Featured Workshop Speakers
Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology at Newcastle University in the UK, not only invented the Hole in the Wall experiments, but his work inspired the book Slumdog Millionaire, which went on to become the Oscar-winning movie.
For more than 30 years, Mitra has worked in the areas of cognitive science, information science, educational technology, physics, and energy. He is credited with implementing the first applications of digital multimedia and Internet-based education in India in the late 1980s. His experiments (often referred to as "The Hole in the Wall" experiments) with children and the Internet have been reported worldwide since 1999.
Mitra discovered that the Internet, computers, and children are literally "made for each other," with cognitive processes so similar that children need little or no instruction to master computing at the basic level. Mitra is building on this discovery through the design of hardware and software that enable children to reach the intermediate to expert level independently. His current research is leading toward an alternative primary education, using self-organized learning, mediation, and assessment environments.
Mitra has won numerous international awards and honors for his cutting-edge innovations and discovery for closing the digital divide around the globe.
Wendy Mogel is an internationally known clinical psychologist, author, and public speaker. Publisher's Weekly gave her New York Times best-selling parenting book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, a starred review saying, "Impassioned, lyrical, and eminently practical, this volume is a real treasure."
She has been a keynote speaker at the annual meetings of the National Association of Principals of Schools for Girls, Educational Records Bureau, National Association of Episcopal Schools, American Montessori Society, and American Camp Association. Mogel serves on the scientific advisory board of Challenge Success, a program of the Stanford University School of Education, and the boards of the Center for Early Education (California) and the Counsel for Spiritual and Ethical Education. She contributes articles to many publications, including Independent School magazine, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, and Camping Magazine. In 2006, The New York Times Sunday Magazine profiled Mogel and her work.
This fall watch for The Blessing of a B Minus, Mogel's new book about what parents can learn from teenagers. Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People, praises the new book as, "Wise, witty, and well-written, this book is a treasury of common sense for anyone dealing with adolescents."
Eloquent and passionate about her mission, Emily Pilloton is the founder and director of Project H Design (design initiatives for Humanity, Habitats, Health, and Habitats). Project H focuses on using design and community building projects to activate public education systems in the U.S. and to provide a more engaged learning framework for K-12 students, particularly in rural communities. For her most recent initiative, Studio H, Pilloton teaches a high school design/build program in the poorest county in North Carolina.
An industrial designer, architect, writer, and occasional writer, Pilloton emphasizes the importance of social action and building, design for empowerment, and design activism for the sake of humanity. A Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow 2009 and guest on "The Colbert Report," Pilloton was also chosen for The Nifty 50 in The New York Times' T Magazine, a list of America's up and coming. She writes a blog for Fast Company titled FastCoDesign. Her Project H also created the Learning Landscape, an active educational playground that promotes more engaged outdoor learning. Other projects around the country include therapeutic spaces for children in foster care homes in Austin, a public school curriculum focused on local food production and waste in New York, and a homeless-run design enterprise in Los Angeles.
Albert M. Adams
Head of Lick-Wilmerding High School (California) for 23 years, Al Adams is known to many for his decades of service as a teacher, coach, administrator, founder, and head at independent schools across the country, including The Colorado Springs School (Colorado), Children's School, and The Cambridge School of Weston (Massachusetts). He founded the national Network of Progressive Educators, served on the board of the Multicultural Alliance, and was a founding faculty member of the NAIS Leaders of Color Workshop.
Tireless advocate for equity in education, Adams is an active trustee of Aim High, an enrichment program that serves 1,100 low-income Bay Area middle schoolers each summer; founded the Oakland Academic Stars Scholarship Program, benefiting African-American high school students in the Oakland Unified School District; created the Bay Area Teachers Center, a credentialing program designed for full-time working teachers; co-chaired the steering committee that created the City Fields Foundation that has brought $45 million of renovations to San Francisco play fields, ensuring greater access for girls and low-income children; and is a founding board member of the Geneva Car Barn, a neighborhood project devoted to engaging underserved young people in job training through the arts. Adams continues to build community with public/private partnerships.
James K. Scott
Native Hawaiian James Kapae‘alii Scott returned to his alma mater in 1994 as the 16th president of Punahou School (Hawaii). He has increased access to a Punahou education through a vigorous financial aid program and champions community initiatives, like the Clarence T.C. Ching PUEO program. The College Board recognized PUEO as a model program for helping low-income students prepare for college. Under Scott's leadership, Punahou has been honored as an Apple Distinguished School; named top Green School in America; and spotlighted by Sports Illustrated twice for the nation's #1 high school athletics program. In 2010, Punahou initiated a partnership with three U.S. and four Chinese schools to launch the Student Global Leadership Initiative, which seeks to build an international cohort of student leaders committed to positive social change.
An active, engaged leader, Scott has served as a trustee of The College Board and chair of the Secondary School Admission Test Board. He is a director of Hawaiian Electric Industries, a trustee of the Barstow Foundation, and a member of Klingenstein Center Advisory Board, Country Day School Headmasters' Association of the U.S., INMAX (Independent Schools with Maximum Capacity), and NAIS. In 2009, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) District VII recognized Scott with its inaugural Chief Executive Leadership Award for Independent Schools.
Seth Goldman is President and TeaEO of Honest Tea, the company he cofounded out of his home in 1998 with Professor Barry Nalebuff of the Yale School of Management. Honest Tea is the nation's best-selling organic bottled tea company, with products distributed through more than 30,000 outlets in every state, as well as overseas. Over the past 12 years the company has thrived with an annual compound growth rate of more than 60 percent, as consumers have shifted toward healthier and more sustainable diets. In 2008, The Coca-Cola Company purchased a minority interest in Honest Tea, fueling further growth as Honest became the first organic and Fair Trade brand to move into the world's largest beverage distribution system. Recently, Honest Tea was included on The Better World Shopping Guide's list of "10 best companies on the planet based on their overall social and environmental record." Prior to cofounding Honest Tea, Goldman held management positions at the Calvert Group, a socially-responsible mutual fund company. He serves on the boards of the American Beverage Association, Bethesda Green, The Calvert Foundation, and Happy Baby. In 2008, Goldman was named Ernst & Young's "Entrepreneur of the Year for Greater Washington, DC."