Ventures Fellow. A graduate of Mt. Holyoke College, Aimée resides in Chicago with her husband and three children.
Mary V.L. Wright
Senior Fellow, Institute for Work and the Economy
At Maher & Maher, Mary Wright is an integral part of projects with the U.S. Department of Labor to grow apprenticeship programs. Bringing her passion for working with businesses on talent development, Mary is helping to better understand the landscape of apprenticeship in the U.S., promote apprenticeship programs to businesses and partners, and accelerate apprenticeship growth in key industry sectors.
Mary has many years of experience connecting the public and private sectors in municipal finance, government affairs, and workforce development as a project leader, facilitator and subject matter expert. Before joining Maher, she was a director at Jobs for the Future (JFF) where she designed and supervised the completion of foundation, government and employer-funded projects on topics including: expanding employability skills, developing apprenticeship and work-based learning strategies, utilizing labor market information to determine educational focus, better hiring and training practices for people with disabilities, improving entry level jobs for the retail sector, determining the correct educational focus for specific geographic areas including the state of Florida and Columbus Ohio, and an in-depth analysis of green infrastructure jobs.
Prior to joining JFF, she served as director at The Conference Board in New York City, driving its work in workforce readiness, business, and education partnerships. She also focused on improving the employment outcomes for people with disabilities through research and convenings. Mary co-authored or acted as project director on several key Conference Board reports regarding workforce readiness skills, including Are They Really Read to Work? and The Ill-Prepared Workforce.
She also is a Senior Fellow for Workforce Development at the Institute for Work & the Economy where she serves on the Board of Directors.
Mary received a master of business administration in public/nonprofit management from Columbia University and a bachelor of arts in urban affairs from Connecticut College.
She lives and works from her home in Orleans, Massachusetts.
Executive Director at the Miami Animation & Gaming International Complex / Miami Dade College
Mauricio Ferrazza has been working with animation production for film and TV for over 25 years. With a B.A. in Advertising and Marketing, and a M.F.A. in Computer Animation, Ferrazza specialized in dynamics and particle simulation, creating motion and recreating natural phenomena through the application of the principles of physics. Storytelling has also been a focus for Ferrazza, researching the different ways storytelling engage audiences, character-driven stories for film production, and how it’s now infused in branding and sales.
For fourteen years, Ferrazza worked for Univision Communications, the leading Spanish network in the country, designing the concept and executing graphics and animation for the network’s programming and special events department. In 2009 he founded MIA ANIMATION and launched the MIA Animation Conference & Festival, designed to be a forum for active networking and practical information exchange with strong commitment and emphasis in education while developing and nourishing new talent.
In 2015, Ferrazza inaugurated the Miami Animation and Gaming International Complex (MAGIC) at Miami Dade College. MAGIC is the first facility of its kind at a public higher education in Florida. Both academic programs “Animation & Game Art” and “Game Development & Design,” are industry focused, with a skilled training curriculum designed to fill jobs currently in demand by the industry. A college credit certificate is also offered on “Virtual and Augmented Reality Technologies,” where immersive simulations can be designed not only for entertainment, but a range of other industries going from healthcare to logistics.
In 2018, The Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation awarded the MAGIC program at Miami Dade College with the Siemens-Aspen Community College STEM Award, in recognition of the outstanding preparation and education the program provides students seeking careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Head of Human Resources, Manulife Canada
Christine Robinson is Head of Human Resources for Manulife Canada. A member of Manulife Canada’s Leadership Team, and Manulife’s global HR Leadership Team, Christine is responsible for the creation and delivery of a talent strategy that fuels the successful execution of the business goals. She works with leaders and her HR colleagues to drive engagement through a dynamic employee experience and cultivate a high performing culture where people build their careers and realize their potential.
Prior to joining Manulife in 2016, Christine led a team of HR Partners, while responsible for Talent Management in Canada. Christine also led a global centre of excellence that delivered innovative Talent Development solutions for executives, management and staff at Sun Life.
Christine worked at BlackBerry in Talent Management and Learning and spent eight years in HR Consulting with Knightsbridge and Right Management, as well as in private practice. She began her career at Nortel Networks, focused on HR and user-centred analysis.
Christine serves on the Standard Life Pension Committee, is on the Advisory Board for Manulife’s Global Women’s Alliance, was a member of the Skillsoft Executive Advisory Board, and contributed to several organizations focused on diversity and inclusion and child and youth development.
Christine earned a Master of Education in Adult Education from the University of Toronto, specializing in Workplace Learning and Change. She also holds a post-graduate diploma in Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Elizabeth A. Dooley, Ed.D.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, University of Central Florida
Elizabeth A. Dooley, Ed.D., serves as the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Central Florida. Serving as Chief Academic officer, Dooley leads UCF’s academic programs and initiatives across the university’s 13 colleges, which serve more than 68,000 students. Dr. Dooley’s responsibilities also entail faculty excellence, recruitment, advancement and retentions along with student success initiatives.
Dr. Dooley holds a doctorate and a master’s degree from West Virginia University, and a bachelor’s degree from Alderson Broaddus College.