2012 NAIS Annual Conference | Seattle | Feb 29 - Mar 2, 2012

Featured Speakers

General Session Speakers

 Watch the opening slideshow
Bill Gates 

Bill Gates
Thursday, March 1, 8:00 - 9:30 AM

Watch his speech on The Gates Notes website:

Here's an article Gates wrote about his speech, on The Gates Notes website:

As Gates promised during his speech, here are links to demo sites educators will find helpful.

Click here to read an article about Gates' presentation

Download the PDF of the graphic recording of Gates.

Bill Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with co-chair Melinda, he shapes and approves grant-making strategies, advocates for the foundation's issues, and helps set the overall direction of the organization. The primary goal: Expand opportunity to the world's most disadvantaged people.

Gates began his major philanthropic efforts in 1994, when he created the William H. Gates Foundation, which focused on global health. Three years later, he and Melinda created the Gates Library Foundation, which worked to bring public access computers with Internet connections to libraries in the U.S. Its name changed to the Gates Learning Foundation in 1999 to reflect its focus on ensuring that low-income minority students are prepared for college and have the means to attend. In 2000, the two groups merged into the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

In 1975, Gates left Harvard University to focus on Microsoft, the company he founded with childhood friend Paul Allen. Gates led the company to become the worldwide leader in business and personal software, services, and solutions. Gates also founded Corbis, which is developing a comprehensive digital archive of art and photography from public and private collections around the globe. He is a member of the board of directors of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.



Independent Matters is a special General Session that features a trio of guest speakers who will each expound on the conference theme from their own perspective.

Download the PDF of the graphic recording of Independent Matters.

Click here to read an article about the Independent Matters keynote addresses.

Stephen Carter 

Stephen Carter
Thursday, March 1, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
Independent Matters

Watch a video of Carter's thought-provoking speech

Recognized by Time magazine as one of the 50 leaders of the next century, Stephen Carter is one of America's leading public intellectuals. The author of four novels and seven critically acclaimed nonfiction books on law, ethics, and politics, he continues to shape the national debate on issues ranging from the role of religion in our politics and culture, to the role of integrity and civility in our daily lives.

Carter's most recent book is The Violence of Peace: America's Wars in the Age of Obama. It examines the implications of the military philosophy President Barack Obama has adopted through his first two years in office and what his views on war mean for America. Carter's extraordinary fiction debut, The Emperor of Ocean Park, spent three months on The New York Times bestseller list and made bestseller lists in several European countries.

Currently professor of law at Yale University, Carter has clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. As a trustee for the Aspen Institute, he moderates seminars for business executives on the role of values in leadership. Carter is also a contributor to Bloomberg View, the new opinion section of Bloomberg.com.

Cheryl Crazy Bull photo 

Cheryl Crazy Bull
Thursday, March 1, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
Independent Matters

Watch a video of Crazy Bull's inspirational speech

Cheryl Crazy Bull, Sicangu Lakota from the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota, is the third president -- and first woman president -- of Northwest Indian College (NWIC), a regional tribally chartered institution serving tribes in the Pacific Northwest.

After serving four years as its chair, President Crazy Bull currently serves as member-at-large of the executive committee of the board of directors for the American Indian Higher Education Consortium, a nonprofit organization of tribal colleges in the United States and Canada.

Crazy Bull speaks and writes on behalf of tribal education, cultural knowledge preservation and revitalization, community development, and community-based participatory research. Her public service includes arts and economic development committees and boards. She currently serves on the boards of the National Museum of the American Indian, Northwest Indian College Foundation, and American Indian College Fund.

Crazy Bull has been recognized by the Lannan Foundation through an Indigenous Leadership Award in 1995; as an outstanding alumnus from the College of Education at her alma mater, South Dakota State University, in 1999; and with an honorary doctorate from Sinte Gleska University in 2005. Her outstanding achievements have been honored by the Rosebud Sioux Tribe and by her NWIC employees who voted her Employee of the Year in 2003.

Sarah Kay photo 

Sarah Kay
Thursday, March 1, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
Independent Matters

Watch a video of Kay's stunning speech.

Spoken word poet Sarah Kay holds many titles: poetry teacher, founder and co-director of Project V.O.I.C.E., documentary filmmaker, playwright, singer, songwriter, photographer, and editor for Write Bloody Publishing. Growing up in New York City, Kay started performing her poetry when she was only 14 years old, becoming a fixture at the famous Bowery Poetry Club. Today she is one of the most sought-after spoken word performers in North America.

Kay has performed in venues across the country, including the United Nations, where she was a featured performer for the launch of the 2004 World Youth Report. She teaches spoken word poetry to students of all ages in classrooms and workshops worldwide.

In 2006, Kay joined the Bowery Poetry Club's Poetry Slam Team, NYC Urbana, and was the youngest poet to compete in the 2006 National Poetry Slam in Austin, Texas. She spoke at the 2011 TED Conference, "The Rediscovery of Wonder", and her video from that performance has captured the attentions of hundreds of thousands of people. Internationally she has performed in the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, India, and South Africa.

On Russell Simmons Presents HBO Def Poetry Jam, Kay performed her poem "Hands." Literary publications such as Foundling Review, Damselfly Press, and decomP publish Kay's work.

John Hunter 

John Hunter
Friday, March 2, 9:30 - 11:00 AM
World Peace Game

Download the PDF of the graphic recording of Hunter.

Click here to read an article about Hunter's presentation

Award-winning teacher and educational consultant, John Hunter has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. Employing his background as a musician, composer, and filmmaker during a three-decade career as a teacher, Hunter has combined his gifted teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs using multimedia software programs in creative writing and film courses.

As a student at the Virginia Commonwealth University, Hunter traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India, and China. Inspired by Gandhi's home country and intrigued by the principles of nonviolence, Hunter began imagining how teachers could contribute to peace in the world. Accepting the reality of violence, he sought to inspire students to explore harmony in various situations, using a game -- something that students would enjoy.

As educator in residence at IDEO, a premiere design firm in Silicon Valley, Hunter explores numerous options, including replication of the World Peace Game for sale, Internet-based development, training seminars for teachers, and workshops on his methods.

As a fellow at The Center for Global Initiatives of the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia, Hunter collaborates with faculty and students to leverage the success and relevance of his World Peace Game project. 

Amy Chua 

Amy Chua
Friday, March 2, 3:00 - 4:30 PM
Education and Success

Download the PDF of the graphic recording of Chua.

Read an article about Chua's presentation.

Yale Law School Professor Amy Chua made headlines with her latest book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, a parenting memoir on raising her children for success in a traditional Chinese way. The bestseller relates how Chua did not permit sleepovers, play dates, or other staples of American youth culture. Time magazine named her to The 2011 Time 100, its list of the most influential people in the world.

She has authored two other extraordinary books. Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance -- and Why They Fall examines history's handful of dominant world powers to reveal the reasons behind their success and the roots of their ultimate demise. As the latest hyperpower, the U.S. has so far followed the historical pattern and is tilting toward decline. Chua offers history's lessons as guidance for the most important questions about America's future.

In her bestseller World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability, Chua shares a fundamentally new perspective on how to sustain globalization by finding ways to spread its benefits while curbing its most destructive aspects. The former Wall Street lawyer has also taught law at Duke, Stanford, and New York universities.

 Pat Bassett's presentation slides are available for viewing by NAIS member schools. To view a presentation go to www.nais.org/go/bassettpresentations and select the presentation you wish to view. You will be prompted to login. If you work at an NAIS member school, but have not yet registered on the NAIS website, click on "First time web user? Register now." For attendees from a nonmember school, you may request on a one-time basis from our Membership Team to have the PPT sent to you. Simply email Vivian Dandridge at dandridge@nais.org.  

Conference Program
NAIS - National Association of Independent Schools